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University of Mississippi School of Law
Roy, Lisa Shaw

Problems in Contract Law
Knapp, Crystal, Prince 5th Edition
Lisa Roy
L1, §3

Contract: an agreement between two or more persons, typically an exchange of promises; does not necessarily have to be in writing

I.                    An Introduction to the Study of Contract Law
a.      Contract Law in the First-Year Law Curriculum
b.      The Sources of Contract Law
i.      Judicial Opinions
ii.      Statutory Law
iii.      The Restatements
iv.      Legal Commentary
v.      International Commercial Law
c.      The Perspective of Contract Theory
d.      The Lawyering Perspective
e.      Contract Law Through Case Study: An Example
Burch v. Second Judicial District Court of Nevada
Notes and Questions
II.                 Enforcing Promises: Bases of Legal Obligation
a.      Intention to Be Bound: The Objective Theory of Contract
Ray v. William G. Eurice & Bros., Inc.
Engineer contracts builders with unreasonable specifications
* not what parties intended, but what reasonable persons in their positions would have intended

Objective Theory
·        Court says party should have known or done something
·        Mutual assent (not the same as meeting of the minds)
Rest. §20
·        It is not whether you intended ultimately to be bound by the contract but whether you intend the manifestation that initiates the promise
·        Enforcement: not whether you intend to do something in the future but if you manifest in the present an intent to make the promise
Rest. §230
·        It is not what the party making the contract thought it meant or intended for it to mean, but what a reasonable person in the position of the parties wo

o       Mutual assent + consideration = K
o       Promise + consideration = K
o       Offer/acceptance + consideration = K
Modern approach would be more concerned with the Kartes’ state of mind (i.e. Friday afternoon, in rush to be somewhere)

b.      Enforcing Exchange Transactions: The Doctrine of Consideration
Hamer v. Sidway
Uncle gives nephew $5000 for not drinking, etc. until 21

·        Classical test
o       Benefit/Detriment
§         Focus: legal detriment
§         Legal rights make detriment easy to identify for satisfying consideration
§         Courts say that consideration is qualified by benefit to promisor or detriment to promisee
o       Forbearance
Somebody forbears from something they otherwise have a legal right to do