Does the Statute of Frauds Bar the Dailykos Contract Claim?
Perhaps so. Read the complaint. It alleges, in relevant part:
16. Shortly after the 2008 election, Plaintiffs entered into negotiations withResearch 2000 for a long term, multi-poll deal that included a weekly “State of theNation” poll and state/race specific polls as requested by DailyKos through KosMedia. The agreement was reached orally, requiring Kos Media to make lump-sum payments twice in 2009 as well as an additional large payment in December 2008 atthe initiation of the agreement.…21. In December 2009, Kos Media and Research 2000 negotiated a new agreement for 2010, a federal election year, increasing the cost per poll performed and continuing the weekly “State of the Nation” poll.
Assuming that the contract is governed by California law, and its statute of frauds, I wonder why Cal. Civ. Code 1624(a) doesn’t apply and make the alleged contract unenforceable unless there are “notes[s] or memorand[a]” which mark the deal’s terms in emails which Kos Media LLC has not disclosed. The agreement was a long-term deal, not to be completed within a year, so it seems to fall under the traditional ban against such oral agreements.
This doesn’t mean that Kos doesn’t have an equitable estoppel claim, or that the other fraud-based assertions in the suit lack merit. But it just struck me (and others) that such a pricey deal was concluded with so few formalities.