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Law Notes Contracts Notes

Contracts Case Summaries Notes

Updated Contracts Case Summaries Notes

Contracts Notes


Approximately 33 pages

Concise outline of contract law, including charts....

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Case Framework Developed Stands for:
Addis Early case- no awarding of DMs for mental suffering. Ct neglected reasonable foreseeability and viewed emotional DMs as a strictly punitive matter.
AG v. Blake Novel case not yet fully adopted. Restitutionary DMs can be awarded w/o financial loss if P had legitimate interest in prevent D’s profit making activity and if breach is serious.
Anglia TV Wasted expenditure lost prior to K can be recovered if reasonably foreseeable but cannot be recovered in conjunction w/ loss of profits (either reliance or expectation- reliance if expectation is too speculative).
Bollenback Restitution is an appropriate remedy for good faith policies but it can only pay for losses incurred after K was breached.
Butler Presents alternative approach to battle of the forms in which all docs are examined to determine where there is agreement. Has not been adopted- offer and acceptance analysis prevails (last K = terms which are binding).
Byrne v. Leon Van Tienhoven Revocation is not binding until it is received bc party making offer has ability to control risk.
Carson v. Willits Difficulty in ascertaining DMs does not mean DMs are not awarded.
Co-operative Insurance Contrast to Tannenbaum – SP refused due to amount of enforcement required and potential unjust enrichment. Ct will not force D to continue uneconomic business.
Charter v. Sullivan Affirms Thompson- to show that a P has lost a sale, supply of the good must be greater demand.
Denton Broad def of acceptance but was later ltd in subsequent cases to point at which purchase is made.
Dickinson A promise (offer) is not binding. Unusual case in terms of def w/drawal- normally w/drawl must be clearly communicated.
Eliason Party making offer controls mode of acceptance (must be reasonable). If there is no acceptance = no K. No new terms can be added after K is accepted.
Empress Towers

Cts can imply terms into K to support business ease (policy).

Unusual to imply good faith, although they did here.

Application of postbox rule applies to new technology- rule does not apply bc of instantaneous nature of technology- acceptance is constituted when it is received; K is made where it is received. Typical of how cts interpret instantaneous communication.

-2 factors that must be met to determine if mental distress is foreseeable:

1) object of K was to secure psych benefit

2) degree of suffering is sufficient to warrant compensation

P can claim for mental distress is foreseeable and object of K is to secure psych benefit and suffering from breach warrants compensation. Expanding DMs for mental distress into field of expectation DMs in insurance K. No “indep actionable wrong” is necessary for DMs to be awarded for mental distress if it flowed from breach itself.
Finelli Affirms duty to mitigate- where a party repudiates or rescinds before K work has begun, P not entitled to recover cost of performing. Ct does not want to be involved in enforcing SP.
Foley Affirmation of looking to parties past conduct in determining certainty if K existed. Ct will consider intention of parties to read in terms into K in attempt to fill ambiguity in a K (here read in reasonable price).
Gilbert Steel Unless a K’al variation is supported by consideration, it is not enforceable. Application of precedent- consideration must be something of substance given and performance of original K is not adequate.
Groves Highlights ability of courts to award DMs for things of non-monetary value.

1. P can recover for consequences if they are reasonable foreseeable.

2. P can only recover for “special circumstances” arising from breach where those special circumstances were communicated to D.

Affirms “reasonable foreseeability” test in awarding DMs. Special circumstances resulting from breach must be communicated to D.
Hamer v. Sidway Consideration can be a detriment to promisee (neg covenant).
Hawkins Unusual case that shows analysis of expectation DMs.
Harris v. Watson Cts look at context of K and policy reasons to determine if there is consideration. Consideration is not enforceable if it is made under duress or will have negative policy implications.
Henthorn v. Fraser

-Postbox rule- if post is reasonable means of communicating acceptance, then acceptance is complete as soon its posted (not when it is received).

-Exceptions: when another mode of acceptance is specified or when post is not reasonable means of communicating K (other party needs to know K is formed thru post).

Classic application of postbox rule.
Horne Unusual case- narrow definition remoteness- communication of special circumstances insufficient unless there is express acceptance of allocation of risk,
Howell Securities v. Hughes Postbox rule does not apply to option K- acceptance occurs at reception. Option K are typically interpreted strictly by the cts in terms of correspondence and timeframe.
Hilias K will interp a K as existing if parties’ previous conduct shows it was operating as a K. Cts will make K for parties if K exists not in language of law but it is inferable.
Jarvis Where intangible DMs were reasonably foreseeable in breach and psych benefit was essential to K, compensation will be awarded.
Johnston Distinguishes an offer from a quotation of prices and invitation to treat- an offer must be complete w/details (quantity, availability, etc.).
Keays Limits Fiddler and Whiten. Only when employer acts in extreme bad faith will pun DMs be awarded.
Larkin Decision to accept or w/draw must be communicated to other party in order to be binding- policy reason- it makes parties accountable and reliable.
Lefkowitz An offer is constituted if it promises performance. Once made K cannot be w/drawn or altered.
Manchester Diocesan (1953) Offering party has right to dictate how acceptance is communicated in order to make K binding.
Manchester Diocesan (1969) Offer must...

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