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WVU BCOR 320 - Chapter 9

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BCOR 320 1nd Edition Lecture 19 Intro to ContractsElements of a contract:  Offer - All contracts begin when a person or a company proposes a deal. Acceptance - Once a party receives an offer, he must respond to it in a certain way. Consideration - There has to be bargaining that leads to an exchange between the parties. Legality - The contract must be for a lawful purpose. Capacity - The parties must be adults of sound mind. Consent - Certain kinds of trickery and force can prevent the formation of a contract.Writing - While verbal agreements often amount to contracts, some types of contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. Definition• A promise that the law will enforce.  Development of Contract Law• Common law once required all contracts to be in writing, with a seal affixed.• Later, some payment was required before a contract could be enforced.• Mutual promises became enforceable in the 1600’s.• By the 1900’s, courts began to consider the fairness of contracts before enforcing them.Types of contactsBilateral vs unilateralExpress vs impliedExecutory vs Executed Bilateral and Unilateral Contracts• Bilateral: both parties make a promise (to do something) to each other.Unilateral: one party makes a promise to the other that the other party can accept only by doing something specific. Express and Implied Contracts• Express: the two parties to the contract explicitly state all of the important terms of their agreement.These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.• Implied: the words and conduct of the parties indicate that the parties intended to make an agreement.Executory and Executed ContractsExecutory: when one or more parties has not fulfilled its obligations under the contract.Executed: when all parties to the contract have fulfilled their obligations under the contract.Types of contracts: Valid, Unenforceable, Voidable, and Void Agreements• Valid: satisfies the law’s requirements.• Unenforceable: when the parties intend to form a valid bargain but some rule of law prevents enforcement.• Voidable: when the law permits one party to terminate the agreement.Void: one that neither party can enforce, usually because the purpose is illegal or one of the parties had no legal authority.Promissory Estoppel:  Even when there is no contract, a plaintiff may use promissory estoppel to enforce the defendant’s promise if he can show that:• The defendant made a promise knowing that the plaintiff would likely rely on it.• The plaintiff did rely on the promise; and• The only way to avoid injustice is to enforce the promise.Quasi Contract: Even when there is no contract, a court may use quasi-contract to compensate a plaintiff who can show that:• He gave some benefit to the defendant.• He reasonably expected to be paid for the benefit and the defendant knew this; and• The defendant would be unjustly enriched if she did not pay. The damages awarded are called quantum meruit, meaning that the plaintiff gets “as much as he


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