Saturday, October 11, 2003

Isn't It Romantic?

I had digressed from my usual haunts to jump into the Novak/Place/Wilson controversy. I will now return to somewhat more familiar ground and discuss a case that caught my attention. Although not, strictly speaking, a tax or business case, it is worthy of some note.

In June, Judge Schneider of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland was presented with a case where the debtor had a diamond engagement ring. The Court ordered the ring returned to the ex-fiancé rather than sold, with the proceeds distributed to the debtor's creditors. In reaching his conclusion that the ring was a "conditional gift" to be returned upon the failure of the condition subsequent (i.e., the consumation of the marriage), Judge Schneider took judicial notice of the views of such scholars of etiquette and manners as Amy Vanderbilt, Judith Martin (a.k.a., "Miss Manners"), and Emily Post. The case can be found here.

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