| N.Y. Sup. Ct. | Jul 1, 1872

By the Court—

Gilbebt, J.

According to the finding of the referee, the nature of the defendant’s employment of the plaintiffs was that of mere brokers, in the strict signification of that term, and not that of agents to make a sale on his behalf. The evidence sustains this view of the relations between the parties. The defendant agreed to pay the plain*179tiffs for that service. The service having been rendered pursuant to the agreement, we are unable to perceive any legal objection to a recovery by the plaintiffs. The fact that Martin, the purchaser of the defendant’s property, also agreed to pay the plaintiffs for their services to him, creates no such obstacle. Both contracts being founded on a legal consideration, each is valid.

The case would have been quite different if the plaintiffs had been employed as agents of the defendant to buy or sell. They would then have been incapacitated from acting for Martin in the transaction without the assent of the defendant. Such conflicting relations are repugnant to the fundamental principle on which the law of agency rests, and are forbidden by law. But the plaintiffs were not such agents. They were employed as middlemen only, to bring the parties together to enable them to make their own contracts. They so acted with the knowledge of both parties. In such a case a broker is not an agent for either party to buy or sell, but stands indifferent between them. There is no conflict of duty in the case. He does not make himself an adverse party to either principal, nor does either of them repose any special trust or confidence in him.

The distinction has often been recognized and approved, and we think rests on sound reason. (Paley Agency, 12; Story Agency, § 31; Rupp v. Samson, 16 Gray, 398; Redfield v. Tegg, 38 N.Y., 212" court="NY" date_filed="1868-03-05" href="https://app.midpage.ai/document/redfield-v--tegg-3609706?utm_source=webapp" opinion_id="3609706">38 N. Y., 212.) The judgment, therefore, must be affirmed, with costs.

Judgment affirmed.