- A valid contract has four required elements: agreement (offer and acceptance), consideration, capacity, and legality. Even when those four elements are present, there can be a valid defense to a contract’s enforceability. For each of the following, answer whether there is an enforceable contract and explain either why or why not.
- NOTE: It would be helpful to review the Chapter Summaries for Chapter 8 (pp.233-4) and Chapter 9 (pp. 261-2) before attempting this assignment.
NOTE: None of these questions involve the UCC or the “sale of goods” that would invoke the UCC.
Example: Betsy hires Frank to transport a shipment of cocaine for her. Answer: Not an enforceable contract. The element of legality is not satisfied because a contact to commit a crime is illegal.
Example: Johnny offers to buy Keith’s goat for $50. Keith says that he would sell the goat for $55. Answer: Not an enforceable contract because there has been no acceptance. Keith’s answer is a counteroffer to Johnny’s offer.
Example: Tom accepts an oral offer to teach at CSU for Fall Semester 2020 through Fall Semester 2025. Not an enforceable contract. It is a contract that is required to be in writing because it cannot be performed in one year or less. Because the contract was only oral, it is not enforceable.
- Johnny’s friend Randall owns a cattle ranch. One day Johnny asks Randall if he ever thought about selling the ranch, to which Randall replied that “as a matter of fact I was planning on listing it sometime next year for around a million dollars.” The next week, Johnny sends Randy a check for one million dollars and a note that says “I accept your offer to sell the ranch.” Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny offers to buy Keith’s corvette for $50,000. Keith just rolls his eyes. Johnny later informs Keith that they have a contract because Keith’s silence was an acceptance. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny has a horse that is worth $25,000. When money gets tight, he offers to sell it to George for $18,000. George accepts, but when it comes time for George to pick up the horse, Johnny decides that $18,000 is not a fair price for the horse and backs out of the agreement. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny tells his employees that they will all get big bonuses at the end of the year if the convenience store has a good year and if Johnny thinks they deserve it. At the end of the year Johnny refuses to pay. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny tells his employees that he will sell a watch to the first one who brings him a check for $500 dollars. Johnny meant to say “$600”. Jean brings Johnny a check for $500. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny wants to sell his fancy Porsche. He hears from a friend that Alex is in the market for a used Porsche, so he e-mails him an offer to sell the car for $400. Alex knows this is too good to be true and likely a typo but immediately e-mails his acceptance. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny sold Matt, a seventeen-year old, a car. Matt makes all of the monthly payment before he turns 18 and then continues making payments for the next year, at which point he returns the car and refuses to make further payments. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Max is 21. His Aunt Eve tells him that if he stays celibate until he is married, she will give him $10,000. Max gets married at age 25 and has remained celibate the entire time. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Jane has the hots for Johnny, and the two have been secretly meeting at the Motel 6 for the past few weeks. One day, Johnny offers to sell Jane a piece of property for $10,000, which is a fair price. Two weeks later she drops off a note to Johnny that says, “OK, let’s do it”. Do they have an enforceable contract for the sale of the property?
- Johnny offers to sell Zach his car and tells Zach that he will leave the offer open for a month. Before Zach can accept, Johnny totals the car in a fiery crash. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny sees Smith walking down the road and offers to take him home for $5. Smith agrees. There is no written agreement. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- A group of students downtown Friday night flag down a cab. The cab stops, they get in, and the driver asks them where they are going. They give him an address. When they arrive, they refuse to pay. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny promises to donate an empty building he owns to a school for autistic children. The school has outgrown is present location and is looking forward to occupying the building Johnny has promised to give them. After the school sells its present building, and before they can move in the new building, Johnny gets a fantastic offer for the building and sells it. The school sues, but Johnny contends there was no consideration given by the school, so there could be no enforceable K. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny sends Lisa a written contract for the sale of a puppy and gives her until Friday to agree. Lisa mails a written acceptance that is postmarked on the Thursday before the deadline. Johnny receives the acceptance after the deadline. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny offers to buy a farm owned by Kenny and his wife Jane for $50,000. Kenny accepts, and Kenny and Johnny sign a contract. Jane gives her verbal consent. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny and Kenny have a written agreement that they will spilt evenly any profits that they make from selling cocaine. Johnny later refuses to pay Kenny. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny offers to buy Kenny’s goat for $1,000, and gives Kenny 10 days to accept. On the ninth day, Kenny sells his goat to Rusty for $900. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Kenny offers to sell his goat to Johnny for $100 and agrees that for $10, he will keep the offer open for ten days. Johnny pays Kenny the $10. On the 9th day, Johnny tells Kenny that he accepts the offer. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny handles a lot of business for his Aunt Edna, who is 95 years old and frail. Johnny asks Edna if she will sell him her skiboat. Although she expresses reservations, Johnny tells Edna that she knows that Johnny only looks out for her best interest and that all she has to do is trust him and sign the contract Johnny has drawn up, and also that if she wants him to continue to look out for her, she will sell him the boat. Edna signs the contract. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny owns a skiboat that he bought from his Aunt Edna. It’s worth about $12,000. He hears that Kenny is looking for a skiboat and e-mails him with an offer to sell him the boat for $10,000. Kenny immediately e-mails back his acceptance. When Johnny reads the acceptance, he realizes that he made a mistake and meant to type in the price as “$12,000.” Do they have an enforceable contract?
Bonus Questions (Optional):
- Johnny and Fred orally agree that Johnny will pay Fred to provide lawn care to Johnny for the next fourteen months. Do they have an enforceable contract?
- Johnny and Fred orally agree that Johnny will pay Fred to provide lawn care to Johnny for as long as Johnny lives. Do they have an enforceable contract?