K, Themis, I'm just going to go ahead and disagree with this one. (Contracts; mixed MBE set 15 spoiler
A famous actress entered into a written agreement with her friend, a well-known landscape architect respected for his unique stonework, in which the friend agreed, for a fixed fee, to landscape the grounds of the actress's new mansion, and, upon the actress's approval of the design plan, to decorate and furnish the grounds with foliage, stonework, and flowers. The agreement was silent as to assignment or delegation by either party. Before beginning the work, the friend sold his landscape architecture firm to a third party under an agreement in which the friend assigned to the third party, and the third party agreed to complete, the contract between the actress and the friend. The third party, also an experienced landscape architect of excellent repute, advised the actress of the assignment and supplied her with information confirming both the third party's financial responsibility and past success. Is the actress obligated to permit the third party to perform the agreement between the actress and the friend?
A. Yes, because the agreement contained no prohibition against assignment or delegation.
B. Yes, because the actress received adequate assurances of the third party's ability to complete the job.
C. No, because the friend's duties were of a personal nature, involving his reputation, taste, and skill.
D. No, because the friend's purported delegation to the third party of his obligations to the actress effected a novation.
Answer choice C is correct. Usually, obligations can be delegated unless the contract prohibits it (which is not the case here), or the contract is for personal services involving personal taste and skill. The fact pattern makes clear that the friend was known for his "unique stonework," which means that the performance that the actress bargained for was for the friend's personal reputation, taste and skill, not another's. Thus, answer choice A and B are incorrect because the contract is for personal services involving personal taste and skill. Answer choice D is incorrect because, for a novation to exist, the actress would have had to release the friend from liability and agree to allow the third party to take over the contract; none of that happened in the fact pattern.
The foregoing NCBE MBE question has been modified to reflect current NCBE stylistic approaches; the NCBE has not reviewed or endorsed this modification.
The right answer to that question should be A and I don't give a crap if the poorly-reasoned explanation says otherwise.