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Contract Law Assignment 2

A contract refers to a contractual arrangement that is legally enforceable as a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. There are different aspects of a contract that must be met to be legally binding between the parties involved in the contract (Harder 2018). These elements include: criteria for offering and accepting, consideration, skill and competency, mutual consent and writing (Beale et al., 2019). The terms of a contract have expectations set out. Many contracts specify the advantages that third-party beneficiaries gain from or instill conditions on third-party bonds. Contract law also sets out a third party’s potential performance duty which must occur in order to satisfy the contract (Beale et al., 2019). The legislation also provides for the parties concerned with redress and damages for failure to comply. For any contract to be legally binding, Smith and Atiyah argue it must have the four elements of a contract. In a contract the first element is offer and acceptance (Harder 2018). An offer expresses an offeror’s willingness to contract on a given set of terms with the expectation that, if the object is accepted, he or she is legally bound by the contract. An acceptance, on the other hand, communicates an absolute and unconditional agreement with any word set out in a bid (Harder 2018). In addition, an approval can be either oral or in writing.

  • Is she legally obliged to pay Erick the additional £500 for completing the repairs on time?

A contract as per the law is entitled to four major elements; the first and the most important one is offer and acceptance. In this case, Denise offers Erick an opportunity to get involved into a business contract where Denise will have to fulfil the contract by paying $5000 after the tent has been fully repaired. The terms of the contract remained legal and “correct” before Erick phoned broke the first contract as he was supposed to repair and return the tent top the camp site by 15 April. As per the law, an offer expresses an offeror’s willingness to contract on a given set of terms with the expectation that, if the object is accepted, he or she is legally bound by the contract (Beale et al., 2019). An acceptance, on the other hand, communicates an absolute and unconditional agreement with any word set out in a bid. In addition, an approval can be either oral or in writing. Denise and Erick contract thus can be categorized as an oral contract but this doesn’t have to change the terms and conditions of the law.

Essentially, a contract may unfold if the other party accepts an offer from one side. The agreed offer should be definite and without qualification. An offer has to be simple, definite, detailed and final. This will be passed on to the offeree (Fried 2019). When approved a suggestion is a pledge or agreement. The offer and acceptance must be ‘consensus ad idem’ which means that in the same sense, i.e. identity of wills or uniformity of minds, both parties must agree on the same thing (Benson 2019). Such an expression of willingness is called an offer when someone demonstrates his or her willingness to enter into a contract on certain terms and wishes to form a binding contract if the other party agrees that (Benson 2019). The display of willingness may be in different ways, such as text, email, fax or even actions. It is crucial, though, that the individual communicates the terms he or she is willing to enter into a contract on (Beale et al., 2019). Whether or not the person making an offer intends to enter into a contract shall be objectively judged. Whether that person has real intentions doesn’t matter (Fried 2019). The law demands that an offer should be clear, complete and definite, thus considering all these elements, it is evident that the phone agreement made by Denise to Erick was a promise but not a contract. The terms of the contract are clear, that is, Erick to receive $5000 from Denise (as she did). The additional $500 payment was a contract proposal that originated from Erick, who had already broken the terms of the first contract, that is, to repair and deliver the tent to camp site by 15 April. Therefore, legally, Denise has decided to stick to the actual contract but not the one she is being forced to enter by Erick concluding that she is not legally obliged to pay Erick the additional $500 for completing the repairs on time. At the same time, in terms of law, he terminated the offer he had been offered by Denise, by counter offering the initial contract Denise had already provided.

(b) Is she legally obliged to pay Erick the additional $250 for connecting the tent to the water, gas and electric?

Infringement of a contract is a case in which one of the parties to the contract declines or fails to perform its contractual responsibility or duty without providing any valid reason or cause (Fried 2019). The goal is to terminate the contract without performing one’s obligation. The breach of the contract is generally at the stake of one of the parties involved in the contract and for this reason, the law provides multiple remedies for the infringement (Smits 2017). Reflecting on the case of Denise and Erick, after Erick took the tent back to the camp site, he willingly decided to have it connected to the water, gas and electric supply (Beale et al., 2019). Denise and Erick had not signed any contract related to water, gas and electric source supply thus based on the terms of contract law, there is no illegal action Denise has convicted, she has remained faithful to the first terms of the contract which was to pay Erick a total amount of $5000. In addition, most contract violations fall into one of two groups. They can either be used as real infringements or as anticipatory infringements (Smits 2017). An actual violation arises when, on the due date, one party fails to fulfill his or her side of the bargain or incompletely performs (Fried 2019). Anticipatory breach occurs when one party reveals that it intends not to fulfill its side of the bargain, prior to the due date for results (Beale et al., 2019). A slight infringement, also called a partial breach, may also be a big deal. In certain cases, a minor violation means that one party has actually failed to execute any aspect of the contract, often by the defined item or service (Fried 2019). Considering our case, if the finished product, that is, the tent, fulfilled all of the Denise demands but was delivered one day after it was requested, the violation could be considered slight. Unless clearly specified in the initial contract terms that ‘time is of the essence’ or that the website was within a tight deadline, a fair delay on the part of the web designer would only be considered a minor violation (Benson 2019). Both real and anticipatory violations of contract are bad news for the persons and organizations concerned. They can waste both money and time, and will definitely cause irritation for those concerned. In any case that doesn’t mean that there are no solutions (Beale et al., 2019). A breach of contract, whatever form it can take, entitles the innocent party to maintain a claim for damages. Contract violations can also be minor, or substantial (Zech 2017). If one party ends up with something substantially different from what was stated in the contract, a violation is likely material (Benson 2019). For instance, if you contact a web designer to create a new home cafe website, but end up with a blog about bagels that doesn’t even mention your location, the breach is likely content (Beale et al., 2019). For most cases, a material violation means that the non-breaching party is no longer obligated to carry out the end of the bargain and has the right to redress (Zech 2017). Thus, Erick willingly signed himself a water, gas and electric source supply contract thus Denise, in one way or another, she is not legally obliged to pay Erick the additional $250 for connecting the tent to the water, gas and electric.

Is Fred legally entitled to require Denise to pay for the cleaning work he has done?

Contract violation is a serious crime that could lead to lengthy litigation, or there could be potential legal percussions if the deal was with a government entity (Benson 2019). Often it is not clear to a person or corporation whether they contravene the contract or not. There are four different forms of contract violations which could impact you for breaching your contract with Fred. A slight breach of contract occurs when one party to the contract does not perform all of their contractual duties or commitments but does not violate the contract as a whole (Beale et al., 2019). Essentially, this means that someone didn’t do one piece of what they said in the contract they were doing. A serious breach of contract is similar to a minor breach of contract in that it may violate only one of the duties or responsibilities specified in the contract (Zech 2017). A serious breach of the contract is more extreme than a minor violation as the duty not fulfilled in a serious breach of the contract has a major effect on the contract as a whole (Fried 2019). An anticipatory contract violation is when one party knows they won’t be able to fulfill the contract, so they do the wise thing and let the other party know they won’t be able to execute the contract (Beale et al., 2019). However, if you have done your utmost to alert the other party, this form of contract violation may always cause the party to contravene the contract and make payment to the other party (Benson 2019). Denise doesn’t define the terms and conditions of her contract with Fred, the only important aspect they have put into much effort is the payment. A contract’s purpose is to define a legal relationship between two parties wishing to enter into an agreement and to determine their obligations and rights in compliance with the agreement (Fried 2019). Contracting parties are legally obligated to satisfy the terms set out in the contract, even though the contract appears to be a bad or unethical deal, as long as it is not dishonest or is not the product of unfair control or coercion (Beale et al., 2019). Training-based contracts can be divided into three groups: Express contracts, implied contracts and quasi contracts. An express contract refers to a contract that emerges out of a speech or interaction, whereas an implied contract exists without language (Smits 2017). While an implied contract may in fact be implied or implied in law, a real implied contract emerges out of a contractual agreement which has not been expressed in words (Beale et al., 2019). An implicit contract is sometimes referred to as a quasi-contract. It is not based on the consent of the parties concerned, and persists regardless of consent (Harder 2018). A contract’s purpose is to define a legal relationship between two parties wishing to enter into an agreement and to determine their obligations and rights in compliance with the agreement (Benson 2019). Contracting parties are legally obligated to satisfy the terms set out in the contract, even though the contract appears to be a bad or unethical deal, as long as it is not dishonest or is not the product of unfair control or coercion (Smits 2017). This translates that, Fred holds the right to be paid the full amount of money, $50 for cleaning the tent as it was Denise’s desire to abandon the terms of the contract. Therefore, legally, Fred is entitled to require Denise to pay for the cleaning work he has already done as per the contract.

Does Denise have to refund Greg’s $100 deposit for the holiday he had booked?

Traditionally a contract has only become an enforceable legal agreement if it has been signed with a seal (Smits 2017). The seal indicated that the parties agreed to carry legal implications with the agreement. No legal gain or downside to either party was necessary, since the seal symbolized the solemn recognition of the agreement’s legal effect and consequences (Fried 2019). In the past all contracts had to be under seal to be valid, but in many jurisdictions the seal has lost some or all of its effect by statute (Smits 2017). Recognition of informal contracts by the courts, such as implied contracts, has often reduced the value and use of formal contracts under attack. The object of a contract is to define the agreement reached by the parties and to fix their rights and duties in accordance with that contract (Beale et al., 2019). The courts are obligated to enforce a legal contract as it is made, unless there are reasons for barring its compliance. Statutes prescribe and restrict the terms of a contract which affects the general public (Harder 2018). The terms of an insurance policy that covers a common carrier are governed by law to safeguard the public by ensuring that in the event of an accident, financial support will be available. The courts are not permitted to establish a contract with the parties (Smits 2017). Based on these contract law facts, and reflecting them to the case, Greg had already paid a $100 deposit for a holiday he had booked but unfortunately the camp site belonging to Denise was flooded due to torrential rain that destroyed all tents. The deposit served as a contract security between Greg and Denise, and if you have nothing to offer to Greg, then the contract can be termed void. A choice is a right that a person purchases to hold an offer open for a limited period at negotiated price and terms, during which it is irrevocable (Beale et al., 2019). It constitutes an exception to the general rule that a bid should be withdrawn before acceptance. The offeror may not withdraw this offer, as that party is bound by the offeree’s consideration. However, the offerer is free to decide whether to accept the bid, or not (Zech 2017). Most courts claim that an offer for a unilateral contract is irrevocable as soon as the offer begins performing the act demanded, as that action acts as a criterion to avoid the offer being revoked (Smits 2017). Contract breaches may be overwhelming, but many individuals and small businesses are also likely to meet at some point down the line simply because contracts are so prevalent in the world today (Zech 2017). Whether you run a company, accept a new job or just swipe a credit card in return for a bag of grocery stores, contracts are an inevitable part of life. Being educated about contract violations and solutions will help you stay calm while you navigate the legal environment (Beale et al., 2019) A breach of contract, no matter what shape it can take, allows the innocent party to retain a claim for damages. Contract violations may also be minor, or major (Smits 2017). If one party ends up with something substantially different from what was specified in the contract, the material is possibly a violation (Beale et al., 2019). For example, if you contact a web designer to build a new home cafe website, but end up with a blog about bagels that doesn’t even mention your location, then the breach is probably material. In certain cases, a content violation means that the non-infringing party is no longer obliged to accept the contract and has the right of appeal (Zech 2017). Greg had already paid a $100 deposit for a holiday he had booked but unfortunately the camp site belonging to Denise was flooded due to torrential rain that destroyed all tents. The deposit served as a contract security between Greg and Denise and legally, Denise will have to refund Greg’s $100 deposit for the holiday he had already booked.

Bibliography

Beale, H., Fauvarque-Cosson, B., Rutgers, J., & Vogenauer, S. (2019). Cases, materials and text on contract law. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Benson, P. (2019). Justice in Transactions: A Theory of Contract Law. Harvard University Press.

Craswell, R. (2019). Contract law, default rules, and the philosophy of promising. Michigan Law Review, 88(3), 489-529.

Fried, C. (2019). Contract as Promise: Lessons Learned. Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 20(2), 367-379.

Harder, S. (2018). One-sided contract modifications and the requirement of consideration. Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, 138-161.

Knapp, C. L., Crystal, N. M., & Prince, H. G. (2019). Problems in contract law: Cases and materials. Aspen Publishers.

Markovits, D., & Schwartz, A. (2019). Plural Values in Contract Law: Theory and Implementation. Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 20(2), 571-593.

Slawson, W. D. (2016). Binding promises: The late 20th-century reformation of contract law. Princeton University Press.

Smits, J. M. (Ed.). (2017). Contract law: a comparative introduction. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Zech, H. (2017, September). Data as a tradeable commodity–implications for contract law. In Proceedings of the 18th EIPIN Congress: The New Data Economy between Data Ownership, Privacy and Safeguarding Competition, Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming.

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