2. Briefly describe the facts.
In this case, Harold Pearsall and Joe Alexander each purchased a “package,” which they typically share consisting of vodka, orange juice, cups, and lottery tickets. Pearsall purchased the first package to which Alexander agreed he wanted to share. Pearsall’s purchased tickets were worthless, so Alexander went back to purchase a second “package,” including a lottery ticket worth $20,000. Alexander then refused to split the profit with Pearsall.
1. Which facts were key to the outcome?
Key facts were Alexander responding “Yes” when asked by Pearsall if he wanted to share the first pair of tickets that were purchased, and the inference that Alexander was continuing their usual practice of sharing the tickets when he and Pearsall each scratched off a ticket with the second set.
2. Legal issue:
3. What legal issue(s) does this case illustrate (i.e. why is this case in the chapter)?
The presence of consideration, more specifically the presence of legal sufficiency.
1. What are all of the elements of the main legal rule that this case illustrates? For instance, if the case is about undue influence, list ALL of the elements that the court in this case said had to be proven by the plaintiff.
Elements of consideration are (1) legal sufficiency and (2) bargained-for exchange. The element of legal sufficiency is either a legal detriment to the promise or a legal benefit to the promisor (pg. 225).
Repeat 2. for each issue raised. (For example, a case may discuss 1. Whether there is an implied-in-fact contract, and II. Whether the UCC or common law applied. If so, you will repeat 2. for each of these two issues.)
1. Expand Perspective, Gain Interpersonal Understanding, and Critically Assess Implications
2. Prevailing party’s point of view:
3. What legal arguments were made by the prevailing party?
An agreement existed between Pearsall and Alexander to split the winnings of the lottery tickets.
1. What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles would support a ruling for the prevailing party?
Alexander gave his consent in answering “yes” to Pearsall’s proposal, then was eager to scratch off the tickets Pearson had purchased. Furthermore, Pearson was allowed to scratch off a ticket when Alexander purchased the second pair. On the basis of their past relationship, it seems inferred that they would split the profits because them purchasing the tickets together was a weekly event.
1. What were the probable motivations behind the prevailing party’s actions leading up to the dispute? After the dispute?
Pearsall felt he was rightfully owed half of the $20,000 winnings because of their usual arrangement.
Repeat 3. for each and every issue in the case.
4. Losing party’s point of view:
5. What legal arguments were made by the losing party?
Losing party’s argument was that no agreement was made between Alexander and Pearsall.
1. What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles would support a ruling for the losing party?
The fact that Alexander did not reimburse Pearsall for the first purchase.
1. What were the probable motivations behind the losing party’s actions leading up to the dispute? After the dispute?
Alexander did not feel Pearsall was owed half the winnings because he didn’t promise anything to Pearsall when purchasing the second pair of tickets.
Repeat 4. for each and every issue in the case.
5. Judge’s point of view:
6. How did the court rule on each argument?
The court ruled in favor of Pearsall.
1. What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles did the court use to support its ruling?
The extent of the relationship between Pearsall and Alexander and the frequency of their purchasing this “package” together. Also the fact that legal sufficiency in the creation of a detriment to either man for half of the winnings.
1. What were the probable motivations behind the judge’s decision?
Alexander’s conduct led the judge to believe he agreed to enter into an agreement with Pearsall to split the profits from the tickets.
Repeat 5. for each ruling made by the judge.
1. Find Recent Developments and Diverse Theories, Synthesize, and Compare
6. Different Rules: Pose the question “What if the court adopted a different legal rule?”
1. Search the web for other articles to refer to in your article or call an attorney or business professional who may have experience with this type of issue. Write a brief one-paragraph summary of this case or article:
Miller v. Radikopf is similar to Pearsall v. Alexander in that there was an oral agreement to jointly own tickets and share winnings. Miller and Radikopf jointly sold sweepstakes tickets, receiving 2 tickets as compensation for every 20 they sold. One of Radikopf’s comp. tickets won the sweepstakes and he then refused to share the winnings with Miller. The major claim in this case, like in Pearsall v. Alexander, is whether or not an enforceable contractual claim to share the money exists. However, whether or not the claim was enforceable was not the ultimate issue, as the state in which this case occurred has laws making the act of selling/purchasing the sweepstakes tickets unlawful. As a result, the trial court, court of appeals, and supreme court of Michigan all stated that no such contract is enforceable because it is not legal in the state of Michigan.
1. Ponder and reflect to compare this case to recent news and cases. This is the really cool part. You will be thinking like a legally astute manager, owner, or professional as you read, analyze and compare cases to draw your conclusions. Some neat ideas to help with your analysis: If the outcomes of the recent cases you found are different, can you make sense of the different outcomes? Are there different legal standards that make for different outcomes? Is there a trend leaning more in favor of a plaintiff or defendant’s position? Are the outcomes the same or different simply because the facts are similar or dissimilar? What accounts for the same or different results? Write your thoughts here:
It seems like this scenario and those similar to the Pearsall v. Alexander case vary across states as to how the case would be handled. Because laws regarding lottery tickets and the like are different from state to state, it is difficult to claim a specific standard of handling cases like these two.
1. Creative, Application and Critical Thinking Questions
2. Your point of view of the case in the book:
3. Do you agree or disagree with the actual outcome? Why or why not?
I agree with the judge’s decision to reverse the trial court’s dismissal of Pearsall’s complaint and rule in favor of Pearsall because it just seems like at every turn Alexander could have backed away and said he didn’t want to share anything with Pearsall, but his conduct clearly displays his choice to continue their relationship as it had been in the past.
1. Change it up: Pose the question “What if the facts were different?” Create changes to the facts that would probably result in a different outcome of the case and, using critical thinking and legal reasoning, tell why your change in facts would make a difference.
I think that had Alexander went back to the store to purchase the tickets and then went home without letting Pearsall know that he had purchased more tickets then there would be no obligation to split the winnings.
1. Relate the case to your own experience, if applicable, or to the experience someone else has shared with you.
I think an experience of mine that relates to this would be me and a friend trying to sneak chocolate at each other’s houses growing up. This may seem petty ( and it is), but the idea of us partnering to essentially play a game of chance in whether or not we could grab the chocolate relates to them buying the lottery ticket. Also, if my friend found the chocolate and then didn’t share it with me, I would not be happy.
1. How will you apply the lessons from this case to your future career?
This case is a good lesson in proceed with caution when entering into a partnership, even when entering into a partnership of some kind with someone you would consider a friend.
1. Write recommendations to avoid future legal problems and that best suit the objectives of a firm or company in your chosen career field.
Make clear your intentions to enter into a partnership or not enter into a partnership, and what specifically that will entail, even when the partnership is with someone well-known to you.