Select Page

Contracts
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Knippenberg, F. Stephen

Enforcing a Promise
Which promises are worth enforcing?
Promises as an exchange (of service, of money, of product)

Promises we don’t want to enforce
· Illegal activities-contracts with illicit activities involved
· Contracts signed under duress
· False pretenses/ Fraud/ Misinterpretation
· Mental capacity (age, handicap, mental competence)
· No competition clauses (waiver to never start competing business)
· Some contracts not in righting
· Those subject to time statutes (stat. begins at moment of default/breach)
· With one + person declaring bankruptcy
· Gift promises

Gratuitous (gift) promises
· Promises asking nothing in return
· “Peppercorn” Promises, or promises with token consideration
For the most partà gift promises not recognized or enforced
Exceptions:
When one party is dependent on promise

The Contract Model

Contract

=

Promise

+

Price

Promiser

à promise

Promisee

(Seller)

ß price

(Buyer)

Price
·

y bond.
Non-measurable things (warm fuzzies) DO NOT count
There has to be measurable substance

Promise

à
ß

Promise

Bilateral Contract

Promise

à
ß

Action/
Performance

Unilateral Contract

Is there a contract?
Always the question we want to answer.