Law School Resources

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Law School Resources

Lee v. Jenkins Bros., (1959)

1. Lee v. Jenkins Bros., (1959); pg. 381, briefed 2/24/97


2. Facts: Lee sued Jenkins Bros. to recover pension payments allegedly due under an oral contract made on behalf of the corporation by the president. 


3. Procedural Posture:  The lower court dismissed on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of the oral contract to enforce it.  The court of appeals affirmed, and went on to discuss the following issue:

4. Issue: Whether, as a matter of law, a president of a corporation does not have the authority to secure employment of badly needed personnel by granting a ślife pension”.


5.  Holding: No.


6.  Reasoning:  The actual authority (granted either implicitly or explicitly by a corporation) of a corporate officer is augmented by his apparent authority to third persons.  As a general rule, the president only has the authority to bind the corporation by acts arising from the usual and regular course of business, but not for contracts of “extraordinary” nature.  It is generally settled that a president may hire and fire employees, but it is a question of fact as to whether the granting of a life pension is so “extraordinary” as to defeat the apparent authority of the president.