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Course: Contracts - Autonomy Principle
School: unknown
Year: 2001
Professor: unknown
Course Outline provided by Legalnut.com

THE AUTONOMY PRINCIPLE

  •  

  • Enforceable promises are conventionally called contracts. The law of contracts defines the conditions under which people have the legal power to make and receive enforceable promises, together with many of the consequences of having used that power.

  • With the general idea of a promise and continue with agreements in which there is a promise on at least one side.

  • Contract law governs the unregulated sector of the economy.

 

SECTION 1 – PROMISES

  • To promise is to say something which creates an obligation for the promisor.

  • A promise is an act by which a person imagines a possible world and signals a commitment to bring that world into being by future action

  • A promise must be made to another person in a social context

  • A practice of promising can emerge informally in a society and remain a matter of custom only. When that is so the practice tends to be poorly defined, to resist change, and to produce interminable disputes.

 

Hawkins v. McGee

 

Note on “INTERESTS” “RIGHTS” AND “DUTIES”

  • a person has an interest when he or she has a state in how another person acts….distinguishing the various interests at play in a relationship is a key part of legal analysis

  • the law of contracts generally protects three interests –

  1. the expectation interests stems from the psychological fact that, at formation, each party anticipates that the world of the contract will come into existence as promised.

  2. reliance – results based on depending on what one promises

the expectation and reliance interests may be harmed for a variety of familiar reasons, including mistakes, misunderstandings, changed circumstances, and misplaced trust.

  1. restitution interests. Is protected by contract law and also the law of restitution. This interest is concerned with benefits one party may receive at the expense of the other.

  • on this understanding of interests, we can say that one person has a right when he or she has an interest strong enough (in its appeal in principle) to justify imposing a duty on another person to act with respect for that right. That is to say that the person under the duty ought to act as urged by the rightholder.

 

Restatement (SECOND) of Contracts sec. 344


Note on the RESTATEMENTS

  • the function of the Institute is to state clearly and precisely in the light of the decisions the principles and rules of the common law.

  • The sections of the restatement express the result of a careful analysis of the subject and a through examination and discussion of the pertinent cases – often very numerous and sometimes conflicting.

  • The restatement (second) of Contracts has received considerable but not uniform recognition by the courts.

  • The restatement may be used when there is no clear law on the point or when there is reason to believe that the law might by changed by the courts.

  • It has considerable “persuasive authority” but it is not formally a part of the law that judges have a duty to uphold.

 

SECTION 2 – AGREEMENTS

  • Two persons cannot contract unless they participate in a social practice in a social practice setting.

  • The people are bound by the principles, rules, and precedents used in the practice, much as the players are bound by the rules of a game because they chose to participate.

  1. intention of the parties

  • you should understand this intention with reference to the parties’ promises and the world they represent

  • one equates intention with the world present in the mind of a promisor when promising.

 

Restatement (SECOND) of Contracts sec. 20, 201

 

Lucy v. Zehmer

 

Note on SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE THEORIES

  • It is a commonplace of the law that mutual assent is necessary for the formation of contracts

  • The point of dispute is whether actual mental assent of the parties is a legal requisite, or merely such an expression by them as would normally indicate assent, whatever may have been in the minds of the parties. Is the test objective or subjective?

  • The distinction between subjective and objective theories of contract, however, employs an odd idea of the people who are contracting.

  • Mickey mouse example

 

Embry v. Hargadine, Mckittrick Dry Goods Co.

 

Oswald v. Allen


Note on APPLICABLE LAW

  • Special problems arise when the law of one jurisdiction requries an outcome that is incompatible with the outcome required by the law of another jurisdiction

  • There is a separate body of law, called the law of conflicts or choice of law, containing rules and principles for deciding the applicable law.

  • When the parties lived and the making and performance of the contract occur, within a single jurisdiction, the law of that jurisdiction applies

  • The law of conflicts might provide that the applicable law is the law of the place where the contracts is made of the law of the place where the tracaction has its “center of gravity”. On the latter view, all of the jurisdictions with which the transactions has contacts are considered in an effort to find one with which it is most closely associated.

 

  1. Offers

  • agreements can be made when one party makes an “offer” and another “accepts” it.

  • All agreements are not contracts, and all offers are not offers to contracts

  • Offers to contract are promises manifesting a commitment to some specified action in the future in return for some promise or performance by the offeree.

  • An offer, in legal consequence, creates a “power of acceptance” in the offeree

  • An offeree can exercise this power by assenting to the offer, without changing its terms or equivocating on his or her commitment, thereby concluding an agreement.

  • In contemporary contract law, a sequential offer and acceptance process is not the only way to reach agreement. Many contracts are made by negotiating a single document or using a standard form contract, which both parties sign at the same time.

  • The UCC provisions on contract formation, to be considered later in this chapter, make it unnecessary to parse the technicalities of the common law of offer and acceptance.

 

Restatement (SECOND) of Contracts sec. 24, 33, 35

 

Lonergan v. Scolnick

 

Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surprise Store

 

Restatement (SECOND) of Contracts sec. 36, 41

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Powers of Acceptance

  • people make offers by exercising a legal power – the power of contract.

  • An offeror changes his or her legal relations with the offeree, by exercising that power

  • The offer creates a power of acceptance in the offeree.

  • An agreement is made when the offeree exercises that legal power by accepting.

  • If the agreement is enforceable, the parties then have contract rights and duties

  • Acceptance thus concludes the deal, assuming that the power of acceptance remains alive at the moment the offeree accepts

 

Akers v. J.B. Sedberry, Inc.

 

Ardente v. Horan

Note on DOCTRINAL MANIPULATION

 

Patterson v. Pattberg

 

Marchiondo v. Scheck

 

  1. Acceptance

 

Davis v. Jacoby

 

Houston Dairy, Inc. V. John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co.

 

Cole-McIntyre-Norfleet Co. v. Holloway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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