For Industry Professionals, Managers, Trades & Suppliers
J. NORMAN STARK, ATTORNEY and REGISTERED ARCHITECT
JURIS DOCTOR, B. ARCHITECTURE, B.F.A.
17000 St. Clair Avenue . Cleveland, Ohio 44110-2535
Tel.: (216) 531-5310 . Fax: (888) 833-5860 . E-Mail: www.Normstark@aol.com
In Florida . 6500 Midnight Pass Rd. #105 . Sarasota, FL 34242 . (941) 349-2061.
Briefs of Law - Elements
In response to many requests. Editor
BREACH OF CONTRACT: A breach of contract occurs when a party to the contract fails to perform a contractual
CONTRACT INTERPRETATION: Specific Controls General Provision: A specific provision in a contract
controls over a general provision.
CONTRACT INTERPRETATION: Meaning of Words: "Common words appearing in a written instrument will be
given their ordinary meaning unless manifest absurdity results, or unless some other meaning is clearly evidenced from the
face or overall contents of the instrument."
ORAL MODIFICATIONS TO CONTRACT: A party which passively accepts the benefits of an oral modification to
a written contract waives the protections provided by a no-oral-modification clause.
PRINCIPAL/AGENT: The law of Ohio provides that a party seeking to hold a principal liable for the acts
of an agent who exceeds his authority must show that he had reason to believe that the agent had the authority that the
EXTRA WORK: In Hastings v. Columbus (1885), 42 Ohio St. 585, the court held that a contractor
could recover for extras in a public improvement project, even though there had been no publication and public bidding for
the extras, as required under the statutes in effect at that time, based upon a finding that the extra work was necessary
for the contractor to do a good job as part of the public works contract.
LIABILITY OF PRINCIPAL: The law of Ohio provides that a party seeking to hold a principal liable for the
acts of an agent who exceeds his authority must show that he had reason to believe that the agent had the authority that
the party assumed.
FRAUD: The basic elements necessary to prove fraud are: (1) a material false representation or
concealment; (2) knowingly made or concealed; (3) with the intent of misleading another into relying upon it;
(4) reliance, with a right to do so, upon the representation or concealment by the party claiming injury; and (5)
injury resulting from the reliance.
Fraud does exist, however, when one makes statements of future intentions with no present intent to ever in fact perform them.
UNJUST ENRICHMENT: The doctrine of unjust enrichment is that a person will not be allowed to profit or
enrich himself inequitably at another's expense. As ordinarily defined, the concept of unjust enrichment includes not
only loss on one side, but gain on the other, with a relationship of causation between them.
QUANTUM MERUIT: The elements of quantum meruit: (Latin - " As much as he has deserved".) A benefit
conferred upon another and the circumstances render it unjust to permit the other to retain the benefit without making
payment therefor. Example: the claims of a tradesperson for work and services actually performed, but not paid.
"In this world there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst."
AUTHOR / EDITOR: J. NORMAN STARK is an Attorney-at-Law, a Registered Architect, (AIA, NCARB) Registered
Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Planner and Senior Appraiser (ASA), admitted to practice law before the Bar of
Ohio, the US District Courts, Ohio and Illinois (Central Dist.), the US Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme
Court. He is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Litigator with experience in Business, Construction Law, and Public Works, and with
additional experience in Real Estate, Construction Attorney (Legal Project and Crisis Management), and as an Expert Witness
(Forensic Architect). His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.