The New York Legal Blog Round Up
Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Define That Term #317

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was promissory estoppel, which is defined as:

promissory estoppel
A type of estoppel that prevents a person who made a promise from reneging when someone else has reasonably relied on the promise and will suffer a loss if the promise is broken. For example, Forrest tells Antonio to go ahead and buy a boat without a motor, because he will sell Antonio an old boat motor at a very reasonable price. If Antonio relies on Forrest's promise and buys the motorless boat, Forrest cannot then deny his promise to sell Antonio the motor at the agreed-upon price.

(2) A legal doctrine that prevents the relitigation of facts or issues that were previously resolved in court. For example, Alvin loses control of his car and accidentally sideswipes several parked cars. When the first car owner sues Alvin for damages, the court determines that Alvin was legally drunk at the time of the accident. Alvin will not be able to deny this fact in subsequent lawsuits against him. This type of estoppel is most commonly called collateral estoppel.

Edward Wiest got it right!

This week's term is:

estoppel by silence.

As always, no dictionaries, please.


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