Student with the history of law and the rational underlying legal concepts and ethics. The introduction to the course defines “law,” its various sources, types of classification and systems. Comparisons are made between Civil law and Municipal Law. Criminal Law is explained in contradiction to Civil Law. The difference in the degree of evidence necessary to prove a case under the Criminal Law, “beyond a seasonable doubt” is contrasted to the degree of proof required in a civil case, “a mere preponderance of the evidence. Further, in the introduction of the course terms used in the various cases are defined and explained; then a hypothetical case is followed through the steps taken through the processing of a lawsuit from the moment of controversy to the filing of the suit, the service and return of the summons, the filing of the appearance and answer, the Jury demand, or waiver thereof, and the types of evidence, the function of the Jury as distinguished from that f the Judge, the verdict and the decision.
Then the steps regarding an appeal to a Court of Review, which differentiated from the “trial court,” the ruling of the Appellate Court and the steps that may be followed thereafter, until the litigation is finally concluded. Armed with this preparation, the students are then introduced to the definitions of contract; the classification of contracts into express, implied, unilateral, bilateral, valid, void, avoidable, unenforceable, Joint, Joint and several, entire divisible and unconscionable.
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The four elements of a contract are then explained as being Capable arties; Agreement, arising out of an offer and Acceptance, Consideration and Legality of object. The next portion of the course is devoted to explaining and discussing, these various elements of a contract.
Capacity: The ability of persons to make contracts as welt as the limitations some persons to contract is discussed, with particular reference being made to insane persons, adjudicated or otherwise; Intoxicated persons; Corporation aliens; Married Women – including the liability that a husband may have where his wife makes a contract – the effect on the husband’s liability were the subject matter involves should necessaries; and finally, minors. In this area household necessaries are distinguished from Necessaries for Minors.
The Minor’s right to avoid contracts is discussed as is his liability under “quasi- contract. ” Agreement: This section of the course deals with the mutuality of assent of the parties to the contract. The matter of the offer is defined and discussed as well as being distinguished from mere invitations for offers. It is pointed out that the offer is the complete master of his offer and that it can be terminated many ways, including lapse of stated time, lapse of subject matter, death f either party, insanity of either party, change of the law, and finally acceptance.
The effective time of these various things are discussed and it is explained why of Agreement is discussed the necessity of their being a “voluntary” agreement rather than merely a purported agreement. Mistakes, duress, innocent misrepresentation, undue influence and fraud, are discussed as to how they affect the “reality of consent. ” Consideration: This is explained to be a somewhat nebulous thing which is best described as a legal benefit or a legal detriment, bargained for, each in exchange for the other.
A distinction is made between a legal benefit or detriment and a “real” physical, tangible benefit or detriment. The matters of gifts, charitable subscriptions, illusory promises, requirement compensation of creditors are explained and discussed. Legality-of Object: The final requirement of a contract is discussed by pointing out the obvious violations of positive laws, crimes, torts, regulatory license laws and finally the area of Contracts in Restraint of Trade and their illegality as being opposed to Public Policy.
The exception allowed for the restraint is partial and reasonable, is also discussed. The effect of illegality on a contract is then explained as well as the rights of the parties thereto. After discussing the specific requirements of a contract, some collateral matters are discussed, such as the rights of Third Parties under contracts by way of assignments, Third Party Beneficiary Contracts and Undisclosed Principal. Statute of Frauds is an important section which deals with certain types of contracts that require a writing to be enforceable.
It is pointed out that the writing, or lack of it, in no way affects the validity of the contract but only the enforceability thereof. The hypes of contracts discussed are promises to pay the debt of another; promise of any Executor or Administrator to pay out of his own estate; Contracts in consideration of marriage; Contracts for the sale of any interest in Real Property; Contracts for personal property in the sum of $500. 00 or more; and Contracts that cannot be performed within one year.
The requirements for the writing, or the Memorandum sufficient to satisfy the Statute are discussed. Parole Evidence Rule is a strictly procedural thing which is used to protect the sanctity of the written agreement. It applies only in the case of a written contract, and revised in effect that “once” a contract has been reduced to writing, no evidence of anything which precedes the written contract will be admissible for the purpose of changing, amending, altering, or modifying the term of the written contract.
The exceptions in the case of evidence which will clarify ambiguities is discussed along with the right to show the facts and circumstances surrounding the execution of any contract. The important matter of applying the rule, by properly ruling on the objective is explained. Defined as a relationship between two parties where one, called an agent, agrees to CT under the control of-and for the benefit of the other denoted the principal. The effect of this relationship upon the principal, agent, and third parties involved is also analyzed and discussed.