CHAPTER 16: THE WRITING REQUIREMENT AND ELECTRONIC RECORDS 15
EXPLANATIONS OF SELECTED FOOTNOTES IN THE TEXT
Footnote 1: Mohammad Salim offered to sell a convenience store and gas station to Talat Solaiman and
Sabina Chowdhury. The prospective buyers drafted a “Purchase and Sale Agreement” that described its object simply
as “the property and business known as BP Food Mart” at a specific street address. The parties signed the
agreement, and the buyers paid a $25,000 “security deposit” and $2,000 to renew the store’s liquor license. When title
problems developed, the buyers declined to go through with the sale and asked for the return of their deposit and
license fee. The seller refused. Solaiman and Chowdhury filed a suit against Salim in a Georgia state court, which
ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor. Salim appealed.
In Salim v. Solaiman, a state intermediate appellate affirmed that “the parties' purchase agreement was void
If this contract had involved rental of the property rather than its sale, would the result have been
different? Probably not, because the transfer of any interest in land must be in writing to be enforceable and the
writing must include a sufficient description of the property. In this case, the description was not sufficient to support
Why was Salim arguing that the contract should be deemed enforceable when he was being sued for
breach of contract? If the contract was deemed enforceable, Salim could argue that Soliaman and Chowdhury had
breached the contract by backing out of the agreement. In that situation, Salim could ask for money damages in the
case, the answer to this question should be clear: Salim would have benefitted by consulting an attorney to review
the contract—or to draft the contract—to make sure that it met the legal requirements for a land sales contract.
If the contract had contained a sufficient description of the property, would the court likely have
forced Solaiman and Chowdhury to go through with the purchase? No, because if the contract contained a
sufficient description of the property, the agreement would most likely also have contained other provisions that would
have allowed the buyers to avoid the sale when title problems developed. For example, the contract might have
Footnote 8: Beneficial Homeowner Service Corp. filed a suit in a New York state court against Stephen
and Susan Steele to foreclose on a mortgage. Beneficial claimed that the loan was secured by real property.