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Turkeys Teaching Law

On this day before Thanksgiving, no doubt we are all wondering, What can we learn about law from turkeys? Quite a bit, it turns out. In fact, Meredith R. Miller, assistant professor at Touro Law Center, writes at ContractsProf Blog, "I'd hazard a guess that nearly all contract law concepts can be learned with turkey cases (and one chicken case ... and maybe one cow case)." Miller leaves the chicken and cow cases for another occasion as she points us to two key poultry precedents.

First comes her earlier retelling of the 1919 California case of Jacobsen-Reimbers co. v. Tozai Co. The case involved a turkey supplier who, it might be said, flipped the bird at his customer by failing to deliver on his promise of from 200 to 1,200 "choice dressed turkeys." The question for the court was whether the plaintiff's damages should be calculated using the low or high end of that promise. You will have to read Miller's post to find the answer.

A second turkey case Miller recounts, H&H Poultry Co. v. Whaley, offers the almost Dickensian feature of a wrongdoer by the name of Mr. Gouge. Did he place an enforceable oral order for 24,000 turkeys, or did he not? Mr. Gouge died before he could be deposed, but the court was nevertheless able to reach an outcome of which it was certain. Again, we refer you to Miller to tell how the case turned out.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 22, 2006 at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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