Bank v. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Case Type:
Business
Case Status:
Affirmed
Citation:
17-2700-bk (2nd Circuit, Jul 18,2018) Not Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
Applying the "Winston" factors, See, Winston v. Mediafare Entm’t Corp., 777 F.2d 78 (2d Cir. 1985), the Court determined that the parties intended to be bound to a settlement, absent a signed document
Procedural context:
Appeal from district court order affirming bankruptcy court decision enforcing putative settlement agreement between appellant and respondent.
Facts:
The "Winston" factors are whether: (1) there was an express reservation of not being bound without a writing; (2) there was partial performance of the contract; (3) all of the alleged contract’s terms were agreed to; and (4) the agreement is typical of one usually put to writing. “No single factor is decisive, but each provides significant guidance.” It saw factors 1 and 3 favoring the agreement and factors 2 and 4 disfavoring the agreement. The parties: a.) advised the mediator there was a deal, without reserving rights; b.) cooperating on documentation did not equal partial performance; c.) agreed that the terms were simple; and d.) acknowledged that settlements are routinely reduced to writing. The court concluded that absent: a.) an express reservation of rights; b.) outstanding material terms to be negotiated; and b.) the parties’ meaningful disagreement on most terms, plus the broader context of the bankruptcy case, there was an intention to be bound and an agreement.
Judge(s):
Peter W. Hall Susan L. Carney Circuit Judges John G. Koelti District Judge

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