August 02, 2008
Limerick of the Week: Lawlis
Cross-country trips, I have learned, leave little time for anything but sight-seeing, eating and recovering. So, I will post a Limerick today as we prepare to head back east.
Lawlis illustrates one of the limitations on Cardozo's punctilio, discussed in the previous Limerick. Lawlis was a partner in a law firm, but he hit the bottle. His partners kindly saw him through a full recovery, and then executed him via a "guillotine clause" in their partnership agreement, which permitted the termination of a partner. Under the Uniform Partnership Act, Lawlis should have been safe, but partners can trump at least parts of the punctilio through a partnership agreement. They did so in this case.
The case raises nice policy issues about what a partnership should do with a partner who becomes disabled for some reason. Students, it turns out, have very strong and divergent views about how best to treat an alcoholic partner.
Lawlis v. Knightlinger & Gray
"Where's Lawlis? I haven't seen him."
The UPA says, "Don't demean him."
"But that partners' agreement"
Is stronger than cement,
And the partners may guillotine him."
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