Developments of Interest

Corrie v. Soloway (2013)

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Gagen McCoy successfully established the rights of an option holder in a precedent setting decision involving issues of contract interpretation, the interpretation of the Subdivision Map Act and the ability of contracting parties to cure any contract defects that might otherwise result in an illegal contract.

In Corrie v. Soloway (2013) the Court of Appeal upheld the rights of an option holder to acquire a portion of as yet unsubdivided land, even though the original option agreement (prepared by other counsel) did not contain language expressly conditioning the purchase and sale upon compliance with the Subdivision Map Act.

Gregory McCoy, counsel for Mr. Corrie argued, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that as a matter of law contracting parties could by subsequent acts revive what would otherwise be a void option agreement.  (The initial option agreement was prepared by other counsel and did not include language concerning compliance with the Subdivision Map Act.  A subsequent amendment was prepared by Gagen McCoy before the exercise of the option which did include compliance with the Subdivision Map Act by both the landowner and the holder of the option.)

Gagen McCoy also argued, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that entering into an indemnity provision indemnifying a trustee from future legal action does not deprive a party who deals with a trustee of a trust from the ability to rely on innocent party treatment as provided in Probate Code Section 18100.

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