THE RESERVE REALTY, LLC, ET AL. v. WINDEMERE RESERVE, LLC, ET AL., SC 20635

THE RESERVE REALTY, LLC, ET AL. v. BLT RESERVE, LLC, ET AL., SC 20636

THE RESERVE REALTY, LLC, ET AL. v. WINDEMERE RESERVE, LLC, ET AL., SC 20637

Judicial District of Danbury

 

Contracts: Construction; Whether Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Agreements Were Unenforceable for Failure to Satisfy Requirement in General Statutes 20-325a (c) that Any Such Agreements State "Duration of the Authorization" Contained Therein; Whether Agreements Were Personal Services Contracts with Deceased Party. The plaintiff The Reserve Realty, LLC (Reserve Realty), is a real estate brokerage company cofounded by Jeanette Haddad. In 2003, the defendants, Windemere Reserve, LLC, and BLT Reserve, LLC (BLT), purchased parcels of undeveloped land and entered into listing agreements with Jeanette Haddad granting her the exclusive right to offer for sale or lease any units built on the parcels. Pursuant to the contract terms, the agreements were to be effective for a period of ten years from the date of the first conveyance of an individual unit or executed lease. Jeanette Haddad subsequently made good faith efforts to find prospective buyers or lessees for the parcels until mid-2007. In 2011, BLT obtained planning permission to construct a rental apartment complex on one of the parcels and subsequently began leasing units therein through its own on-site leasing agent. Shortly after the death of Jeanette Haddad in 2013, her son learned of the apartment complex and contacted the defendants to determine whether they intended to honor the listing agreements. After the defendants refused to discuss the matter, Reserve Realty and the plaintiff Theodore Haddad, Sr., as executor of the estate of Jeanette Haddad, brought the present action alleging, inter alia, breach and anticipatory breach of the listing agreements and seeking damages for commissions allegedly owed for present and future rentals of the apartment units and soon-to-be constructed office space. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the defendants, concluding, in relevant part, that the listing agreements (1) did not satisfy the requirement in General Statutes 20-325a (c) that such agreements state "the duration of the authorization" contained therein and (2) were personal service contracts with Jeanette Haddad. The Appellate Court (205 Conn. App. 299) affirmed the trial court's judgment, concluding that the indefinite duration of the listing agreements failed to strictly or substantially comply with the plain meaning of 20-325a (c). The plaintiffs now appeal to the Supreme Court following the granting of their petition for certification to appeal. The Supreme Court will decide whether (1) the Appellate Court correctly determined that the listing agreements were unenforceable because they failed to satisfy the requirement in 20-325a (c) that any such agreements state "the duration of the authorization" contained therein and (2) the trial court correctly determined that the listing agreements were contracts for the personal services of Jeanette Haddad such that the defendants could not be held liable for any commissions even if the agreements had been enforceable by Jeanette Haddad during her lifetime.