acting on behalf of the Connecticut Inn Partnership, has refused to make any such payment to Reiman & Company. See T. at 118 (Reiman).
Because the Court has found that Lyons (on behalf of Reiman & Company) entered into a valid nonexclusive oral commission agreement,
plaintiff's effort to recover pursuant to that agreement turns on whether Reiman & Company was the "procuring cause" of the sale of the Connecticut Inn that occurred on November 1, 1983.
See, e.g., Frey v. Chastain, 412 A.2d 1185, 1187 (D.C. 1980); Sam Blanken & Co. v. Tinos, Inc., 219 A.2d 499, 500 (D.C. 1966) ("It is well settled that a broker cannot recover a commission under an ordinary brokerage agreement unless he was the procuring cause of the sale."). The determination as to whether a broker is the procuring cause of a transaction is one of fact, id., and one which requires the fact finder to consider all aspects of the broker's role. See, e.g., 12 Am. Jur. 2d Brokers § 190 at 931 ("The question as to when a broker may be considered the procuring cause of a sale depends, in the main, upon the particular facts and circumstances of each case. . . ." (citations omitted)). Although courts have utilized a variety of formulations in efforts to express the requirement that the broker's actions must have been the predominating cause of the transaction,
it is apparent that there is no single litmus test for resolving this question that can be applied to all cases. For example, courts have characterized the question of who "first introduced" the eventual purchaser to the seller as a "significant" factor in determining whether a broker was a procuring cause of a deal but have cautioned that this question alone is not determinative. See Park Road Housing Co. v. Adas Israel Hebrew Congregation, 96 U.S. App. D.C. 189, 225 F.2d 28 (D.C. Cir. 1955); Battle v. Price, 63 App. D.C. 326, 72 F.2d 377, 378 (D.C. Cir. 1934). In fact, courts have in some instances concluded that brokers met the procuring cause requirement notwithstanding the fact that the brokers did not inform the buyer about the availability of the property, did not participate in negotiations toward the purchase, and did not even meet the buyer. See 12 Am. Jur. 2d, supra, at 933 & nn. 9-11. Again this does not mean that these and other factors that might be envisioned are not significant but only that their presence or absence is not necessarily dispositive.
After consideration of the evidence concerning the sale of the Connecticut Inn, the Court finds that Reiman & Co. was the procuring cause of the Connecticut Inn Partnership's deal with the Coakley & Williams interests. The Court notes a number of factors supporting this finding. Reiman was the first broker to alert Coakley & Williams that the Connecticut Inn was for sale, the first broker to set up meetings between Coakley & Williams officials and officials of the Connecticut Inn Partnership,
and the first broker to take Coakley & Williams officials through the property. Reiman zealously pursued the possibility of a deal with Coakley & Williams at each point at which the property was on the market. Indeed, Reiman's efforts were so extensive in this regard that Brian Coakley characterized Reiman as a "nuisance"
-- a characterization that might be read as indicating the extent to which Coakley & Williams had come to equate the possibility of acquiring an interest in the Connecticut Inn with Reiman's advocacy of this acquisition. When the hotel was placed on the market for the final time in early 1983, Reiman again solicited Coakley & Williams, informing them again as he had on prior occasions of the continuing decline in the purchase price and of other changes that increased their interest in the property. T. at 100-01 (Reiman).
Although Reiman was not involved in negotiations held after February 25, 1983, this resulted from Eromanga's decision to exclude Reiman and not from any abandonment by Reiman. See Lady v. Realty Associates, 31 A.2d 875, 876 (D.C. Mun. App. 1954).
The Court also believes it to be significant that the written materials Frey presented to Coakley & Williams were originally prepared not by Frey but by Reiman.
Thus the Court finds that plaintiff Reiman & Company fully performed the requirements of the commission agreement with the Connecticut Inn Partnership. By the terms of that agreement, the $ 200,000 commission
became due and payable in cash on November 1, 1983 when the transaction with Coakley & Williams closed. The measure of damages for breach of this commission agreement is the full amount of the agreed-upon commission, plus interest from the date of closing. D.C. Code § 15-109;
Bradley, Beall & Howard v. Miller, 76 U.S. App. D.C. 27, 128 F.2d 320, 321 (D.C. Cir. 1942); Giant Food, Inc. v. Jack I. Bender & Sons, 399 A.2d 1293, 1305 (D.C. 1979); Crifasi v. Harris, 163 A.2d 571 (D.C. Mun. App. 1960).
Because of the resolution of plaintiff's breach of contract claim, the Court need not reach plaintiff's effort to recover compensation on a quantum meruit basis.