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Brown v. Morrisey & Walker

Decided: May 19, 1930.

WALTER M. BROWN, RESPONDENT,
v.
MORRISEY & WALKER, INCORPORATED, A BODY CORPORATE, APPELLANT



On appeal from the Supreme Court, whose per curiam is printed in 7 N.J. Mis. R. 414.

For the appellant, Quinn, Parsons & Doremus.

For the respondent, Ward Kremer.

Walker

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WALKER, CHANCELLOR. This is an appeal from a judgment rendered in the Supreme Court, Monmouth Circuit, in favor of Brown and against Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated.

In April, 1926, Brown became a real estate salesman for Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, who were sales agent of land in its own name. The relation of the salesman was created by a written contract signed by both parties, and Brown, in addition, alleged that in May, 1926, Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, by verbal agreement, offered to pay him an additional commission by way of prize or bonus, for selling property being developed by Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, at Shark River Hills and owned by the Shark River Hills Company, or such other property as the principal might designate. Plaintiff claimed that after this agreement was entered into and sometime in the latter part of May, or the early part of June, 1926, Samual Walker, vice-president of Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, called together several of the salesmen who were working on the Shark River Hills property, in their office, and there, in the presence of the plaintiff and several other salesmen, including Thomas Ely, their general sales manager, set forth a plan to stimulate sales. He stated that teams of seven men would be formed and that each team would have a captain. He further promised that if a team sold, during the year 1926, an aggregate of $200,000 worth of property, the captain of that team, in addition to the commissions to which he was entitled under the contract, was to receive a prize of $1,000. This was agreed to by the plaintiff, and the promise of Mr. Walker was reiterated at a dinner given to salesmen at the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel.

Testimony was given tending to establish the truth of these statements, and there was further testimony tending to establish the fact that the sales were made of the amount and within the time designated, by the team of which plaintiff was captain, which entitled him to the prize or bonus. That the jury believed this testimony is established by their verdict, after which defendant obtained a rule to show cause why it

should not be set aside and a new trial granted; reserving all its exceptions. This rule, after argument, was discharged, and judgment was duly entered. Then the defendant appealed to this court and filed eleven grounds of appeal, which were argued under the following heads: (1) the admission of illegal evidence; (2) the oral contract upon which Brown relied was in contravention of the statute of frauds and therefore entirely void; and (3) the court erroneously charged the jury that if Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, had ratified any sales, then Brown would be entitled to claim credit for such sales.

First. The trial court did not err in admitting testimony concerning the payment of commissions to the defendant by the Shark River Hills Company.

A question was directed to Thomas Ely, who testified that he was general sales manager for Morrisey & Walker, Incorporated, which company was interested in the tract known as Shark River Hills, owned by the Shark River Hills Company. The question was as follows:

"Q. Can you tell us whether or not Morrisey & Walker received from the Shark River Hills Company their commission on the sale ...


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