LS101 Lecture Notes - Contract, Oral Contract, Subornation Of Perjury

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Contract Law
- Governs important functions of commerce
- Protect our property, prevent fraud, and ensure that people live up to the deals they make
- Dichotomy between two ideals:
o Individuals should be given a freedom of choice
o But they must follow guidelines
- Power differentials between individuals entering the contract
- Contracts come in different forms:
o Such as an oral or physical contract, such as a nod or handshake,
- Common law study
- Comes down to case law, what happens in other cases
- Sale of Goods act
- Is universal
- Can be with exchange of goods and services
- People voluntarily enter into contracts rather than have rules imposed on them
o Different than torts
- If there’s a problem with the contract, then it goes before the court system
- Anyone can draft a contract
- Look at the actions of the parties
- An offer by one party that was unequivocally accepted by the other
- Courts aren’t concerned about the fairness of the contract
- Not the role of the courts to determine the fairness or appropriateness of the bargain struck
- Court is there to enforce the clear intentions of the parties
- Courts reluctant to interfere with contracts, however unless it was unfair or unconscionable
o Consumer protection issues
- If contract is already done, they won’t undue it. But if it’s not done yet they won’t help to
enforce it
- A contract is an agreement between two or more persons recognized by law which gives rise to
rights and or obligations which the courts may enforce
- Not all promises are contracts, however contracts start with a promise
- A fine line between promises, and a contract that both of them are bound by
- Free to contract fundamental principle of law
- People are free to make their own contracts
- We want economy to keep going, so we have simpler contracts, such as a handshake or nod
- Unfair dealings, vulnerable populations, these are the types of situations the court is willing to
deal with
- Terms of the contract
o Might be expressed (stated) or implied (unstated)
- Terms not stated?
o Language has to be relatively certain
o Or courts can void the contract if it’s too vague and unenforceable
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- Normal force of enforcement is financial damages
Bilateral contracts
- The most popular one
- Both individuals are bound to perform the contract rules
- Offerer (employer) (offers the contract) and offeree (employee) (receiving the contract)
Unilateral contract
- One party promises to do something in exchange for an act of the other party (as opposed to a
- Reward
- An offer to everybody, can be accepted by more than one person
- Offer is accepted by doing the act per the contract
- Only one person makes the promise to pay the reward, the other person just performs
- Difficult to enforce because you’re making everyone do work, even though you’re only going to
reward one person
- Subsidiary promise implied promise to the offeree that they can’t revoke the promise
- Errington v. Errington and Woods
o Father bought a house for daughter in law and son
o Once mortgage payments complete, they could keep it
- Goldthorpe v. Logan
o Hair continued to grow, even though she went through laser surgery
o Is a promise different than an offer? If it’s accepted by the client
o This was an offer to society, they made no limit to lower their liability
Contract Law II
Written Contracts
- Not all contracts have to be written
- You have evidence. In oral contract there may be problems cause it’s not written ; faulty
- Statute of Frauds 1677
o Perjury and subornation were rife
- Several categories that must be in writing
o Guarantees and indemnities
o Not performed in 1 year
o Property
o Promises in consideration of marriage
o Executor to a will
o Misc. other statutes
- Sales of Goods act
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o Goods over a certain $ value must be evidenced in writing
- Electronic documents
- Cannot change the terms of the contract once the agreement is made, unless both parties agree
to change it
- No opportunity to negotiate on most contracts, such as services (bus, etc)
- Standard form contracts you can’t plead ignorance of the small print
- Even if the contract is in writing, there can still be disputes that the contract is not complete,
other terms should be read into the contract, or that there were implied terms, as well as
different meanings that the parties could have ascribed to the terms
Ingredients to a contract
- Just because both parties decide to enter into a contract, doesn’t mean that it is enforceable
- 3 basic ingredients:
o Consensus
Must be reached between the parties
Forms a foundation which the agreement is made
Ad idem = meeting of the minds
Agree on the same terms
Reasonable person test, in those circumstances, what would that reasonable
person have understood that contract to be?
Not allow a person to escape from a contract by claiming they didn’t read it or
didn’t understand it
Protect the reasonable expectation of the parties
Has 3 elements
o Promise or statement of willingness by one party to enter into a
contract with another party on certain terms and conditions
o Offeror makes the offer, and offeree is the person to whom the
offer is being made
o Offeror sets out the terms
o Offeree accepts them
o If offer is accepted, the parties will enter into a legally binding
o Offer can be expressed or implied
o May be to one person or a group
o there has to be outward indications to the other person
o ‘agreement to agree’ is not a contract. (once you graduate, then
we’ll talk about buying a car)
o Conduct of the parties can also be an offer (auction, when a
person raises their hand)
o Advertisements invitations to treat is not an offer
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