THE FOUNDATIONS OF CONTRACT LAW by tracy14

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									THE FOUNDATIONS OF
   CONTRACT LAW

    Professor Helen Hartnell, Juris Doctor
    Introduction to the U.S. Legal System

        U.S.-amerikanische Rechtssprache
 mit Einführung in das U.S.-amerikanische Recht
    Juristische Lehrveranstaltung Nr. 2055

             Universität zu Köln
          Winter Semester 2005/06

               27 January 2006
             Overview
• Formation of Contract
  – Mutual Assent
  – Consideration


• Promissory Estoppel

• Damages in Contract
                    Mutual Assent
• Offer
  – Offeror determines the nature of acceptance that will
    suffice to form a contract
     • Promise-for-performance: unilateral contract
          – Brooklyn Bridge hypothetical
     • Promise-for-promise: bilateral contract
  – Offeror can revoke offer prior to acceptance by
    offeree, except:
     • “Option contract” = offeror promises to keep offer open for a period
       of time; must be supported by consideration to be binding
     • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Article 2 (Sales) = binding offer is
       possible in commercial transactions; no consideration required


• Acceptance
  – Effective upon receipt by offeror, except:
     • Mailbox Rule = acceptance effective when deposited in mail
       box, even if prior to receipt by offeree
                 Consideration
• Definition
  – Quid pro quo
  – Must be bargained-for
  – But need not be “adequate”

• E.J. Baehr v. Penn-O-Tex Oil Corp., 258 Minn.
  533, 104 N.W.2d 661 (1960)
           Promissory Estoppel
• Restatement Second of Contracts, § 90: A
  promise, which the promisor should reasonable
  expect to induce reliance or forbearance on the
  part of the promisee or a third person and which
  does induce such action or forbearance is binding
  if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement
  of the promise.

• Feinberg v. The Pfeiffer Company, 322 S.W.2d
  163 (Ct. Appeals Missouri, 194?)
            Damages in Contract
• Hawkins v. McGee = “The Hairy Hand Case”

  – Facts: doctor operated on patient’s hand, promised the
    hand would be “as good as a new hand”

  – What measure of damages can plaintiff claim?

     • Expectation interest
        – The value of the hand as promised … the “benefit of the bargain”

     • Reliance interest
        – Hospital costs
        – Pain & suffering

     • Are these two measures of damages compatible?

								
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