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Briefs from 1L contracts class


									Ch.5 The Meaning of the Agreement – p. 384 – Parol Evidence Rule Thompson v Libby Minnesota Supreme Court, 1885 34 Minn. 374 Facts: Evidentiary Facts Thompson is the owner of logs. Libby is the buyer of logs. A written contract was made, providing the terms of the sale. Libby took the logs and did not pay for them. Procedural Facts Libby asserts, as a defense, that he is not obligated to pay for the logs because of a breach of warranty, made orally, at the time of the written contract. The parol evidence is introduced into evidence. The plaintiff requests a new trial, which is denied. Issue: Can oral evidence of additional terms of an agreement be introduced into evidence when there is a signed writing? Holding: No. Reasoning: No parol evidenced is to be admitted when it contradicts or varies the terms of a valid, written instrument. There is a presumption that when the parties undertake the task of putting an agreement in writing, the agreement is complete. The rule does not apply where the writing is incomplete. Where the agreement is incomplete, parol evidence may be introduced to prove the part omitted. However, parol evidence may not be introduced to introduce an additional term, as in this case. There is nothing in the “four corners” of the document to show that this is an incomplete agreement. Judgment:

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