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Chapter 9 Contracts: Agreement Learning Objectives What elements are necessary for an effective offer? What are some examples of non-offers? In what circumstances will an offer be irrevocable? What are the elements that are necessary for an effective acceptance?

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Chapter 9 Contracts: Agreement

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Chapter 9Contracts: Agreement


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Learning Objectives

  • What elements are necessary for an effective offer?

  • What are some examples of non-offers?

  • In what circumstances will an offer be irrevocable?

  • What are the elements that are necessary for an effective acceptance?

  • Can silence ever operate as an acceptance?


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Requirements of the Offer

  • An agreement consists of a valid offer and acceptance.

  • An offer is the Offeror’s promise to perform. An offer requires:

    • Serious, objection intention

      • Opinions are not offers

      • Good Intentions are not offers

      • Preliminary Negotiations are not offers

      • Agreements to Agree are not offers


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Requirements of the Offer

  • An offer requires (continued):

    • Reasonably definite terms so that a court can determine if a breach has occurred and give an appropriate remedy.

    • Communication to Offeree


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Termination of the Offer

  • Termination By Act of the Parties

    • Revocation by Offeror

      • Generally, a revocation is effective upon receipt.

      • Irrevocable offers and option contracts cannot be revoked.

    • Rejection by Offeree (or counteroffer) when received by Offeror.


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Termination of the Offer

  • Termination by Operation of Law

    • Lapse of Time: specified in offer.

    • Destruction of the Subject Matter before acceptance.

    • Death of Incompetence of the Offeror or Offeree.

    • Supervening Illegality of the Proposed Contract.


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Acceptance

  • Voluntary act by Offeree that shows assent to terms of original offer.

    • Intended Offeree must accept.

  • Unequivocal Acceptance: Mirror Image Rule

    • Offeree must unequivocally accept offer.

    • Additional terms may be considered a counteroffer.

  • Acceptance by Silence

    • Only if Offeree benefited from service and had the opportunity but did not reject.


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Acceptance

  • Communication of Acceptance

    • Authorized Means of Communication is either express or implied by form of offer (e.g., U.S. mail, fax, email)

    • “Mailbox Rule”: Offeree accepts offer when the acceptance is dispatched to Offeror in the form it was received, unless offer requires a different method (e.g., Fed-Ex, or receipt by Offeror).


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Acceptance

  • Exceptions to “Mail Box” Rule (authorized means):

    • Acceptance not properly dispatched

    • Offer is conditioned on receipt by certain time

    • First communication received by Offeror determines whether a contract is formed


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Technology & Acceptances

  • Mailbox Rule Today…

    • Mailbox rule today is virtually obsolete

    • Internet makes communications almost instantaneous

  • Discussion: what if email sent but server problem prevents it from being received, or received but unreadable?


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