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Contract Laws


A voluntary agreement between two legally competent parties to perform or refrain from performing a legal action for traditional consideration essential elements of a valid contract:

  • Qualified parties- must be lawfully eligible by age and mental competence.
  • An offer and acceptance ( mutual consent)-“must be a meeting of the minds.”
  • The purpose of the contract must be legal
  • Consideration- a promise to perform
  • Description of what the deal entails
  • Written and signed

Contract Classifications

  • Expressed-showing intent with words, orally or written
  • Implied-agreement demonstrated by acts and conduct
  • Unilateral-only one party makes a promise
  • Bilateral-both parties promise to perform something
  • Executed-both parties have fulfilled their promises
  • Executory-something remains to be done by either party

Legal Effect of a Contract

  • Valid-Binding and enforceable on both parties
  • Void-Lacks an essential element of a valid contract- has no legal effect
  • Voidable-may appear to be valid on the surface, but legally voidable by some illegal act
  • Unenforceable-may appear to be valid, but legally not

Discharge of Contract

  • Performance-all terms performed
  • Substantial performance-contract still in effect, needs to be completed
  • Mutual agreement-parties agree to cancel
  • Operation of Law-can for various legal reasons


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