Students pursuing law degrees will be required to complete several contract law case studies in their education. Since contract law is one of the most important and vast areas of legal education, the ability to write a sound case study cannot be emphasized enough. To complete contract law case studies, students need a good grounding in contract law.
Moreover, there are basic law principles that the writer of a case study is supposed to master and without this knowledge, you can never hope to complete a project satisfactorily. Therefore, before attempting a contract case study assignment, a student should answer some of the following questions.
What Is Contract Law?
Contract law consists of the laws, rules and regulations that parties to a contract enact to fulfill the promises that the parties make to one another enforceable. These laws, rules and regulations clearly lay down the obligations of the parties to the contract. A contract entered into in this manner becomes a legally binding agreement, and the failure to adhere to the terms of the contract will make a party guilty of breach of contract.
The law of contract covers diverse areas of human interaction. For example, employers enter into contracts with employees when the former are hiring the latter, and the person who is selling his house will need to enter into a contract with the buyer. Whenever goods or services are sold, regardless of the amount of money at stake, the parties involved are always entering into a contract.
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What Conditions Does a Contract Have to Meet for It to Be Valid?
When creating a contract, the parties to a contract have to meet the following conditions to enter into a valid contract:
For a contract to be valid, the parties involved must reach a clear agreement about what they are entering into. To do this, one party usually makes an offer which the other party or parties then accept. Agreements should be reached by mutual consensus and should be free of ambiguity for legal binding.
When a party to a contract makes an offer, it also usually specifies the price or cost to provide the good or service. That price or cost is the consideration, and a contract will not be valid unless the party making an offer also specifies what it expects in exchange for fulfilling the offer. In a contract for the sale of goods, for example, the seller's price agrees to charge the buyer is the consideration.
Intention to Create Legal Relations
For parties to enter into a valid contract, all of them must have the intention of creating legal relationships. In most cases, the agreement to pay some consideration for the provision of goods or services is considered adequate to show the parties' intention to create legal relations. Therefore, for the parties to a contract to be certain that they are meeting this crucial requirement of contract formation, it is advisable to provide the details of this intention when writing the contractual terms.
Capacity refers to the ability of the parties involved to enter into a legally binding contract. As the term implies, not everybody can enter into an enforceable contract. Some of the parties that the law deems as lacking the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts include minors, people under heavy medication and habitual drunkards who might be too intoxicated to understand the details of the contracts they are entering into.
If, for instance, you signed documents for the sale of property with a buyer in a bar when one or both of the parties were drinking, that contract could lose validity because of the state in which the parties were by the time of entering into a contract. A similar contract for the property sale could also be ruled invalid in court if it was signed by a minor as the law views such people as vulnerable.
The formalities that need to be followed to create a legally binding agreement vary from contract to contract. For example, some contracts are legally binding even when there are no documents to support them.
However, some contracts will only be legally enforceable when they are in writing. Some examples of such contracts include contracts that will take more than one year for them to be completed and contracts for property transfer.
Classification of Contracts
Contracts are used in all manner of transactions, and they are classified into different categories. The classification of a contract is made depending on several factors, including the nature of the consideration, how the contract was formed, how it is intended to be executed, and the basis of the contract’s validity.
But before you learn about the categorization of contract laws, be sure to get in touch with our contract law homework experts for any help with your assignments.
Unilateral and Bilateral Contracts
As the term implies, a unilateral contract is a one-sided contract. In this kind of contract, one party offers to pay some consideration after the performance of a specified act. With a unilateral contract, only one party makes an offer. The most common examples of unilateral contracts are reward arrangements in which someone offers to pay a reward to persons who perform specific acts such as finding and returning a lost valuable possession.
Unlike unilateral contracts, bilateral contracts involve at least two parties where one party makes an offer accepted by the other. Common examples of these kinds of contracts include the agreements you enter into when you accept employment in consideration for wages or sell your car to a willing buyer. Contact our assignment help tutors for help with your contract law assignments.
Valid, Void, Voidable, Illegal and Unenforceable Contracts
Contracts could also be classified depending on their validity. A valid contract meets all the criteria discussed earlier and is therefore enforceable in court. On the other hand, a contract that cannot be enforced in court is classified as void, which could happen for several reasons. First, if two or more parties entering into a contract to participate in illegal activities, a court of law will rule their contract unenforceable.
According to U.S. contract law, a contract is considered voidable when some parties to the contract have entered into it without their free will. Examples of these kinds of contracts include contracts entered into through duress and/or undue influence. A contract could also be classified as unenforceable when the required legal formalities are not followed during its formulation. Finally, all contracts that contain unlawful components in terms of the contract are usually classified as illegal.
Executed and Executor Contracts
The classification of contracts as either executed or executor usually depends on where the contract stands concerning the part of the contract that refers to execution. Simply put, a contract is classified as executed when all its requirements have been met and the task that the parties to the contract set out to perform has been completed. On the other hand, a contract is classified as executor as long as the contractual obligations are ongoing and the completion date is yet to be reached.
Depending on how a contract is formed, contracts could also be classified as express contracts, implied contracts, implied in fact or quasi-contracts. Contact our law assignment helpers for assistance with your contract law homework.
The Formatting of Contract Law Case Studies and Why Students Struggle with Them
When analyzing custom law case studies, students are expected to address several issues, and this might prove quite challenging for people who do not have a sound understanding of contract law. Therefore, when a student is given a case scenario and asked to, for example, show whether a contract exists between two parties, there are a few things that are expected to be argued out clearly, including:
- The legal issues that need to be addressed
- The rule of law that is relevant to the case at hand
- How the law relates to the circumstances of the issue at hand
- The citation of a precedent that the court could use to reach a decision
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