A principle in U.S. law that the existence of a contract is determined by the legal significance of the external acts of a party to a purported agreement, rather than by the actual intent of the parties.
Some disagreement exists as to whether the COMMON LAW governing contracts required judges to determine the subjective intent of the parties in order to recognize the existence of a contract, or whether judges were required to view the external acts of the parties and then determine, in an objective manner, whether a contract had been formed....
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