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Statute of Frauds I. Prof. Merges Contracts – March 1, 2011. Agenda. Types of agreements covered: categories Other requirements Writing Signed. The Agreement. Both can be K’s – in the absence of the SoF. Statute of Frauds (SoF): History. Common law courts, 17 th C

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statute of frauds i

Statute of Frauds I

Prof. Merges

Contracts – March 1, 2011

agenda
Agenda
  • Types of agreements covered: categories
  • Other requirements
    • Writing
    • Signed
statute of frauds sof history
Statute of Frauds (SoF): History
  • Common law courts, 17th C
    • Perjury; “subornation” of perjury
    • Structure and incentives
common provisions
Common provisions

Cal. Civ. Code § 1624

(a)(1) K cannot be performed w/in 1 yr.

(a)(2) Suretyship

(a)(3) Lease and other real property transactions

main requirements
Main Requirements
  • Writing
  • Signed – but by whom?
  • See Cal statute, p. 259
party sought to be charged
“party sought to be charged”
  • The party trying to get out of the K; the one the “pro-enforcement” party is “charging” with the K
why these provisions
Why these provisions?
  • 1 yr
  • Suretyship
  • Real property
slide11
Chief justice of the Court of King's Bench from 1756 to 1788, was the foremost judicial voice shaping English common law during that era.
slide12
“What is surprising about the English common law of the second half of the 18th century is how much is familiar to us today,” he said. “Many of the basic ideas and principles of current American law were forged in this earlier time.”

-- Prof. James Oldham, English Common Law in the Age of Mansfield (U.N.C. Press 2004)

suretyship
Suretyship
  • What is it?
strong v sheffield
Strong v. Sheffield
  • Promissory Note given by wife to satisfy demand made by holder of previous note on husband
what was the original deal
What was “the original deal”?

Promise to repay

Mr. Sheffield

Mr. Strong

$$

what was the second deal
What was “the second deal”?

Promise to repay

Mr. Sheffield

Mr. Strong

$$

Promissory Note

Mrs. Strong

suretyship or guarantee
Suretyship or guarantee
  • Promise to answer for debt of another
slide19

Lender (Creditor)

Surety-Guarantor

Borrower

slide20

Lender (Creditor)

Surety-Guarantor

Borrower

slide21

Lender (Creditor)

Surety-Guarantor

Borrower

????

q is the agreement within the statute
Q: Is the agreement “within the statute”?
  • Categories of agreements; see local (state) statute
cr klewin v flagship props24
CR Klewin v. Flagship Props.
  • Procedural history
  • Certified by 2d Circuit to Sup Ct Connecticut
facts28
Facts
  • What was the agreement here?
agreement
Agreement
  • 3/86: “We’ve got a deal”
agreement30
Agreement
  • 3/86: “We’ve got a deal”
  • Dissatisfaction by October, 1987
  • New construction mgt firm, March 1988
estimated duration
Estimated duration?
  • Three to 10 years
two certified questions
Two certified questions
  • “Indefinite duration” K and the “one year” clause
  • Contemplated performance more than 1 year but no term stated in the K
relevance of history34
Relevance of history
  • Affects how the court interprets the provisions of the S o F
relevance of history35
Relevance of history
  • Affects how the court interprets the provisions of the S o F
  • “Courts look with disfavor” – p. 272
relevance of history36
Relevance of history
  • Affects how the court interprets the provisions of the S o F
  • “Courts look with disfavor” – p. 272
  • Connecticut precedent: what trend?
main question38
Main question
  • “performance cannot possibly be peformed within one year”
  • What does “possibly” mean here?
holding here
Holding here
  • “cannot possibly be performed within one year” means under the express terms of the contract
  • The K itself rules out performance in less than a year
  • Not surrounding facts