Odorizzi v. Bloomfield (1966)


–          June 10th, arrested for molestation charges.

–          June 11th. The school officials informed Odorizzi that unless he resigned, he would be dismissed and the charges against him publicized.

  • Odorizzi resigned, in July, the charges were dropped and Odorizzi sought to rescind his resignation on the grounds that it was obtained by duress and undue influence.

Procedural History

–          Lower court favored the school district and dismissed Odorizzi’s complaint.

  • Legal right and duty of the school to dismiss Odorizzi.
  • School officials acted in good faith.


–          Was the teachers consent obtained thru undue-influence?

–          Was the plaintiff’s free will overborn by the defendant’s? YES not allowing him to function in a normal manner.


–          YES – if the will of a person has been overcome against judgment, consent may be rescinded.


–          Undue influence used to describe persuasion which tends to be coercive in nature, persuasion which overcomes the will w/out convincing the judgment.

**if a number of these elements are present, it may be considered persuasion**

1) Discussion of transaction at unusual time.

2) Consummation of transaction at an unusual place.

3) Insistent and demanding that something be finished at once.

4) Extreme emphasis on untoward of delay.

5) Multiple persuaders by the dominant side against a single servient party.

6) Absence of a third party advisor to the servient party.

7) Statements that there are no times to consult an attorney or financial advisors.


–          Over-persuaded the teacher for the signature, but not his consent to his resignation.

  • “Carrot and stick” technique.
    • 1) Assured plaintiff they were trying to assist him
    • 2) Rely on their advice.
    • 3) Was not time to consult an attorney.
    • 4) If he didn’t resign the school would dismiss him and make his arrest public.
    • 5) If he did resign, it would not hurt his chances of getting a teaching job elsewhere….


–          Reversed in favor of the teacher


–          Difficulty lies in determining when the forces of persuasion have overflowed their normal banks and become oppressive?

–          Cannot be used as an excuse for just bad bargains….

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