Pinnel’s case is a rule of law decided in 1602 that a payment of a lesser sum cannot be satisfaction for the whole debt. This would mean that if you owe someone $1000, paying anything less than $1000 will not be able to cover the whole cost of the debt. In that case, Cole owed Pinnel a sum of money but was unable to recover the entire debt. Before the debt was due to be paid, they had an agreement that a part payment would be sufficient to cover the entire debt. Cole then argued that Pinnel had accepted partial payment of the debt to satisfy the whole amount, however a lesser sum cannot satisfy the entire debt according to the court. This rule can also be seen in the case of Foakes v Beer.

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