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Contract Law

Case from March 2014 to May 2014

Statute of frauds
A logo does not qualify as a legal signature for purposes of satisfying the statute of frauds.
Springob v. USC, Op. No. 27363 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed March 12, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 10 at 28).

Cases from Feb. 2013 to April 2013

Statute of Elizabeth
A subsequent creditor may set aside a voluntary transfer if it was made with actual fraudulent intent on the part of the grantor to evade creditors.
Judy v. Judy, No. 5101 (S.C. Ct. App., March 20, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 13).

Unconscionability
A contractual limitation of a home inspector's liability is not so oppressive that no reasonable person would make it and no fair and honest person would accept it.
Gladden v. Palmetto Home Inspection Services, No. 27236 (S.C. Sup. Ct., March 27, 2013) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14).

Cases from July 2012 to Oct. 2012

Arbitration
A nonsignatory to a contract may be bound by its arbitration clause if the nonsignatory knowingly accepts benefits resulting from the contract.
Pearson v. Hilton Head Hospital, No. 5036 (S.C. Ct. App., Oct. 3, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 35)

Formation
An unambiguous, unilateral contract is formed when one person accepts prices for services over the phone and then proceeds to perform the work discussed.
Southern Glass v. Kemper, No. 5021 (S.C. Ct. App., Aug. 15, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 28)

Case from May 2012 and June 2012

Unconscionability
For a counterclaim for unconscionability to be entitled to a jury trial, the claim must each be both legal and compulsory. The statutory unconscionability statutes do not provide for a right to jury trial, so the claim must be unconscionable under common law.
Wells Fargo Bank v. Smith, No. 4988 (S.C. Ct. App. June 13, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 20)

Cases from Feb. 2012 to May 2012

Arbitration
Absent an arbitration clause that is unconscionable (there is an absence of meaningful choice and the terms are oppressive), the clause should be enforced.
Lucey v. Meyer, No. 4960 (S.C. Ct. App., Mar. 28, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11)

Conversion
A breach of contract claim does not automatically put a party on notice for a claim conversion.
Hennes v. Shaw, No. 4948 (S.C. Ct. App., Feb. 29, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 8)

Federal Arbitration Act
The Federal Arbitration Act covers employment contracts that reference specific cases requiring out-of-court work.
Lucey v. Meyer, No. 4960 (S.C. Ct. App., Mar. 28, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 11)

Real estate
Despite a lack of a written contract, checks given as an advance for commissions can constitute consideration as part of an agreement between two parties to buy and sell real estate together.
Hennes v. Shaw, No. 4948 (S.C. Ct. App., Feb. 29, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 8)

Unfair Trade Practices Act
A UTPA violation requires evidence of a resulting public harm.
Hennes v. Shaw, No. 4948 (S.C. Ct. App., Feb. 29, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 8)

Case from Oct. 2011 to Jan. 2012


Non-compete clause
The S.C. Court of Appeals interpreted the S.C. Supreme Court's holding in Poynter to mean that a court may not "blue pencil" the restrictions contained in a non-competition provision by inserting or subtracting terms not agreed to by the parties in order to make it valid and enforceable, and the parties may not, of their own accord, convert an overly broad territorial restriction into an enforceable one by entering into a subsequent agreement that artificially limits the actual terms used in the parties' original contract.
Team IA v. Cicero Lucas 61, No. 4889 (S.C. Ct. App., refiled Oct. 20, 2011) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 37).

Cases from July 2011 to Oct. 2011

Waiver 
By signing a contract, a party is charged with having read the contents and cannot avoid the contract’s effects by arguing that he was unaware of the inclusion of the waivers, which were unambiguous and conspicuous. A party could not have contemplated that, in signing a contract, he was waiving his right to a jury trial on claims arising from allegedly fraudulent conduct.
Wachovia Bank, Nat’l Assoc. v. Blackburn, No. 4874 (S.C. Ct. App., Aug. 24, 2011) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 29).