Monday, July 03, 2006


Letty owned a house on a lot in City. She leased the house and lot to Trent for one year under a written agreement which provided, among other things, that Trent had option to purchase the property for a stated price, which he could exercise at any time during the lease. The lease agreement also provided that trent could renew the lease upon notice to Letty at least 30 days prior to termination of the lease. 6 months after the lease had commenced, Trent executed an agreement assigning his option rights under the lease to Al. Al immediately contacted Letty to say he was exercising the option, and that he stood ready to tender the state purchase price iin cash. Letty refused to sell.
-Al subsequently brought an action for specific performance, seeking an order compelling Letty to sell the property to Al pursuant to the option. Who wins?

a. Al, because an option K is assignable to the same extent as any other K.
b. Al, if the jurisdiction permits assignment of lease purchase options
c. Letty, if Al's credit is of signficantly lesser quality than Trent's.
d. Letty, because only an offeree has the power to accept an offer.


I chose A because I knew the rules on assignment were pretty liberal and that by extension, probably a lease contract would not be much different. Here's the answer.

B is the best choice.

There is a split of authority as to whether a purchase option contained in a lease agreement is assignable independently of itself. Thus if the jurisdiction was one which did not permit such separate assignment, Al would not be able to enforce this option.

A is not the best choice. A is probably not an accurate statement of the law, since restrictions exists as to pruchase options in leasees which do not exist as to contracts generally, as demonstrated by the split authority identified above.....(answer goes on)

So the answer admits that in one half of the jurisdictions, answer A would be correct. So here, the question asks whether you know that there is a split of authority. An example of where exam technique, in that you always look at "unless" and "if" very carefully, would help out a lot. It's an unfair question, but it makes the bar examiners feel important and gives them the appearance of effective assessment that to the casual observor unaware of basic testing psychology appears valid. I couldn't find a better example of a bad MBE, but when I come across one I'll post it...


Blogger Lizzie said...

Have you discovered the ones where Strategies and Tactics will have one answer for a question and PMBR will have a different answer for the SAME QUESTION?

I think all of my bar review materials are going to be burned LONG before I get my results.

1:29 PM  
Blogger demabloggery said...

I attended a barbecue last night where the underclassmen burned several property books....It must say I never thought I would attend or enjoy a bookburning..

2:01 PM  
Blogger The Law Activist said...

Another reason why you could have eliminated A is because of the overly-broad language..." the same extent as any other K". This is usually a wrong choice. I think that rule states that the right to accept in an option K is assignable. Contracts was the first MBE subject that I studied. I iwll get a refresher when I do mixed subject practice. Good luck on the bar.

3:17 PM  

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