Blog

Supreme Court Enforces Oral -- Agreement to Purchase Investment Property

Photo of Jay Jackson

In a recent case, the Texas Supreme Court enforced an agreement between friends to purchase 3,800 acres for investment property.

The case was Ganim v. Alattar, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2011)(6/24/11). In it, two friends decided to invest in property and form a partnership to own it. After they made an offer on the property and exchanged documents creating the partnership, the deal fell apart when a dispute arose over the terms of the partnership. Meanwhile, Alattar bought the property "as trustee." He then refused to share the property with the proposed partnership or Ganim. When Ganim sued him, Alattar claimed that the statute of frauds, which requires agreements to sell realty to be in writing in order to be enforceable, barred Ganim's suit.

The Supreme Court held that the suit by Ganim was not barred by the statute of frauds or the Trust Code. Suit on an "agreement to acquire real property for the benefit of a partnership [is not] barred by the statute of frauds." Specifically, "'[a]n agreement between two or more persons for the joint acquisition of land is not a contract for the sale of land and is not required by our statute of frauds to be in writing.'"

"Section 112.004 of the Trust Code provides that a trust in real property 'is enforceable only if there is written evidence of the trust's terms bearing the signature of the settlor or the settlor's authorized agent.' The Trust Code's provision applies only to express trusts. . . ." But the "'mere designation of a party as 'trustee' does not create a trust.'" Here, no express trust was created, so 112.004 did not apply.

"The agreement found by the jury was that Alattar purchased the Property for [the proposed partnership]. It was not an agreement for the sale of real estate nor did it create an express trust. Thus, it was not required to comply with the provisions of either Business and Commerce Code section 26.01 or Property Code section 112.004."

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories