This article analyzes a recent decision issued by the Beth Din of America and discusses the principle of promissory estoppel and detrimental reliance in Jewish law, which lies at the heart of the decision. After summarizing the facts of the case–a dispute between a mortgage brokerage firm and real estate investment company–the article discusses the halakhic basis and background for awarding damages to a plaintiff who relied to his detriment on the defendant’s promise. The post also discusses the standard for determining when a business practice rises to the level of a minhag and whether courts should enforce performance of supererogatory obligations.
This post discusses the principle of loss sharing when a contract is frustrated by circumstances beyond the parties control, where neither party is more responsible for the loss than the other. The post discusses the Jewish law precedent for this principle and how it applies to contemporary disputes involving contracts frustrated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, the post contrasts Jewish law’s approach with that of the common law.
Brokers are generally paid upon the completion of a sale. This post discusses whether a broker can be entitled to his compensation even when the sale never closes. This post analyzes the basis for such compensation under Jewish law and New York law.
This Article discusses equitable distribution of marital property in Beit Din. It also covers the legitimacy of the choice of law clauses and the legal force of communal customs in monetary matters.
Does Jewish law bar a tort victim who was partially responsible for his own harm from recovering damages? This article presents the different positions taken by Jewish law authorities and explores the conceptual basis of the different theories.
The ongoing pandemic has had far reaching economic ramifications. With so many contracts canceled or rendered unperformable, the pandemic has brought the halachic theory of contracts and risk allocation into the foreground. This article discusses an employer’s obligation to pay an employee for work that became unperformable during the pandemic.
Much has been written about the potential benefits and pitfalls of convening an ad hoc “ZABLA” panel whereby each litigant chooses one dayan (Jewish law judge), known as a borer (rabbinic arbitrator) and the two borerim in turn select a third dayan, typically referred to as the shalish (literally, “third”), to round out the rabbinic panel.
Last week the world lost a towering leader, the Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz. Rabbi Schwartz, zt”l, was the rabbi of the Young Israel of Boro Park for 18 years, and he previously held pulpits in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He served as Av Beth Din … Continue reading Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz zt”l
The Beth Din of America recently published Chaya Plaut v. Anshei Troy Synagogue (the anonymized decision can be accessed here ). This post summarizes the facts of the case, analyzes the halakhic principles underlying the dayanim’s decision, and discusses whether secular law would yield a different outcome.
Which secular law principles might a beis din apply in a contractual dispute arising out of COVID-19 and its related circumstances? Our last post explained when and how minhag hasochrim – commercial custom – might be applied by a beis din when adjudicating contractual disputes. In this post, we consider which of these secular law … Continue reading Commercial Custom, Common Law & Contracts Impacted by COVID-19