Kenley v. Solem – Case Brief Summary (Virginia)

In Kenley v. Solem, 237 Va. 202, 375 S.E.2d 532, 5 Va. Law Rep. 1570 (1989), the Supreme Court of Virginia reviewed an agreement under which, "for $ 50, an individual who wished to receive unpasteurized goats' milk could purchase a 24 percent interest in a goat, which, upon payment of a $ 3 daily 'maintenance' fee, entitled the purchaser to a gallon of milk each day." Id. at 203.

No more than two such interests in each goat were sold, and the goat farmer, Christine Solem, would retain a 52 percent interest in each goat. Id.

Solem was required to ensure that each owner received a daily gallon of milk, even if the co-owned goat was not producing that much, in which event Solem was required to provide milk from her "share." Id.

The court noted that the "owner of the 24 percent interest in a goat does not receive only his goat's milk -- it goes into a common container, and he gets milk from all of the goats producing milk. In some instances he may not receive any of his goat's milk." Id. at 204.

Under such circumstances, the court held that Solem's "distribution of the milk is essentially a sale of milk." 237 Va. at 204.