Contract Law (Great American Court Cases)
What Is a Contract?
A contract is a promise between two or more persons involving the exchange of some good or service. Some of the basic elements of a contract include: an offer and an acceptance; "capacity," or being of legal age and sound competence; "mutual assent," or agreement on the terms of a contract; and "consideration," or compensation for goods or services rendered. The element that distinguishes a contract from an informal agreements is that it is legally binding: the law provides a remedy in the event that the promise is not fulfilled. By law, certain types of contracts must be in writing, but oral contracts are valid in many situations. An oral contract may be held to exist even in the absence of agreement as to all its terms.
Sources of Contract Law: The Statute of Frauds
The Statute of Frauds was enacted in England in 1677, and it has been adopted in one form or another by all 50 states. In order to prevent fraud on the part of either party in the exchange of goods, the statute requires a written contract for: one, the sale of land; two, the assumption of the obligations of another party, such as the co-signing of a loan; three, transactions that take more than one year to complete; and four, sale of personal property for more than $5,000 (under the Uniform Commercial Code, discussed below, the threshold is $500)....
(The entire section is 2444 words.)
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