Business Associations, Pages 32–33

Williams v. Dugan

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1914

Facts:

Defendant gave her lawyer three powers of attorney for aspects of managing mortgages. Her lawyer then borrowed money from plaintiff in her name to pay her property taxes. Defendant claimed that the lawyer did not have authority to borrow money and refused to repay.

Issue:

Did defendant's lawyer have the authority to borrow money on her behalf?

Reasoning:

Defendant only granted her lawyer power of attorney—express actual authority—for certain acts related to mortgages. While defendant's lawyer's actions were tangentially related to mortgages, they were not expressly provided as powers granted to him.

Holding:

No, defendant's lawyer did not have power of attorney to borrow money for taxes. Reversed.

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