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Contracts
South Texas College of Law Houston
Ricks, Val D.

I.                    General
a.      Contract: an agreement that the law will enforce.
                                                               i.      Ks are centered around consideration, not mutual assent.
                                                             ii.      Consideration is more restrictive
1.      you can have mutual assent w/o consideration but not consideration w/o mutual assent.
a.       Mutual assent to accept a gift is not valid.
b.      Consideration has to be bargained for = assent has been achieved
b.      Elements
                                                               i.      Competent Parties
                                                             ii.      Legal Subject Matter
                                                            iii.      Assent
                                                           iv.      Certainty
                                                             v.      Consideration
                                                           vi.      Proper Form (if applicable)
c.      Sources of Contract Law
                                                               i.      Common Law
1.      applied if the UCC does not
                                                             ii.      UCC
1.      governs the sale of all movable goods in all states but LA
a.       not land
2.      Predominant Factor Test
a.       If there is a sale of goods and a service, the UCC applies if the sale of goods is the predominant factor.
d.      3 Theories of Contract Law
                                                               i.      Autonomy: an attempt to aid individuals in their attempt at self-determination. The ability of individuals to determine their own future is a worthy goal of law.           
                                                             ii.      Welfare: Only a public benefit can justify action by the state – it is beneficial to the state to enforce contracts.
1.      “Invisible Hand” – by pursuing one’s own interests, he promotes the overall good of public. Resources are put to their most efficient use, generating the greatest overall good of the economy if:
a.       People act in their own interests
b.      In the pursuit of self-interests, people act rationally
c.       People have access to perfect information
d.      People and resources are freely movable
e.       No artificial restrictions to the marketplace.
                                                            iii.      Justice/Morality: justice is giving to each according to his due.
1.      Keep your promises
2.      Do not deceive or coerce.
3.      Protect reasonable reliance.
4.      Ensure no one is unjustly enriched.
5.      Have concern for the oth

being able to enter into such agreements makes them enforceable, regardless of consideration.
e.      At-Will Employment
                                                               i.      Courts will not enforce an employer’s right to fire for public policy issues such as:
1.      employee fired for refusing to commit an illegal act
2.      for doing a public duty (jury duty)
3.      for exercising a legal right (filing worker’s comp claim)
4.      Whistle blowing.
 
IV.              Assent
a.      A party’s reasonable manifestation shows assent.
b.      Offer
                                                               i.      Definition: manifestation of assent that is definite and certain and so made as to justify the other in understanding that assent is requested.
1.      Judged from an objective standpoint (RP)
2.      Intention of Legal Enforceability
a.       If both parties do not intend for their agreement to be legally enforceable, it will not be.
if both parties desire/intend for their agreement to be enforceable, but mistakenly think it legally won’t be, it is enforceable.