Contract Law

| May 7, 2019

Before starting your Case Assignment, make sure to thoroughly review the required reading. You will need to cite at least three of the required sources for your assignment. Make sure you fully understand the main elements of a contract and all of the conditions required for a contract to be valid. Then go through the five scenarios below, keeping the concepts from the module in mind.

For each scenario, answer the questions. Make sure to support each answer with at least one reference to the required background materials. Be clear about how the reading supports your answer. Your paper should be 4 to 5 pages in length:

  1. Suppose you are driving around town in your classic antique sports car. A limousine pulls up to you at a red light. The window comes down and you see it is a famous actor. The actor tells you he will pay you $100,000 for your classic car, as he has been looking for one just like it for a long time. You drive to his lawyer’s office and the two of you sign a contract agreeing that you will hand over your car and the actor will wire $100,000 to your bank account within one business day. However, a week passes and you still do not have your money. You try to track him down, but you find out he is in rehabilitation for serious drug addiction and mental exhaustion. Given that you have a written contract, do you think you would be able to get the $100,000 in this situation?
  2. Suppose you are a farmer, and sign an agreement with a local grocer to sell a large quantity of eggs to him every month. The written contract states that you will sell him “good quality” eggs. However, when you send the first shipment, the grocer comes back and says they are not high quality enough and he will not pay you. You reply that your eggs meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for being “Grade AA” which are the highest grade you can receive, but the grocer says the contract does not say anything about the USDA and that his willingness to pay depends only on his own ideas about what is good quality. Do you think you would be likely to prevail in court if you file a lawsuit? What do you think should have been added to the contract to avoid this kind of dispute?
  3. You own a small construction business and run into your father-in-law, who wants to hire you for a $10,000 project. He is adamant about not signing a contract, and says, “We are family! No need to get lawyers involved; we trust each other.” Being familiar with contract law, you know that since you are providing a service, rather than selling physical goods, an oral contract will be valid for amounts over $500. However, you know that your father-in-law is a bit absent-minded and might forget the terms of your oral agreement. What step or steps might you take to protect yourself from a future disagreement without a formal written contract?
  4. You run into your friend at the tennis court, and your friend challenges you to a tennis match. You are confident that you can beat your friend, so you propose to wager $500 on the match and your friend agrees. To make extra certain your friend will not back out, you use the phone on your camera to record a video of the two of you agreeing to this proposal. As an extra precaution, you have another friend videotape the match. You win as you predicted, and your friend agrees to pay you within a few days. However, your friend keeps delaying the payment and one month passes. Do you think you will be able to legally compel your friend to pay you based on the video of the agreement and the video of you beating your friend at tennis?
  5. You own a used car dealership and auto repair shop. You do not like written contracts, so you usually use oral agreements. One agreement you have is to sell someone an engine in one of your used cars for $550. Another agreement is to provide three years’ worth of repairs on one of your customer’s cars in exchange for an immediate payment of $2,000. Finally, you have an oral agreement to sell a car battery to one of your customers for $200 to be delivered within one week. Which of these oral contracts (if any) will be enforceable in court, and which ones (if any) will not be enforceable? Explain your reasoning.

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the Internet, make sure they are from a credible source.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.

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