law-accord-and-satisfaction-defense | settlement agreements | release | res judicata affirmative defense

ACCORD AND SATISFACTION (AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE) CASE LAW
ACCORD AND SATISFACTION

Under Texas common law, the affirmative defense of accord and satisfaction is based on an express or
implied contract under which the parties agree to discharge an existing obligation by means of a lesser
payment that is tendered and accepted.  Lopez v. Munoz, Hockema & Reed, L.L.P., 22 S.W.3d 857, 863
(Tex. 2000).  To prevail on this defense, [ Defendant ] had to produce evidence establishing (1) a dispute
between the parties, and (2) that the parties specifically and intentionally agreed to discharge [ the
Defendant's ]  prior obligations.  See id.
    An alleged agreement is sufficiently definite if a court is able to determine the respective legal obligations
of the parties thereunder.  Playoff Corp. v. Blackwell, 300 S.W.3d 451, 455 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2009,
pet. denied) (citing T.O. Stanley Boot Co. v. Bank of El Paso, 847 S.W.2d 218, 221 (Tex. 1992)).  Stated
conversely, if an alleged agreement is so indefinite as to make it impossible to fix the legal obligations and
liabilities of the parties, it cannot constitute an enforceable contract.  Id. (citing Restatement (Second) of
Contracts § 33(2) (1981)).
     The very nature of an accord and satisfaction is that the obligee under an agreement agrees to accept
less than owed under the original agreement in return for extinguishing the obligations under that
agreement.  See Lopez, 22 S.W.3d at 863.
SOURCE: Houston Court of Appeals - 14-10-00081-CV - 6/7/11

CASES

Cooke Co. v. First Bank & Trust (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 9, 2009)(Radack)
(
affirmative defense of accord and satisfaction fails, full-satisfaction check, restrictive endorsement
not effective)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Chief
Justice Radack  
Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Nuchia and Higley
01-07-01000-CV Milton M. Cooke Co. and Milton M. Cooke, Jr. v. First Bank & Trust
Appeal from 164th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Hon. Martha Hill Jamison  




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