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Flashcards in chapter 15 Deck (22):

The Statute of Frauds requires certain types of contracts to be in writing and signed by the defendant to be enforceable. What does "enforceable" mean?

The contract will stand up in court.


List the six types of contracts

1) For any interest in land
2) That cannot be performed within one year
3) To pay the debt of another
4) Made by an executor of an estate
5) Made in consideration of marriage
6) For the sale of goods worth $500 or more


Define an "interest in land" and give examples

* any legal right regarding land
** a house on a lot
** a mortgage
** an easement
** a leased apartment


List the three exceptions to the "interest in land" requirement.

1) Full performance by the seller
2) Part performance by the buyer
3) Promissory Estoppel


Explain Full performance by the seller

If the seller completely performs her side of a contract for an interest in land, a court is likely to enforce agreement even if it was oral
* Adam orally agrees to sell his condominium to Maggie for $150,000. Adam delivers the deed to Maggie and expects his money a week later, but Maggie fails to pay. MOST courts will allow Adam to enforce the oral contract and collect the full purchase price from Maggie.


Explain part performance by the buyer

The buyer of land may be able to enforce an oral contract if she paid part of the purchase price and either entered upon the land or made improvements to it-- merely paying a deposit on a house is not part performance, a buyer must show partial payment AND either entrance onto the land OR physical improvements to it


Explain Promissory Estoppel

If a promisor makes an oral promise that should reasonably cause the promisee to rely on it, and the promisee does rely, the promisee may be able to enforce the promise


What does "cannot be performed in one year" mean?

contracts that cannot be performed within one year are unenforceable unless they are in writing


What is a "collateral promise"?

when one person agrees to pay the debt of another as a favor to a debtor, must be in writing to be enforceable
** like a cosigner for a loan


Define "executor of an estate".

The person who is in charge of an estate after someone dies, the executor's job is to pay debts of the deceased, obtain money owed to him, and disburse the assets according to the will.
* an executor's promise to use her own funds to pay a debt of the deceased must be in writing to be enforceable


Give an example of a "promise made in consideration of marriage".

Barney is a multimillionaire with the integrity of a gangster and the charm of a tax collector. He proposes to Susan, who promptly rejects him. Barney then pleads that if Susan will be his bride, he will give her an island he owns off the coast of California. Susan begins to see his good qualities and accepts. After they are married, Barney refuses to deliver the deed. Susan will get nothing from a court either, because a promise made in consideration of marriage must be in writing to be enforceable


Under the common law Statute of Frauds, what must the writing contain to be enforceable?

* must be signed by the defendant
* must state with reasonable certainty the name of each party, the subject matter of the agreement, and all of the essential terms and promises


Whose signature must be on the contract?

Must be signed by the party that is resisting enforcement of the contract (the defendant)
* any mark placed on the document to indicate acceptance is satisfactory
even an "X" will likely satisfy the statute of frauds


How does the law deal with e-signatures or electronic contracts?

The present statute of frauds requires some sort of "signing" to ensure that the defendant committed to the deal.
Today an "electronic signature" could mean a name typed or auto-signed


Are electronic signatures valid?

Yes. The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) -- 48 states and territoriesstates that a contract or signature may not be denied enforceability simply because it is in electronic form. The normal rules of contract law apply, but one party may not avoid such a deal merely
because it originated in cyberspace ...
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-sign)-- applies in any state that has not adopted UETA, declares that contracts will not be denied enforcement simply because they are in electronic form


What is "reasonable certainty"?

Vagueness and Incompleteness.


Does the UCC have a statute of frauds?

Yes-- for the sale of goods worth $500 or more three important elements:
- the basic rule
- the merchants exception
- special circumstances


What is the "merchants" exception?

Both parties are merchants who routinely deal in the goods being sold, the code will accept an even more informal writing-- Within a reasonable time of making an oral contract, if one merchant sends a written confirmation to the other, and the confirmation is definite enough to bind the sender herself, then the merchant who receives the confirmation will also be bound by it unless he objects in writing


Explain the "special circumstances" exception to the UCC Statute of Frauds.

An oral contract MAY be enforceable, even without a written memorandum if:
- the seller is specially manufacturing the goods for the buyer, or
- the defendant admits in court proceedings that there was a contract, or
- the goods have been delivered or they have been paid for.


What is "Parole Evidence"?

anything (apart from the written contract itself) that was said, done, or written before the parties signed the agreement or as they signed it.


What does the parole evidence rule say?

when two parties make an integrated contract, neither one may use parole evidence to contradict, vary, or add to its terms


What is meant by an "integrated" contract? give example.

a statement clearly proclaiming that this writing is the full and final expression of the parties' agreement, and that anything said before signing or while signing is irrelevant

example= an art dealer may say to a prospective buyer "Watteau's paintings have increased in value 10 percent every year for the last decade. They're going to continue to climb. I know it." Perhaps the dealer shows the customer an article on Watteau that claims that his paintings are sill undervalued. When it is time to sign the contract, the dealer will not want these statements included, since they were meaningless puffery, and he has no intention of being bound by them. The dealer will include an integration clause, stating that the buyer is not relying on any promises, statements, or documents of any kind made or examined during negotiations, and that the written agreement is the complete expression of their contract.