La Salle National Bank v. Vega – Case Brief
La Salle National Bank v. Vega, 520 N.E.2d 1129 (1988).
Facts: La Salle National Bank (P) filed a complaint seeking specific performance by Vega (D) of a contract for the sale of real estate.
P‘s first complaint alleged a contract for the sale for real estate with Vega and sought specific performance. Borg was permitted to join and subsequently filed claims against P and D seeking specific performance of a different contract for the same land, or in the alternative fraud damages. The court ruled that there was no valid contract between P and D as per its terms and granted partial summary judgment in favor of Borg. By its terms the contract between P and D had called for execution by a trust. The contract between P and D had been executed by Bernard Ruekberg and not the trust.
Issue: May another mode of acceptance be substituted when an offer requires a written acceptance by a specific party?
Holding and Rule: No. Another mode of acceptance may not be substituted when an offer requires a written acceptance by a specific party.
An offeror has complete control over an offer and may condition that acceptance be made according to the terms of the offer. No other mode may be used when an offer by its terms requires a written acceptance by a specific person or entity. In this case the contract between P and D stated on the document that the contract would not be in full force until signed by the trust. Signing by the trust was the only permissible mode of acceptance. In this case there was no acceptance and hence no contract because the trust had not signed the document.