Whether a contract exists, is void, voidable, or breached is determined by many factors. A first year course, contract law is everywhere- from the meal you had last night at a restaurant, to the service agreement you have with your internet provider. To succeed in your contract law course you must understand some very simple concepts.
These are just a few of the main topics of contract law which you will learn in class, it is not legal advice, but rather a helping hand to better your chances on that end-of-semester exam.
What is a contract?- A contract is a legally enforceable agreement made between parties. To have a valid contract, there must have been an offer made, an acceptance to that offer, and consideration. Consideration is a bargained for legal exchange- that is to say that a party must benefit or suffer a detriment.
For example- you call a roofing company and ask them to repair your roof for $500 plus the cost of materials. Although your price is a little cheaper than what they would normally accept, they need the work due to the economy and agree to fix your roof for that price. Can you spot the offer? Survey says, “Yes!” An offer is the manifestation of an objective intent to enter into a contract with the party the offer was made to. The offer here states the services (roof repair) requested and the price ($500, plus costs) which the offeror will give the roofing company to do the work. The consideration in the above example would be the $500 and costs paid as well as having to do the work. There you have it- a contract.
Illegal contract- void? The easiest voiding concept is the creation of an illegal contract. An illegal contract is just that- a contract for illegal goods or activity. An example of such is if you contract with your neighbor to buy drugs (not that you would do that anyway). A court will not enforce a contract for drugs, plain and simple.
Voidable contracts? Is that even fair? The most basic voidable contract is the contract entered into by a minor. If the individual is under the age of 18, they have the option of adhering to the contract or voiding the contract. There are a few catches- the first catch being that if that contract is for a necessity (housing, food, etc) the minor might not be able to void it.
There you have it- simple concepts to get you started in your first few days of your contracts class. These are just a few of the concepts you will encounter and are no way everything you will need to know about each concept.
Use the above information to help understand the cases you will brief and if you are a bit confused later down the road just come back here to review it.
I am not a lawyer, nor do I portray one on TV. No information above should be construed as legal advice or legal representation. Contact an licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal assistance.