JIM AND LAURA
BUS LAW 1
May 16, 2018
The intention of the document is to analyse the elements of a legal contract, its terms of offer specifically, so as to assess the situation Jim-Laura couples have been faced with against one of the car dealer salesman Stan in their process of buying one. A neutral and fair decision needs to be attained so as to direct the couple regarding the feasibility and requirement of a legal action.
Elements of a Contract
The elements of a legal contract valid in the USA so as to gauge itsvalidityin case of a dispute or misunderstanding has been enumerated below. Though there may be more bifurcations of the below elements, to reach a legal conclusion below mentioned pointers would suffice:
1. Offer – One of the parties made a promise to do or refrain from doing some specified action in the future. The rejection of an offer terminates the offeree’s power of acceptance and ends the offeror’s liability for the offer. Rejection might come in the form of an express refusal to accept the offer or by implication when the offeree makes a counteroffer that is materially different from the offeror’s original proposal. (uslegal.com)
2. Consideration – Something of value was promised in exchange for the specified action or nonaction.
3. Acceptance – The offer was accepted unambiguously. Acceptance may be expressed through words, deeds or performance as called for in the contract.
4. Mutuality -It means the participating parties understood and agreed to the basic substance and terms of the contract.Under this doctrine, both parties must be bound to perform their obligations or the law will treat the agreement as if neither party is bound to perform.
Evaluation of the Context
Was there an offer? Yes very much. Stan had offered to sell the car for an agreed upon price provided Jim-Laura couple would come up with a decision within a time frame of 24 hours. Stan however do have the right to withdraw the offer which was not to sell the car at the said price or provide a counteroffer which has implications materially different from the original offer. Again Jim-Laura had been given the ‘option’ to make decision in 24 hours. Now, in reality the couple has done is very well within their rights to deny the offer making use of the option. But Stan on other hand has not kept his end of the counteroffer which in this case is a fully refundable $100 in case the car sale does not happen as per the bail-out ‘option’ he has agreed upon .
Consideration, acceptance and mutuality is very much recognised in this contract as one can clearly demarcate how the sale conditions are laid out, the acceptance of the consideration with an assurance in the form of money and mutuality achieved through a bail-out option in case there is a fall-back of commitment acknowledged through a refund. Now we might have to have a closer look into mutuality as it seems Stan is again showing faint flavours of denial here. Why would Stan agree for an undocumented payment? This was done for the very reason that he had the understanding that the amount may or may not realise into the form of a sale in which case an undocumented refund would be far more easy, unnoticed so that he could keep his job performance undented too. No one questions regarding the fallout of the sale if Jim-Laura chapter itself does not exist in the sales pitching.
Was there a contract to buy the automobile? Why?
As per my analysis there was no contract to buy the vehicle. There was definitely an offer made which the Jim-Laura agreed to but was not liable to comply, which is very much within norms of accepting a lucrative offer. This is further re-enforced by the fact that the salesman took an advance payment $100 against holding the model from being sold. If at all a mutual decision between the seller and buyer was there at all the payment would definitely be against the price of the car whose difference will be paid on taking delivery. An additional safe-net was agreed mutually to let know of the final decision.This is a clear indication that Stan has failed torecognize while going to contract with Jim-Laura that there was no final decision made nor expressed. If at all there was a decision to buy the vehicle there would have been no discussion of refund and definitely a generation of receipt for the sake of complete payment at delivery.
Lack of written contract does not in anyway nullify this mutuality and as per my analysis the couple has full rights to their refundable 100%. The event of Stan denying the refund is a clear indication of an after-thought plan devised to show his peers a sales have gone unrealised but should be compensated by the small refund.
The Jim-Laura couple is definitely in their rights to demand for the refund legally. They may present their case effectively as there was a clear and mutual understanding that the decision to buy a car was always pending and the payment exchanged was never an advance payment but just a token of assurance to keep the car model unsold for 24 hours. The couple has rightfully utilised their fall-out option and is fully eligible for the refund as promised.
2. Chris Goddard et.al , Basic Principals of Contract drafting, https://www.ulapland.fi/loader.aspx?id=60a15dd5-ebc6-4d06-a730-c363a4cf4327