Contract

A contract is a legally-binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement.[1] A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation.[2]

In the Anglo-American common law, formation of a contract generally requires an offer, acceptance, consideration, and a mutual intent to be bound. Each party must have capacity to enter the contract.[3] Although most oral contracts are binding, some types of contracts may require formalities such as being in writing or by deed.[4]

In the civil law tradition, contract law is a branch of the law of obligations.[5]

Formation

At common law, the elements of a contract are offer, acceptance, intention to create legal relations, consideration, and legality of both form and content.

Not all agreements are necessarily contractual, as the parties generally must be deemed to have an intention to be legally bound. A so-called gentlemen's agreement is one which is not intended to be legally enforceable, and "binding in honour only".[6][7][8]

Offer and acceptance

In order for a contract to be formed, the parties must reach mutual assent (also called a meeting of the minds). This is typically reached through offer and an acceptance which does not vary the offer's terms, which is known as the "mirror image rule". An offer is a definite statement of the offeror's willingness to be bound should certain conditions be met.[9] If a purported acceptance does vary the terms of an offer, it is not an acceptance but a counteroffer and, therefore, simultaneously a rejection of the original offer. The Uniform Commercial Code disposes of the mirror image rule in §2-207, although the UCC only governs transactions in goods in the USA. As a court cannot read minds, the intent of the parties is interpreted objectively from the perspective of a reasonable person,[10] as determined in the early English case of Smith v Hughes [1871]. It is important to note that where an offer specifies a particular mode of acceptance, only an acceptance communicated via that method will be valid.[11]

Contracts may be bilateral or unilateral. A bilateral contract is an agreement in which each of the parties to the contract makes a promise[12] or set of promises to each other. For example, in a contract for the sale of a home, the buyer promises to pay the seller $200,000 in exchange for the seller's promise to deliver title to the property. These common contracts take place in the daily flow of commerce transactions, and in cases with sophisticated or expensive precedent requirements, which are requirements that must be met for the contract to be fulfilled.

Less common are unilateral contracts in which one party makes a promise, but the other side does not promise anything. In these cases, those accepting the offer are not required to communicate their acceptance to the offeror. In a reward contract, for example, a person who has lost a dog could promise a reward if the dog is found, through publication or orally. The payment could be additionally conditioned on the dog being returned alive. Those who learn of the reward are not required to search for the dog, but if someone finds the dog and delivers it, the promisor is required to pay. In the similar case of advertisements of deals or bargains, a general rule is that these are not contractual offers but merely an "invitation to treat" (or bargain), but the applicability of this rule is disputed and contains various exceptions.[13] The High Court of Australia stated that the term unilateral contract is "unscientific and misleading".[14]

In certain circumstances, an implied contract may be created. A contract is implied in fact if the circumstances imply that parties have reached an agreement even though they have not done so expressly. For example, John Smith, a former lawyer may implicitly enter a contract by visiting a doctor and being examined; if the patient refuses to pay after being examined, the patient has breached a contract implied in fact. A contract which is implied in law is also called a quasi-contract, because it is not in fact a contract; rather, it is a means for the courts to remedy situations in which one party would be unjustly enriched were he or she not required to compensate the other. Quantum meruit claims are an example.

Invitation to treat

Where something is advertised in a newspaper or on a poster, the advertisement will not normally constitute an offer but will instead be an invitation to treat, an indication that one or both parties are prepared to negotiate a deal.[15][16][17]

Carbolic smoke ball co
The Carbolic Smoke Ball offer

An exception arises if the advertisement makes a unilateral promise, such as the offer of a reward, as in the famous case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co,[18] decided in nineteenth-century England. The company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, advertised a smoke ball that would, if sniffed "three times daily for two weeks", prevent users from catching the 'flu. If the smoke ball failed to prevent 'flu, the company promised that they would pay the user £100, adding that they had "deposited £1,000 in the Alliance Bank to show our sincerity in the matter". When Mrs Carlill sued for the money, the company argued the advert should not be taken as a serious, legally binding offer; instead it was a "mere puff"; but the Court of Appeal held that it would appear to a reasonable man that Carbolic had made a serious offer, and determined that the reward was a contractual promise.

Although an invitation to treat cannot be accepted, it should not be ignored, for it may nevertheless affect the offer. For instance, where an offer is made in response to an invitation to treat, the offer may incorporate the terms of the invitation to treat (unless the offer expressly incorporates different terms). If, as in the Boots case,[19] the offer is made by an action without any negotiations (such as presenting goods to a cashier), the offer will be presumed to be on the terms of the invitation to treat.

Auctions are governed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), where section 57(2) provides: “A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer announces its completion by the fall of the hammer, or in other customary manner. Until the announcement is made any bidder may retract his bid”.

Electronic contracts

Entry into contracts online has become common. Many jurisdictions have passed e-signature laws that have made the electronic contract and signature as legally valid as a paper contract.

In India, E-contracts are governed by the Indian Contract Act (1872), according to which certain conditions need to be fulfilled while formulating a valid contact. Certain sections in information Technology Act (2000) also provide for validity of online contract.[20]

In some U.S. states, email exchanges have become binding contracts. New York courts in 2016 held that the principles of real estate contracts to apply equally to electronic communications and electronic signatures, so long as “its contents and subscription meet all requirements of the governing statute” and pursuant to the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ESRA).[21]

Intention to be legally bound

In commercial agreements it is presumed that parties intend to be legally bound unless the parties expressly state the opposite as in a heads of agreement document. For example, in Rose & Frank Co v JR Crompton & Bros Ltd an agreement between two business parties was not enforced because an 'honour clause' in the document stated "this is not a commercial or legal agreement, but is only a statement of the intention of the parties".

In contrast, domestic and social agreements such as those between children and parents are typically unenforceable on the basis of public policy. For example, in the English case Balfour v. Balfour a husband agreed to give his wife £30 a month while he was away from home, but the court refused to enforce the agreement when the husband stopped paying. In contrast, in Merritt v Merritt the court enforced an agreement between an estranged couple because the circumstances suggested their agreement was intended to have legal consequences.

Consideration

A concept of English common law, consideration is required for simple contracts but not for special contracts (contracts by deed). The court in Currie v Misa [22] declared consideration to be a “Right, Interest, Profit, Benefit, or Forbearance, Detriment, Loss, Responsibility”. Thus, consideration is a promise of something of value given by a promissor in exchange for something of value given by a promisee; and typically the thing of value is goods, money, or an act. Forbearance to act, such as an adult promising to refrain from smoking, is enforceable only if one is thereby surrendering a legal right.[23][24][25]

In Dunlop v. Selfridge Lord Dunedin adopted Pollack's metaphor of purchase and sale to explain consideration. He called consideration 'the price for which the promise of the other is bought'.[26]

In colonial times, the concept of consideration was exported to many common law countries, but it is unknown in Scotland and in civil law jurisdictions.[27] Roman law-based systems[28] neither require nor recognise consideration, and some commentators have suggested that consideration be abandoned, and estoppel be used to replace it as a basis for contracts.[29] However, legislation, rather than judicial development, has been touted as the only way to remove this entrenched common law doctrine. Lord Justice Denning famously stated that "The doctrine of consideration is too firmly fixed to be overthrown by a side-wind."[30] In the United States, the emphasis has shifted to the process of bargaining as exemplified by Hamer v. Sidway (1891).

Courts will typically not weigh the "adequacy" of consideration provided the consideration is determined to be "sufficient", with sufficiency defined as meeting the test of law, whereas "adequacy" is the subjective fairness or equivalence. For instance, agreeing to sell a car for a penny may constitute a binding contract[31] (although if the transaction is an attempt to avoid tax, it will be treated by the tax authority as though a market price had been paid).[32] Parties may do this for tax purposes, attempting to disguise gift transactions as contracts. This is known as the peppercorn rule, but in some jurisdictions, the penny may constitute legally insufficient nominal consideration. An exception to the rule of adequacy is money, whereby a debt must always be paid in full for "accord and satisfaction".[33][34][35][36]

However, consideration must be given as part of entering the contract, not prior as in past consideration. For example, in the early English case of Eastwood v. Kenyon [1840], the guardian of a young girl took out a loan to educate her. After she was married, her husband promised to pay the debt but the loan was determined to be past consideration. The insufficiency of past consideration is related to the preexisting duty rule. In the early English case of Stilk v. Myrick [1809], a captain promised to divide the wages of two deserters among the remaining crew if they agreed to sail home short-handed; however, this promise was found unenforceable as the crew were already contracted to sail the ship. The preexisting duty rule also extends to general legal duties; for example, a promise to refrain from committing a tort or crime is not sufficient.[37]

Capacity

Sometimes the capacity of either natural or artificial persons to either enforce contracts, or have contracts enforced against them is restricted. For instance, very small children may not be held to bargains they have made, on the assumption that they lack the maturity to understand what they are doing; errant employees or directors may be prevented from contracting for their company, because they have acted ultra vires (beyond their power). Another example might be people who are mentally incapacitated, either by disability or drunkenness.[38]

Each contractual party must be a "competent person" having legal capacity. The parties may be natural persons ("individuals") or juristic persons ("corporations"). An agreement is formed when an "offer" is accepted. The parties must have an intention to be legally bound; and to be valid, the agreement must have both proper "form" and a lawful object. In England (and in jurisdictions using English contract principles), the parties must also exchange "consideration" to create a "mutuality of obligation," as in Simpkins v Pays.[39]

In the United States, persons under 18 are typically minor and their contracts are considered voidable; however, if the minor voids the contract, benefits received by the minor must be returned. The minor can enforce breaches of contract by an adult while the adult's enforcement may be more limited under the bargain principle. Promissory estoppel or unjust enrichment may be available, but generally are not.

Formalities and writing requirements for some contracts

A contract is often evidenced in writing or by deed, the general rule is that a person who signs a contractual document will be bound by the terms in that document, this rule is referred to as the rule in L'Estrange v Graucob.[40] This rule is approved by the High Court of Australia in Toll(FGCT) Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd.[41] But a valid contract may (with some exceptions) be made orally or even by conduct.[42] Remedies for breach of contract include damages (monetary compensation for loss)[43] and, for serious breaches only, repudiation (i.e. cancellation).[44] The equitable remedy of specific performance, enforceable through an injunction, may be available if damages are insufficient.

Typically, contracts are oral or written, but written contracts have typically been preferred in common law legal systems;[45] in 1677 England passed the Statute of Frauds which influenced similar statute of frauds laws[46] in the United States and other countries such as Australia.[47] In general, the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in the United States requires a written contract for tangible product sales in excess of $500, and real estate contracts are required to be written. If the contract is not required by law to be written, an oral contract is valid and therefore legally binding.[48] The United Kingdom has since replaced the original Statute of Frauds, but written contracts are still required for various circumstances such as land (through the Law of Property Act 1925).

An oral contract may also be called a parol contract or a verbal contract, with "verbal" meaning "spoken" rather than "in words", an established usage in British English with regards to contracts and agreements,[49] and common although somewhat deprecated as "loose" in American English.[50]

If a contract is in a written form, and somebody signs it, then the signer is typically bound by its terms regardless of whether they have actually read it [40][41] provided the document is contractual in nature.[51] However, affirmative defenses such as duress or unconscionability may enable the signer to avoid the obligation. Further, reasonable notice of a contract's terms must be given to the other party prior to their entry into the contract.[52][53]

An unwritten, unspoken contract, also known as "a contract implied by the acts of the parties", which can be either an implied-in-fact contract or implied-in-law contract, may also be legally binding. Implied-in-fact contracts are real contracts under which the parties receive the "benefit of the bargain".[54] However, contracts implied in law are also known as quasi-contracts, and the remedy is quantum meruit, the fair market value of goods or services rendered.

Contract terms: construction and interpretation

A contractual term is "an[y] provision forming part of a contract".[55] Each term gives rise to a contractual obligation, breach of which can give rise to litigation. Not all terms are stated expressly and some terms carry less legal weight as they are peripheral to the objectives of the contract.

Uncertainty, incompleteness and severance

If the terms of the contract are uncertain or incomplete, the parties cannot have reached an agreement in the eyes of the law.[56] An agreement to agree does not constitute a contract, and an inability to agree on key issues, which may include such things as price or safety, may cause the entire contract to fail. However, a court will attempt to give effect to commercial contracts where possible, by construing a reasonable construction of the contract.[57] In New South Wales, even if there is uncertainty or incompleteness in a contract, the contract may still be binding on the parties if there is a sufficiently certain and complete clause requiring the parties to undergo arbitration, negotiation or mediation.[58]

Courts may also look to external standards, which are either mentioned explicitly in the contract[59] or implied by common practice in a certain field.[60] In addition, the court may also imply a term; if price is excluded, the court may imply a reasonable price, with the exception of land, and second-hand goods, which are unique.

If there are uncertain or incomplete clauses in the contract, and all options in resolving its true meaning have failed, it may be possible to sever and void just those affected clauses if the contract includes a severability clause. The test of whether a clause is severable is an objective test—whether a reasonable person would see the contract standing even without the clauses. Typically, non-severable contracts only require the substantial performance of a promise rather than the whole or complete performance of a promise to warrant payment. However, express clauses may be included in a non-severable contract to explicitly require the full performance of an obligation.[61]

Classification of terms

Contractual terms[62] are classified differently depending upon the context or jurisdiction. Terms establish conditions precedent. English (but not necessarily non-English) common law distinguishes between important conditions and warranties, with a breach of a condition by one party allowing the other to repudiate and be discharged while a warranty allows for remedies and damages but not complete discharge.[63][64] Whether or not a term is a condition is determined in part by the parties' intent.[64][65]

In a less technical sense, however, a condition is a generic term and a warranty is a promise.[63] Not all language in the contract is determined to be a contractual term. Representations, which are often precontractual, are typically less strictly enforced than terms, and material misrepresentations historically was a cause of action for the tort of deceit. Warranties were enforced regardless of materiality; in modern United States law the distinction is less clear but warranties may be enforced more strictly.[66] Statements of opinion may be viewed as "mere puff".

In specific circumstances these terms are used differently. For example, in English insurance law, violation of a "condition precedent" by an insured is a complete defense against the payment of claims.[67]:160 In general insurance law, a warranty is a promise that must be complied with.[67] In product transactions, warranties promise that the product will continue to function for a certain period of time.

In the United Kingdom the courts determine whether a term is a condition or warranty; for example, an actress' obligation to perform the opening night of a theatrical production is a condition,[68] but a singer's obligation to rehearse may be a warranty.[69] Statute may also declare a term or nature of term to be a condition or warranty; for example the Sale of Goods Act 1979 s15A[70] provides that terms as to title, description, quality and sample are generally conditions. The United Kingdom has also contrived the concept of an "intermediate term" (also called innominate), first established in Hong Kong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd [1962].

Representations versus warranties

Statements of fact in a contract or in obtaining the contract are considered to be either warranties or representations. Traditionally, warranties are factual promises which are enforced through a contract legal action, regardless of materiality, intent, or reliance.[66] Representations are traditionally precontractual statements which allow for a tort-based action (such as the tort of deceit) if the misrepresentation is negligent or fraudulent;[71] historically a tort was the only action available, but by 1778, breach of warranty became a separate legal contractual action.[66] In U.S. law, the distinction between the two is somewhat unclear;[66] warranties are viewed as primarily contract-based legal action while negligent or fraudulent misrepresentations are tort-based, but there is a confusing mix of case law in the United States.[66] In modern English law, sellers often avoid using the term 'represents' in order to avoid claims under the Misrepresentation Act 1967, while in America 'warrants and represents' is relatively common.[72] Some modern commentators suggest avoiding the words and substituting 'state' or 'agree', and some model forms do not use the words;[71] however, others disagree.[73]

Statements in a contract may not be upheld if the court finds that the statements are subjective or promotional puffery. English courts may weigh the emphasis or relative knowledge in determining whether a statement is enforceable as part of the contract. In the English case of Bannerman v White[74] the court upheld a rejection by a buyer of hops which had been treated with sulphur since the buyer explicitly expressed the importance of this requirement. The relative knowledge of the parties may also be a factor, as in English case of Bissett v Wilkinson[75] where the court did not find misrepresentation when a seller said that farmland being sold would carry 2000 sheep if worked by one team; the buyer was considered sufficiently knowledgeable to accept or reject the seller's opinion.

Standard terms and contracts of adhesion

Standard form contracts contain "boilerplate", which is a set of "one size fits all" contract provisions. However, the term may also narrowly refer to conditions at the end of the contract which specify the governing law provision, venue, assignment and delegation, waiver of jury trial, notice, and force majeure. Restrictive provisions in contracts where the consumer has little negotiating power ("contracts of adhesion") attract consumer protection scrutiny.

Implied terms

A term may either be express or implied[76]. An express term is stated by the parties during negotiation or written in a contractual document. Implied terms are not stated but nevertheless form a provision of the contract.

Terms implied in fact

Terms may be implied due to the factual circumstances or conduct of the parties. In the case of BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v Shire of Hastings,[54] the UK Privy Council, on appeal from Australia, proposed a five-stage test to determine situations where the facts of a case may imply terms. The classic tests have been the "business efficacy test" and the "officious bystander test". Under the "business efficacy test" first proposed in The Moorcock [1889], the minimum terms necessary to give business efficacy to the contract will be implied. Under the officious bystander test (named in Southern Foundries (1926) Ltd v Shirlaw [1940] but actually originating in Reigate v. Union Manufacturing Co (Ramsbottom) Ltd [1918]), a term can only be implied in fact if an "officious bystander" listening to the contract negotiations suggested that the term be included the parties would promptly agree. The difference between these tests is questionable.

Terms implied in law

Statutes or judicial rulings may create implied contractual terms, particularly in standardized relationships such as employment or shipping contracts. The Uniform Commercial Code of the United States also imposes an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in performance and enforcement of contracts covered by the Code. In addition, Australia, Israel and India imply a similar good faith term through laws.

In England, some contracts (insurance and partnerships) require utmost good faith, while others may require good faith (employment contracts and agency). Most English contracts do not need any good faith, provided that the law is met. There is, however, an overarching concept of "legitimate expectation".

Most countries have statutes which deal directly with sale of goods, lease transactions, and trade practices. In the United States, prominent examples include, in the case of products, an implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and in the case of homes an implied warranty of habitability.

In the United Kingdom, implied terms may be created by:

Terms implied by custom

A term may be implied on the basis of custom or usage in a particular market or context. In the Australian case of Con-Stan Industries of Australia Pty Ltd v Norwich Winterthur (Aust) Limited,[80] the requirements for a term to be implied by custom were set out. For a term to be implied by custom it needs to be "so well known and acquiesced in that everyone making a contract in that situation can reasonably be presumed to have imported that term into the contract".[80]:paras 8–9

Third parties

The common law doctrine of privity of contract provides that only those who are party to a contract may sue or be sued on it.[81][82] The leading case of Tweddle v Atkinson [1861] [83] immediately showed that the doctrine had the effect of defying the intent of the parties. In maritime law, the cases of Scruttons v Midland Silicones [1962] [84] and N.Z. Shipping v Satterthwaite [1975],[85] established how third parties could gain the protection of limitation clauses within a bill of lading. Some common law exceptions such as agency, assignment and negligence allowed some circumvention of privity rules,[86] but the unpopular[87] doctrine remained intact until it was amended by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 which provides:[88]

A person who is not a party to a contract (a “third party”) may in his own right enforce a contract if:

(a) the contract expressly provides that he may, or

(b) the contract purports to confer a benefit on him.

Performance

Performance varies according to the particular circumstances. While a contract is being performed, it is called an executory contract, and when it is completed it is an executed contract. In some cases there may be substantial performance but not complete performance, which allows the performing party to be partially compensated.

Defenses

Vitiating factors constituting defences to purported contract formation include:

Such defenses operate to determine whether a purported contract is either (1) void or (2) voidable. Void contracts cannot be ratified by either party. Voidable contracts can be ratified.

Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation means a false statement of fact made by one party to another party and has the effect of inducing that party into the contract. For example, under certain circumstances, false statements or promises made by a seller of goods regarding the quality or nature of the product that the seller has may constitute misrepresentation. A finding of misrepresentation allows for a remedy of rescission and sometimes damages depending on the type of misrepresentation.

There are two types of misrepresentation: fraud in the factum and fraud in inducement. Fraud in the factum focuses on whether the party alleging misrepresentation knew they were creating a contract. If the party did not know that they were entering into a contract, there is no meeting of the minds, and the contract is void. Fraud in inducement focuses on misrepresentation attempting to get the party to enter into the contract. Misrepresentation of a material fact (if the party knew the truth, that party would not have entered into the contract) makes a contract voidable.

According to Gordon v Selico [1986] it is possible to misrepresent either by words or conduct. Generally, statements of opinion or intention are not statements of fact in the context of misrepresentation.[75] If one party claims specialist knowledge on the topic discussed, then it is more likely for the courts to hold a statement of opinion by that party as a statement of fact.[90]

It is a fallacy that an opinion cannot be a statement of fact. If a statement is the honest expression of an opinion honestly entertained, it cannot be said that it involves any fraudulent misrepresentations of fact.[91]

Remedies for misrepresentation. Rescission is the principal remedy and damages are also available if a tort is established. In order to obtain relief, there must be a positive misrepresentation of law and also, the representee must have been misled by and relied on this misrepresentation:Public Trustee v Taylor.[92]

Mistake

A mistake is an incorrect understanding by one or more parties to a contract and may be used as grounds to invalidate the agreement. Common law has identified three types of mistake in contract: common mistake, mutual mistake, and unilateral mistake.

  • Common mistake occurs when both parties hold the same mistaken belief of the facts. This is demonstrated in the case of Bell v. Lever Brothers Ltd.,[93] which established that common mistake can only void a contract if the mistake of the subject-matter was sufficiently fundamental to render its identity different from what was contracted, making the performance of the contract impossible.[94] In Great Peace Shipping Ltd v Tsavliris Salvage (International) Ltd, the court held that the common law will grant relief against common mistake, if the test in Bell v. Lever Bros Ltd is made out.[95] If one party has knowledge and the other does not, and the party with the knowledge promises or guarantees the existence of the subject matter, that party will be in breach if the subject matter does not exist.[96]
  • Mutual mistake occurs when both parties of a contract are mistaken as to the terms. Each believes they are contracting to something different. Courts usually try to uphold such mistakes if a reasonable interpretation of the terms can be found. However, a contract based on a mutual mistake in judgment does not cause the contract to be voidable by the party that is adversely affected. See Raffles v Wichelhaus.[97]
  • Unilateral mistake occurs when only one party to a contract is mistaken as to the terms or subject-matter. The courts will uphold such a contract unless it was determined that the non-mistaken party was aware of the mistake and tried to take advantage of the mistake.[98][99] It is also possible for a contract to be void if there was a mistake in the identity of the contracting party. An example is in Lewis v Avery[100] where Lord Denning MR held that the contract can only be voided if the plaintiff can show that, at the time of agreement, the plaintiff believed the other party's identity was of vital importance. A mere mistaken belief as to the credibility of the other party is not sufficient.

Duress and undue influence

Duress has been defined as a "threat of harm made to compel a person to do something against his or her will or judgment; esp., a wrongful threat made by one person to compel a manifestation of seeming assent by another person to a transaction without real volition."[101] An example is in Barton v Armstrong [1976] in a person was threatened with death if they did not sign the contract. An innocent party wishing to set aside a contract for duress to the person need only to prove that the threat was made and that it was a reason for entry into the contract; the burden of proof then shifts to the other party to prove that the threat had no effect in causing the party to enter into the contract. There can also be duress to goods and sometimes, 'economic duress'.

Undue influence is an equitable doctrine that involves one person taking advantage of a position of power over another person through a special relationship such as between parent and child or solicitor and client. As an equitable doctrine, the court has discretion. When no special relationship exists, the question is whether there was a relationship of such trust and confidence that it should give rise to such a presumption.[102][103][104]

Unconscionable dealing

In Australian law, a contract can be set aside due to unconscionable dealing.[105][106] Firstly, the claimant must show that they were under a special disability, the test for this being that they were unable to act in their best interest. Secondly, the claimant must show that the defendant took advantage of this special disability[107].[105]

Illegal contracts

If based on an illegal purpose or contrary to public policy, a contract is void. In the 1996 Canadian case of Royal Bank of Canada v. Newell[108] a woman forged her husband's signature, and her husband signed agreed to assume "all liability and responsibility" for the forged checks. However, the agreement was unenforceable as it was intended to "stifle a criminal prosecution", and the bank was forced to return the payments made by the husband.

In the U.S., one unusual type of unenforceable contract is a personal employment contract to work as a spy or secret agent. This is because the very secrecy of the contract is a condition of the contract (in order to maintain plausible deniability). If the spy subsequently sues the government on the contract over issues like salary or benefits, then the spy has breached the contract by revealing its existence. It is thus unenforceable on that ground, as well as the public policy of maintaining national security (since a disgruntled agent might try to reveal all the government's secrets during his/her lawsuit).[109] Other types of unenforceable employment contracts include contracts agreeing to work for less than minimum wage and forfeiting the right to workman's compensation in cases where workman's compensation is due.

Remedies for defendant on defenses

Setting aside the contract

There can be four different ways in which contracts can be set aside. A contract may be deemed 'void', 'voidable', 'unenforceable' or 'ineffective'. Voidness implies that a contract never came into existence. Voidability implies that one or both parties may declare a contract ineffective at their wish. Kill fees are paid by magazine publishers to authors when their articles are submitted on time but are subsequently not used for publication. When this occurs, the magazine cannot claim copyright for the "killed" assignment. Unenforceability implies that neither party may have recourse to a court for a remedy. Ineffectiveness implies that the contract terminates by order of a court where a public body has failed to satisfy public procurement law. To rescind is to set aside or unmake a contract.

Disputes

Procedure

In many countries, in order to obtain damages for breach of contract or to obtain specific performance or other equitable relief, the aggrieved injured party may file a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit in court.[110]

In England and Wales, a contract may be enforced by use of a claim, or in urgent cases by applying for an interim injunction to prevent a breach. Likewise, in the United States, an aggrieved party may apply for injunctive relief to prevent a threatened breach of contract, where such breach would result in irreparable harm that could not be adequately remedied by money damages.[111]

Arbitration

If the contract contains a valid arbitration clause then, prior to filing a lawsuit, the aggrieved party must submit an arbitration claim in accordance with the procedures set forth in the clause. Many contracts provide that all disputes arising thereunder will be resolved by arbitration, rather than litigated in courts.

Arbitration judgments may generally be enforced in the same manner as ordinary court judgments, and are recognized and enforceable internationally under the New York Convention, which has 156 parties. However, in New York Convention states, arbitral decisions are generally immune unless there is a showing that the arbitrator's decision was irrational or tainted by fraud.[112]

Some arbitration clauses are not enforceable, and in other cases arbitration may not be sufficient to resolve a legal dispute. For example, disputes regarding validity of registered IP rights may need to be resolved by a public body within the national registration system.[113] For matters of significant public interest that go beyond the narrow interests of the parties to the agreement, such as claims that a party violated a contract by engaging in illegal anti-competitive conduct or committed civil rights violations, a court might find that the parties may litigate some or all of their claims even before completing a contractually agreed arbitration process.[114]

In the United States, thirty-five states (notably not including New York)[115] and the District of Columbia have adopted the Uniform Arbitration Act to facilitate the enforcement of arbitrated judgments.[116]

Customer claims against securities brokers and dealers are almost always resolved pursuant to contractual arbitration clauses, because securities dealers are required under the terms of their membership in self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the NASD) or NYSE to arbitrate disputes with their customers. The firms then began including arbitration agreements in their customer agreements, requiring their customers to arbitrate disputes.[117][118]

Choice of law

When a contract dispute arises between parties that are in different jurisdictions, law that is applicable to a contract is dependent on the conflict of laws analysis by the court where the breach of contract action is filed In the absence of a choice of law clause, the court will normally apply either the law of the forum or the law of the jurisdiction that has the strongest connection to the subject matter of the contract. A choice of law clause allows the parties to agree in advance that their contract will be interpreted under the laws of a specific jurisdiction.[119]

Within the United States, choice of law clauses are generally enforceable, although exceptions based upon public policy may at times apply.[120] Within the European Union, even when the parties have negotiated a choice of law clause, conflict of law issues may be governed by the Rome I Regulation.[121]

Choice of forum

Many contracts contain a forum selection clause setting out where disputes in relation to the contract should be litigated. The clause may be general, requiring that any case arising from the contract be filed within a specific state or country, or it may require that a case be filed in a specific court. For example, a choice of forum clause may require that a case be filed in the U.S. State of California, or it may require more specifically that the case be filed in the Superior Court for Los Angeles County.

A choice of law or venue is not necessarily binding upon a court. Based upon an analysis of the laws, rules of procedure and public policy of the state and court in which the case was filed, a court that is identified by the clause may find that it should not exercise jurisdiction, or a court in a different jurisdiction or venue may find that the litigation may proceed despite the clause[122]. As part of that analysis, a court may examine whether the clause conforms with the formal requirements of the jurisdiction in which the case was filed (in some jurisdictions a choice of forum or choice of venue clause only limits the parties if the word "exclusive" is explicitly included in the clause). Some jurisdictions will not accept an action that has no connection to the court that was chosen, and others will not enforce a choice of venue clause when they consider themselves to be a more convenient forum for the litigation.[123]

Some contracts are governed by multilateral instruments that require a non-chosen courts to dismiss cases, and require the recognition of judgements made by courts having jurisdiction based on a choice of court clause. For example, the Brussels regime instruments (31 European states) and the Hague Choice of Court Agreements Convention (European Union, Mexico, Montenegro, Singapore), as well as several instruments related to a specific area of law, may require courts to enforce and recognize choice of law clauses and foreign judgments.

Remedies

In the United Kingdom, breach of contract is defined in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 as: [i] non-performance, [ ii] poor performance, [iii] part-performance, or [iv] performance which is substantially different from what was reasonably expected. Innocent parties may repudiate (cancel) the contract only for a major breach (breach of condition),[124][125] but they may always recover compensatory damages, provided that the breach has caused foreseeable loss.

It was not possible to sue the Crown in the UK for breach of contract before 1948. However, it was appreciated that contractors might be reluctant to deal on such a basis and claims were entertained under a petition of right that needed to be endorsed by the Home Secretary and Attorney-General. S.1 Crown Proceedings Act 1947 opened the Crown to ordinary contractual claims through the courts as for any other person.

Damages

There are several different types of damages.

  • Compensatory damages, which are given to the party which was detrimented by the breach of contract. With compensatory damages, there are two heads of loss, consequential damage and direct damage.
  • Liquidated damages are an estimate of loss agreed to in the contract, so that the court avoids calculating compensatory damages and the parties have greater certainty. Liquidated damages clauses may be called "penalty clauses" in ordinary language, but the law distinguishes between liquidated damages (legitimate) and penalties (invalid). A test for determining which category a clause falls into was established by the English House of Lords in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Co Ltd[126]
  • Nominal damages consist of a small cash amount where the court concludes that the defendant is in breach but the plaintiff has suffered no quantifiable pecuniary loss, and may be sought to obtain a legal record of who was at fault.
  • Punitive or exemplary damages are used to punish the party at fault; but even though such damages are not intended primarily to compensate, nevertheless the claimant (and not the state) receives the award. Exemplary damages are not recognised nor permitted in some jurisdictions. In the UK, exemplary damages are not available for breach of contract, but are possible after fraud. Although vitiating factors (such as misrepresentation, mistake, undue influence and duress) relate to contracts, they are not contractual actions, and so, in a roundabout way, a claimant in contract may be able to get exemplary damages.

Compensatory damages compensate the plaintiff for actual losses suffered as accurately as possible. They may be "expectation damages", "reliance damages" or "restitutionary damages". Expectation damages are awarded to put the party in as good of a position as the party would have been in had the contract been performed as promised.[127] Reliance damages are usually awarded where no reasonably reliable estimate of expectation loss can be arrived at or at the option of the plaintiff. Reliance losses cover expense suffered in reliance to the promise. Examples where reliance damages have been awarded because profits are too speculative include the Australian case of McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission[96] which concerned a contract for the rights to salvage a ship. In Anglia Television Ltd v. Reed[128] the English Court of Appeal awarded the plaintiff expenditures incurred prior to the contract in preparation of performance.

After a breach has occurred, the innocent party has a duty to mitigate loss by taking any reasonable steps. Failure to mitigate means that damages may be reduced or even denied altogether.[129] However, Professor Michael Furmston [130] has argued that "it is wrong to express (the mitigation) rule by stating that the plaintiff is under a duty to mitigate his loss",[131] citing Sotiros Shipping Inc v Sameiet, The Solholt.[132] If a party provides notice that the contract will not be completed, an anticipatory breach occurs.

Damages may be general or consequential. General damages are those damages which naturally flow from a breach of contract. Consequential damages are those damages which, although not naturally flowing from a breach, are naturally supposed by both parties at the time of contract formation. An example would be when someone rents a car to get to a business meeting, but when that person arrives to pick up the car, it is not there. General damages would be the cost of renting a different car. Consequential damages would be the lost business if that person was unable to get to the meeting, if both parties knew the reason the party was renting the car. However, there is still a duty to mitigate the losses. The fact that the car was not there does not give the party a right to not attempt to rent another car.

To recover damages, a claimant must show that the breach of contract caused foreseeable loss.[43][133] Hadley v Baxendale established that the test of foreseeability is both objective or subjective. In other words, is it foreseeable to the objective bystander, or to the contracting parties, who may have special knowledge? On the facts of this case, where a miller lost production because a carrier delayed taking broken mill parts for repair, the court held that no damages were payable since the loss was foreseeable neither by the "reasonable man" nor by the carrier, both of whom would have expected the miller to have a spare part in store.

Specific performance

There may be circumstances in which it would be unjust to permit the defaulting party simply to buy out the injured party with damages. For example, where an art collector purchases a rare painting and the vendor refuses to deliver, the collector's damages would be equal to the sum paid.

The court may make an order of what is called "specific performance", requiring that the contract be performed. In some circumstances a court will order a party to perform his or her promise (an order of "specific performance") or issue an order, known as an "injunction", that a party refrain from doing something that would breach the contract. A specific performance is obtainable for the breach of a contract to sell land or real estate on such grounds that the property has a unique value. In the United States by way of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, specific performance in personal service contracts is only legal "as punishment for a crime whereof the criminal shall be dully convicted."[134]

Both an order for specific performance and an injunction are discretionary remedies, originating for the most part in equity. Neither is available as of right and in most jurisdictions and most circumstances a court will not normally order specific performance. A contract for the sale of real property is a notable exception. In most jurisdictions, the sale of real property is enforceable by specific performance. Even in this case the defenses to an action in equity (such as laches, the bona fide purchaser rule, or unclean hands) may act as a bar to specific performance.

Related to orders for specific performance, an injunction may be requested when the contract prohibits a certain action. Action for injunction would prohibit the person from performing the act specified in the contract.

History

Whilst early rules of trade and barter have existed since ancient times, modern laws of contract in the West are traceable from the industrial revolution (1750 onwards), when increasing numbers worked in factories for a cash wage. In particular, the growing strength of the British economy and the adaptability and flexibility of the English common law led to a swift development of English[135] contract law, while the more rigid civil law in Europe lagged behind.[136] Colonies within the British empire (including the USA and the Dominions) would adopt the law of the mother country. Civil law countries (especially Germany) later developed their own brand of contract law. In the 20th century, the growth of export trade led to countries adopting international conventions, such as the Hague-Visby Rules and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods,[137] to promote uniform regulations.

Bill of sale Louvre AO3765
Bill of sale of a male slave and a building in Shuruppak, Sumerian tablet, circa 2600 BC

Contract law is based on the principle expressed in the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda, ( "agreements must be kept").[138] The common law of contract originated with the now-defuct writ of assumpsit, which was originally a tort action based on reliance.[139] Contract law falls within the general law of obligations, along with tort, unjust enrichment, and restitution.[140]

Jurisdictions vary in their principles of freedom of contract. In common law jurisdictions such as England and the United States, a high degree of freedom is the norm. For example, in American law, it was determined in the 1901 case of Hurley v. Eddingfield that a physician was permitted to deny treatment to a patient despite the lack of other available medical assistance and the patient's subsequent death.[141] This is in contrast to the civil law, which typically applies certain overarching principles to disputes arising out of contract, as in the French Civil Code. Other legal systems such as Islamic law, socialist legal systems, and customary law have their own variations.

However, in both the European union and the United States, the need to prevent discrimination has eroded the full extent of freedom of contract. Legislation governing equality, equal pay, racial discrimination, disability discrimination and so on, has imposed limits of the full freedom of contract.[142] For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 restricted private racial discrimination against African-Americans.[143] In the early 20th century the United States underwent the "Lochner era", in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down economic regulations on the basis of freedom of contract and the Due Process Clause; these decisions were eventually overturned and the Supreme Court established a deference to legislative statutes and regulations which restrict freedom of contract.[142] The U.S. Constitution contains a Contract Clause, but this has been interpreted as only restricting the retroactive impairment of contracts.[142]

Commercial use

Contracts are widely used in commercial law, and form the legal foundation for transactions across the world. Common examples include contracts for the sale of services and goods (both wholesale and retail), construction contracts, contracts of carriage, software licenses, employment contracts, insurance policies, sale or lease of land, and various other uses.

Although the European Union is fundamentally an economic community with a range of trade rules, there is no overarching "EU Law of Contract". In 1993, Harvey McGregor, a British barrister and academic, produced a "Contract Code" under the auspices of the English and Scottish Law Commissions, which was a proposal to both unify and codify the contract laws of England and Scotland. This document was offered as a possible "Contract Code for Europe", but tensions between English and German jurists meant that this proposal has so far come to naught.[144]

Contract theory

Contract theory is the body of legal theory that addresses normative and conceptual questions in contract law. One of the most important questions asked in contract theory is why contracts are enforced. One prominent answer to this question focuses on the economic benefits of enforcing bargains. Another approach, associated with Charles Fried, maintains that the purpose of contract law is to enforce promises. This theory is developed in Fried's book, Contract as Promise. Other approaches to contract theory are found in the writings of legal realists and critical legal studies theorists.

More generally, writers have propounded Marxist and feminist interpretations of contract. Attempts at overarching understandings of the purpose and nature of contract as a phenomenon have been made, notably relational contract theory originally developed by U.S. contracts scholars Ian Roderick Macneil and Stewart Macaulay, building at least in part on the contract theory work of U.S. scholar Lon L. Fuller, while U.S. scholars have been at the forefront of developing economic theories of contract focussing on questions of transaction cost and so-called 'efficient breach' theory.

Another dimension of the theoretical debate in contract is its place within, and relationship to a wider law of obligations. Obligations have traditionally been divided into contracts, which are voluntarily undertaken and owed to a specific person or persons, and obligations in tort which are based on the wrongful infliction of harm to certain protected interests, primarily imposed by the law, and typically owed to a wider class of persons.

Recently it has been accepted that there is a third category, restitutionary obligations, based on the unjust enrichment of the defendant at the plaintiff's expense. Contractual liability, reflecting the constitutive function of contract, is generally for failing to make things better (by not rendering the expected performance), liability in tort is generally for action (as opposed to omission) making things worse, and liability in restitution is for unjustly taking or retaining the benefit of the plaintiff's money or work.[145]

The common law describes the circumstances under which the law will recognise the existence of rights, privilege or power arising out of a promise.

Gallery

Chinese Slave trade

A contract from the Tang dynasty that records the purchase of a 15-year-old slave for six bolts of plain silk and five Chinese coins

Heiratsbrief Gottfried Werner von Zimmern Apollonia von Henneberg 1521 img02

German marriage contract, 1521 between Gottfried Werner von Zimmern and Apollonia von Henneberg-Römhild

Insurance Contact 2

Thomas Boylston to Thomas Jefferson, May 1786, Maritime Insurance Premiums

Insurance contract

Fire insurance contract of 1796

See also

By country

Notes

  1. ^ Ryan, Fergus (2006). Round Hall nutshells Contract Law. Thomson Round Hall. p. 1. ISBN 9781858001715.
  2. ^ "Case Note - Contract Law - Rule of Law Institute of Australia". Rule of Law Institute of Australia. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  3. ^ "Contracts". www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  4. ^ In England, contracts of employment must be in writing (Employment Rights Act 1996); and contracts for the sale of land, and most leases, must be completed by deed. (Law of Property Act 1925).
  5. ^ This category of "obligations" is essentially a fusion of contract and tort, and while cases such as Junior Books Ltd v Veitchi Co Ltd promoted this idea, it has fallen out of favour in English legal circles.
  6. ^ Rose & Frank Co. v JR Crompton & Bros Ltd. [1923] 2 K.B. 261, 273 (Bailhache J). Westlaw.
  7. ^ Appleson v Littlewoods 1939 & Jones v Vernons Pools 1938.
  8. ^ Case summaries [1]
  9. ^ Enright, Máiréad (2007). Principles of Irish Contract Law. Clarus Press.
  10. ^ DiMatteo L. (1997). The Counterpoise of Contracts: The Reasonable Person Standard and the Subjectivity of Judgment. South Carolina Law Review.
  11. ^ George Hudson Holdings Ltd v Rudder (1973) 128 CLR 387 [1973] HCA 10, High Court (Australia).
  12. ^ promise legal definition of promise. promise synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary
  13. ^ Feinman JM, Brill SR. (2006). Is an Advertisement an Offer? Why it is, and Why it Matters. Hastings Law Journal.
  14. ^ Wilmot et al, 2009, Contract Law, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, page 34
  15. ^ Partridge v Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204
  16. ^ Harris v Nickerson (1873) LR8QB 286
  17. ^ Household Fire Insurance v Grant 1879
  18. ^ Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [1892] EWCA Civ 1, [1893] 2 QB 256, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  19. ^ Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v. Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd, 1953, 1 Q.B. 401
  20. ^ Linstone, Harold A. (9 April 2013). "Understanding Electronic Contracts - The Indian Law of Contract" (PDF). Nalsar Pro. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Stonehill Capital Management LLC v. Bank of the West, 28 NY 3d 439 (2016)". Google Scholar. Google. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  22. ^ Currie v Misa (1875) LR 10 Ex 893
  23. ^ Wade v Simeon (1846) 2 CB 548
  24. ^ White v Bluett (1853) 2 WR 75
  25. ^ Bronaugh R. (1976). Agreement, Mistake, and Objectivity in the Bargain Theory of Conflict. William & Mary Law Review.
  26. ^ Enright, Máiréad (2007). Principles of Irish Contract Law. Dublin 8: Clarus Press. p. 75.
  27. ^ Scots lawyer Harvey McGregor's "Contract Code", a Law Commission-sponsored proposal to both unite and codify English and Scots Law, proposed the abolition of consideration.
  28. ^ e.g. In Germany, § 311 BGB
  29. ^ e.g. P.S. Atiyah, 'Consideration: A Restatement' in Essays on Contract (1986) p.195, Oxford University Press
  30. ^ a b Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 1329, [1947] KB 130, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  31. ^ Chappell & Co Ltd v. Nestle Co Ltd [1959] 2 All ER 701 in which the wrappers from three chocolate bars was held to be part of the consideration for the sale and purchase of a musical recording.
  32. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions on Gift Taxes". www.irs.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  33. ^ "Pinnel’s Case" (1602) 5 Co Rep 117a
  34. ^ "Jorden v Money" (1854) 5 HLC 185
  35. ^ Foakes v Beer [1884] UKHL 1, (1884) AC 605, House of Lords (UK). (per incuriam?[30])
  36. ^ "Williams v Roffey Bros and Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd {1990} 1 All ER 512."
  37. ^ Collins v. Godefroy (1831) 1 B. & Ad. 950.
  38. ^ see for a discussion of the position in English law, the article on Capacity in English law
  39. ^ Elements of a Contract - Contracts
  40. ^ a b L'Estrange v Graucob [1934] 2 KB 394.
  41. ^ a b Toll (FGCT) Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd [2004] HCA 52, (2004) 219 CLR 165 (11 November 2004), High Court (Australia).
  42. ^ for instance, bidding in auctions, or acting in response to a unilateral offer
  43. ^ a b Hadley v Baxendale [1854] EWHC J70, ER 145, High Court (England and Wales).
  44. ^ as in Hong Kong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd and The Mihalis Angelos
  45. ^ Michida S. (1992) Contract Societies: Japan and the United States Contrasted. Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal.
  46. ^ business.gov.au (2018-07-18). "Laws affecting contracts". www.business.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  47. ^ In Australia, the Sales of Goods Act applies.
  48. ^ Trans-Lex.org: international principle
  49. ^ Burchfield, R.W. (1998). The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (Revised 3rd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 820–821. ISBN 0198602634. Expressed or conveyed by speech instead of writing; oral... e.g. verbal agreement, contract, evidence
  50. ^ Bryan A. Garner (1999). Black's Law Dictionary: Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern. West Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-314-15234-3.
  51. ^ Curtis v Chemical Cleaning and Dyeing Co [1951] 1 KB 805
  52. ^ Balmain New Ferry Co Ltd v Robertson [1906] HCA 83, (1906) 4 CLR 379 (18 December 1906), High Court (Australia).
  53. ^ Baltic Shipping Company v Dillon [1993] HCA 4, (1993) 176 CLR 344, High Court (Australia).
  54. ^ a b BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v Shire of Hastings [1977] UKPC 13, (1977) 180 CLR 266, Privy Council (on appeal from Australia).
  55. ^ Martin, E [ed] & Law, J [ed], Oxford Dictionary of Law, ed6 (2006, London:OUP).
  56. ^ Fry v. Barnes (1953) 2 D.L.R. 817 (B.C.S.C)
  57. ^ Hillas and Co. Ltd. v. Arcos Ltd. (1932) 147 LT 503
  58. ^ See Aiton Australia Pty Ltd v Transfield Pty Ltd (1999) 153 FLR 236 Thompson Reuters
  59. ^ Whitlock v Brew [1968] HCA 71, (1968) 118 CLR 445 (31 October 1968), High Court (Australia).
  60. ^ Three Rivers Trading Co., Ltd. v. Gwinear & District Farmers, Ltd. (1967) 111 Sol. J. 831
  61. ^ "Cutter v Powell" (1795) 101 ER 573
  62. ^ "Types Of Contractual Terms: Everything You Need to Know". UpCounsel. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  63. ^ a b Gillies P. (1988). Concise Contract Law, p. 105. Federation Press.
  64. ^ a b Luna Park (NSW) Ltd v Tramways Advertising Pty Ltd [1938] HCA 66, (1938) 61 CLR 286 (23 December 1938), High Court (Australia).
  65. ^ Koffman L, MacDonald E. (2007). The Law of Contract. Oxford University Press.
  66. ^ a b c d e West GD, Lewis WB. (2009). Contracting to Avoid Extra-Contractual Liability—Can Your Contractual Deal Ever Really Be the "Entire" Deal? The Business Lawyer.
  67. ^ a b Burling JM. (2011). Research Handbook on International Insurance Law and Regulation. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  68. ^ Poussard v Spiers and Pond (1876) 1 QBD 410
  69. ^ Bettini v Gye (1876) 1 QBD 183
  70. ^ As added by the Sale of Goods Act 1994 s4(1).
  71. ^ a b Primack MA. (2009). Representations, Warranties and Covenants: Back to the Basics in Contracts. National Law Review.
  72. ^ Ferara LN, Philips J, Runnicles J. (2007). Some Differences in Law and Practice Between U.K. and U.S. Stock Purchase Agreements. Jones Day Publications.
  73. ^ Telman J. (2012). Representations and Warranties. ContractsProf Blog.
  74. ^ Bannerman v White [1861] EngR 713; (1861) 10 CBNS 844, Court of Common Pleas (United Kingdom).
  75. ^ a b Bissett v Wilkinson [1927] AC 177.
  76. ^ "Implied Terms in a Contract: Definition & Explanation - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com". study.com. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  77. ^ The Moorcock (1889) 14 PD 64.
  78. ^ J Spurling Ltd v Bradshaw [1956] EWCA Civ 3, [1956] 2 All ER 121, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  79. ^ Hutton v Warren [1836] M&W 466.
  80. ^ a b Con-stan Industries of Australia Pty Ltd v Norwich Winterthur Insurance (Australia) Ltd [1986] HCA 14, (1986) 160 CLR 226 (11 April 1986), High Court (Australia).
  81. ^ Dunlop v Selfridge' [1915] AC 79 House of Lords (UK).
  82. ^ Beswick v Beswick [1968] AC 58 House of Lords (UK).
  83. ^ Tweddle v Atkinson [1861] 121 ER 762
  84. ^ Scruttons v Midland Silicones [1962] AC 446 House of Lords (UK).
  85. ^ NZ Shipping v Satterthwaite [1974] UKPC 4, [1975] AC 154, Privy Council (on appeal from New Zealand).
  86. ^ Adler v Dickson [1955] QB 158
  87. ^ Lord Denning declared that the doctrine had been abolished by 1925 property legislation, but he was overruled by the House of Lords.
  88. ^ The 1999 Act does not cover contracts for the carriage of goods by sea, which are instead subject to the Hague-Visby Rules
  89. ^ "Are you bound once you sign a contract?". Legal Services Commission of South Australia. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  90. ^ Esso Petroleum Co Ltd v Mardon [1976] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 305
  91. ^ Fitzpatrick v Michel [1928] NSWStRp 19, (1928) 28 SR (NSW) 285 (2 April 1928), Supreme Court (NSW, Australia).
  92. ^ Public Trustee v Taylor [1978] VicRp 31 (9 September 1977), Supreme Court (Vic, Australia).
  93. ^ Bell v. Lever Brothers Ltd. [1931] ALL E.R. Rep. 1, [1932] A.C. 161
  94. ^ see also Svanosi v McNamara [1956] HCA 55, High Court (Australia).
  95. ^ Great Peace Shipping Ltd v Tsavliris Salvage (International) Ltd] [2002] EWCA Civ 1407, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  96. ^ a b McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission [1951] HCA 79, (1951) 84 CLR 377, High Court (Australia).
  97. ^ Raffles v Wichelhaus (1864) 2 Hurl. & C. 906.
  98. ^ Smith v. Hughes [1871].
  99. ^ Taylor v Johnson [1983] HCA 5, High Court (Australia).
  100. ^ Lewis v Avery [1971] EWCA Civ 4, [1971] 3 All ER 907, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  101. ^ Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)
  102. ^ Johnson v Buttress [1936] HCA 41, (1936) 56 CLR 113 (17 August 1936), High Court (Australia).
  103. ^ See also Westmelton (Vic) Pty Ltd v Archer and Shulman [1982] VicRp 29, Supreme Court (Vic, Australia).
  104. ^ Odorizzi v. Bloomfield Sch. Dist., 246 Cal. App. 2d 123 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1966)
  105. ^ a b Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd v Amadio [1983] HCA 14, (1983) 151 CLR 447 (12 May 1983), High Court (Australia).
  106. ^ see also Blomley v Ryan [1956] HCA 81, (1956) 99 CLR 362, High Court (Australia).
  107. ^ "Legislation – Australian Consumer Law". consumerlaw.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  108. ^ Royal Bank of Canada v. Newell 147 D.L.R (4th) 268 (N.C.S.A.). 1996 case and 1997 appeal.
  109. ^ Tenet v. Doe, 544 U.S. 1 (2005).
  110. ^ Farnsworth, E. Allen (November 1970). "Legal Remedies for Breach of Contract". Columbia Law Review. 70 (7): 1145–1216. JSTOR 1121184.
  111. ^ Rowan, Solène (2012). Remedies for Breach of Contract: A Comparative Analysis of the Protection of Performance. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199606609. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  112. ^ Ward, A.A. (2005). "Circumventing the Supremacy Clause - Understanding the Constitutional Implications of the United States' Treatment of Treaty Obligations through an Analysis of the New York Convention". San Diego International Law Journal. 7: 491. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  113. ^ "Why Arbitration in Intellectual Property?". WIPO. World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  114. ^ See, e.g., Edwards, Harry T. (1988). "Judicial Review of Labor Arbitration Awards: The Clash Between the Public Policy Exception and the Duty to Bargain". Chicago-Kent Law Review. 64 (1): 4. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  115. ^ New York Civil Procedure Law and Rules § 7501, et seq.
  116. ^ "Uniform Arbitration Act (1956 Act or 2000 Act)". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  117. ^ Bernard, Tara S. (18 July 2014). "Taking a Broker to Arbitration". New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  118. ^ Cleaver, Joanne (28 August 2014). "What Your Financial Advisor's Mandatory Arbitration Clause Means for You". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  119. ^ Larson, Aaron (22 July 2016). "Common Contract Clauses". ExpertLaw.com. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  120. ^ Healy, James J. (2008). "Consumer Protection Choice of Law: European Lessons for the United States". Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law. 19: 535. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  121. ^ "Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council". Eur-Lex. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  122. ^ "Commercial law: Contract law". Monash University.
  123. ^ See, e.g., Mullenix, Linda A. (1988). "Another Choice of Forum, Another Choice of Law: Consensual Adjudicatory Procedure in Federal Court". Fordham Law Review. 57: 291. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  124. ^ Hong Kong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd [1962] 1 All ER 474; see also Associated Newspapers Ltd v Bancks [1951] HCA 24, (1951) 83 CLR 322, High Court (Australia).
  125. ^ The Mihailis Angelos [1971] 1 QB 164
  126. ^ Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Co Ltd [1914] UKHL 1, [1915] AC 79 at 86 per Lord Dunedin, House of Lords (UK).
  127. ^ Bellgrove v Eldridge [1954] HCA 36, (1954) 90 CLR 613 (20 August 1954), High Court (Australia).
  128. ^ [1972] 1 QB 60
  129. ^ The UCC states, "Consequential damages... include any loss... which could not reasonably be prevented by cover or otherwise." UCC 2-715.In English law the chief authority on mitigation is British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railway Co of London[1912] AC 673, see especially 689 per Lord Haldane.
  130. ^ M.P. Furmston, Cheshire, Fifoot & Furmston's Law of Contract, 15th edn (OUP: Oxford, 2007) p.779.
  131. ^ M.P. Furmston, Cheshire, Fifoot & Furmston's Law of Contract, 15th edn (OUP: Oxford, 2007) p.779 n.130.
  132. ^ Sotiros Shipping Inc v Sameiet, The Solholt [1983] 1 Lloyd's Rep 605.
  133. ^ See also Alexander v Cambridge Credit Corp Ltd (1987) 9 NSWLR 310.
  134. ^ "13th Amendment to the United States Constitution". Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  135. ^ as opposed to Scottish law
  136. ^ In 1789, while the French were engaged in their revolution, the English law was busying itself in defining the rules of auctions: see Payne v Cave
  137. ^ Willmott, L, Christensen, S, Butler, D, & Dixon, B 2009 Contract Law, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, North Melbourne
  138. ^ Hans Wehberg, Pacta Sunt Servanda, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Oct., 1959), p.775.; Trans-Lex.org Principle of Sanctity of contracts
  139. ^ Atiyah PS. (1986) Medical Malpractice and Contract/Tort Boundary. Law and Contemporary Problems.
  140. ^ However, a movement in the 1990s to replace the separate teaching of contract and tort with a unified law of "obligations" has met with little success.
  141. ^ Blake V. (2012). When Is a Patient-Physician Relationship Established?. Virtual Mentor.
  142. ^ a b c Bernstein DE. (2008). Freedom of Contract. George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 08-51.
  143. ^ Douglas D. (2002). Contract Rights and Civil Rights. Michigan Law Review.
  144. ^ ... indeed the Code was neither published nor adopted by the UK, instead being privately published by an Italian University
  145. ^ Beatson, Anson's Law of Contract (1998) 27th ed. OUP, p.21

References

  • Ewan McKendrick, Contract Law - Text, Cases and Materials (2005) Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-927480-0
  • P.S. Atiyah, The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract (1979) Clarendon Press ISBN 0-19-825342-7
  • Randy E. Barnett, Contracts (2003) Aspen Publishers ISBN 0-7355-6525-2
  • Scott Fruehwald, "Reciprocal Altruism as the Basis for Contract," 47 University of Louisville Law Review 489 (2009).

External links

Bob Fosse

Robert Louis Fosse (June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987) was an American dancer, musical-theatre choreographer, and theatre and film director. He is known for directing and choreographing musical works on stage and screen, including the stage musicals The Pajama Game (choreography) in 1954 and Chicago in 1975 and the film Cabaret in 1972.

He is closely associated with the distinctive style of his choreography, which includes turned-in knees and "jazz hands".

He was the only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year (1973). He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Best Director for Cabaret, and won a record eight Tonys for his choreography, as well as one for direction for Pippin.

Breach of contract

Breach of contract is a legal cause of action and a type of civil wrong, in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance. Breach occurs when a party to a contract fails to fulfill its obligation(s) as described in the contract, or communicates an intent to fail the obligation or otherwise appears not to be able to perform its obligation under the contract. Where there is breach of contract, the resulting damages will have to be paid by the party breaching the contract to the aggrieved party.

Brewery

A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing equipment are called plant. The commercial brewing of beer has taken place since at least 2500 BC; in ancient Mesopotamia, brewers derived social sanction and divine protection from the goddess Ninkasi. Brewing was initially a cottage industry, with production taking place at home; by the ninth century monasteries and farms would produce beer on a larger scale, selling the excess; and by the eleventh and twelfth centuries larger, dedicated breweries with eight to ten workers were being built.The diversity of size in breweries is matched by the diversity of processes, degrees of automation, and kinds of beer produced in breweries. A brewery is typically divided into distinct sections, with each section reserved for one part of the brewing process.

Contract bridge

Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. Millions of people play bridge worldwide in clubs, tournaments, online and with friends at home, making it one of the world's most popular card games, particularly among seniors. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is the governing body for international competitive bridge, with numerous other bodies governing bridge at the regional level.

The game consists of several deals, each progressing through four phases. The cards are dealt to the players, and then the players auction or bid to take the contract, specifying how many tricks the partnership receiving the contract (the declaring side) needs to take to receive points for the deal. During the auction, partners communicate information about their hand, including its overall strength and the length of its suits, although conventions for use during play also exist. The cards are then played, the declaring side trying to fulfill the contract, and the defenders trying to stop the declaring side from achieving its goal. The deal is scored based on the number of tricks taken, the contract, and various other factors which depend to some extent on the variation of the game being played.Rubber bridge is the most popular variation for casual play, but most club and tournament play involves some variant of duplicate bridge, in which the cards are not re-dealt on each occasion, but the same deal is played by two or more sets of players (or "tables") to enable comparative scoring. For competition level, so called IMP score is of high significance.

Contract killing

Contract killing is a form of murder in which one party hires another party (often called a hitman) to kill a target individual or group of people. It involves an illegal agreement between two or more parties in which one party agrees to kill the target in exchange for some form of payment, monetary or otherwise. Either party may be a person, group, or an organization. In the United States, the crime is punishable by 15 years to life in a state penitentiary. Contract killing has been associated with organized crime, government conspiracies, and vendettas. For example, in the United States, the gang Murder, Inc. committed hundreds of murders on behalf of the National Crime Syndicate during the 1930s and 1940s.

Contract killing provides the hiring party with the advantage of not having to commit the actual killing, making it more difficult for law enforcement to connect said party with the murder. The likelihood that authorities will establish that party's guilt for the committed crime, especially due to lack of forensic evidence linked to the contracting party, makes the case more difficult to attribute to the hiring party.

Derivative (finance)

In finance, a derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity. This underlying entity can be an asset, index, or interest rate, and is often simply called the "underlying." Derivatives can be used for a number of purposes, including insuring against price movements (hedging), increasing exposure to price movements for speculation or getting access to otherwise hard-to-trade assets or markets.

Some of the more common derivatives include forwards, futures, options, swaps, and variations of these such as synthetic collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. Most derivatives are traded over-the-counter (off-exchange) or on an exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange, while most insurance contracts have developed into a separate industry. In the United States, after the financial crisis of 2007–2009, there has been increased pressure to move derivatives to trade on exchanges.

Derivatives are one of the three main categories of financial instruments, the other two being stocks (i.e., equities or shares) and debt (i.e., bonds and mortgages). The oldest example of a derivative in history, attested to by Aristotle, is thought to be a contract transaction of olives, entered into by ancient Greek philosopher Thales, who made a profit in the exchange. Bucket shops, outlawed a century ago, are a more recent historical example.

Employment

Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on a contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other is the employee. Employees work in return for payment, which may be in the form of an hourly wage, by piecework or an annual salary, depending on the type of work an employee does or which sector she or he is working in. Employees in some fields or sectors may receive gratuities, bonus payment or stock options. In some types of employment, employees may receive benefits in addition to payment. Benefits can include health insurance, housing, disability insurance or use of a gym. Employment is typically governed by employment laws, regulations or legal contracts.

Free agent

In professional sports, a free agent is a player who is eligible to freely sign with any club or franchise; i.e., not under contract to any specific team. The term is also used in reference to a player who is under contract at present but who is allowed to solicit offers from other teams. In some circumstances, the free agent's options are limited by league rules.

Futures contract

In finance, a futures contract (more colloquially, futures) is a standardized forward contract, a legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument. The predetermined price the parties agree to buy and sell the asset for is known as the forward price. The specified time in the future—which is when delivery and payment occur—is known as the delivery date. Because it is a function of an underlying asset, a futures contract is a derivative product.

Contracts are negotiated at futures exchanges, which act as a marketplace between buyers and sellers. The buyer of a contract is said to be long position holder, and the selling party is said to be short position holder. As both parties risk their counter-party walking away if the price goes against them, the contract may involve both parties lodging a margin of the value of the contract with a mutually trusted third party. For example, in gold futures trading, the margin varies between 2% and 20% depending on the volatility of the spot market.The first futures contracts were negotiated for agricultural commodities, and later futures contracts were negotiated for natural resources such as oil. Financial futures were introduced in 1972, and in recent decades, currency futures, interest rate futures and stock market index futures have played an increasingly large role in the overall futures markets.

The original use of futures contracts was to mitigate the risk of price or exchange rate movements by allowing parties to fix prices or rates in advance for future transactions. This could be advantageous when (for example) a party expects to receive payment in foreign currency in the future, and wishes to guard against an unfavorable movement of the currency in the interval before payment is received.

However, futures contracts also offer opportunities for speculation in that a trader who predicts that the price of an asset will move in a particular direction can contract to buy or sell it in the future at a price which (if the prediction is correct) will yield a profit.

Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath; July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She is known for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), but is best remembered for performing in RKO's musical films (partnered with Fred Astaire) on stage, radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century.

Born in Independence, Missouri, and raised in Kansas City, Rogers and her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when she was nine years old. After winning a 1925 Charleston dance contest that launched a successful vaudeville career, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. This success led to a contract with Paramount Pictures, which ended after five films. Rogers had her first successful film role as a supporting actress in 42nd Street (1933). Throughout the 1930s, Rogers made nine films with Astaire, among which were some of her biggest successes, such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic films and comedies. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences, and she became one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.Rogers remained successful throughout the 1940s and at one point was Hollywood's highest-paid actress, but her popularity had peaked by the end of the decade. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period through the 1950s, Rogers made a successful return to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly!. More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Rogers also made television acting appearances until 1987. In 1992, Rogers was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors. She died of a heart attack in 1995, at the age of 83.

Rogers is associated with the phrase "backwards and in high heels", the title of her memoir, attributed to Bob Thaves' Frank and Ernest 1982 cartoon with the caption "Sure he [Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did...backwards and in high heels". This phrase is sometimes incorrectly attributed to Ann Richards, who used it in her keynote address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention.A Republican and a devout Christian Scientist, Rogers was married five times, with all of her marriages ending in divorce; she had no children. During her long career, Rogers made 73 films, and her musical films with Fred Astaire are credited with revolutionizing the genre. Rogers was a major movie star during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and is often considered an American icon. She ranks number 14 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars list of female stars of classic American cinema.

Index of law articles

This collection of lists of law topics collects the names of topics related to law. Everything related to law, even quite remotely, should be included on the alphabetical list, and on the appropriate topic lists. All links on topical lists should also appear in the main alphabetical listing. The process of creating lists is ongoing – these lists are neither complete nor up-to-date – if you see an article that should be listed but is not (or one that shouldn't be listed as legal but is), please update the lists accordingly. You may also want to include Wikiproject Law talk page banners on the relevant pages.

Investment

To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future.

In finance, the benefit from an investment is called a return. The return may consist of a gain (or loss) realised from the sale of property or an investment, unrealised capital appreciation (or depreciation), or investment income such as dividends, interest, rental income etc., or a combination of capital gain and income. The return may also include currency gains or losses due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

Investors generally expect higher returns from riskier investments. When we make a low risk investment, the return is also generally low.

Investors, particularly novices, are often advised to adopt a particular investment strategy and diversify their portfolio. Diversification has the statistical effect of reducing overall risk.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and was emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962 (equivalent to $2 billion in 2018). More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon.Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married at the age of 16. While working in a radioplane factory in 1944 as part of the war effort, she was introduced to a photographer from the First Motion Picture Unit and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to short-lived film contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox (1946–1947) and Columbia Pictures (1948). After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in 1951. Over the next two years, she became a popular actress and had roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business, and in the dramas Clash by Night and Don't Bother to Knock. Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before she became a star, but the story did not tarnish her career and instead resulted in increased interest in her films.

By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars; she had leading roles in the noir film Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a "dumb blonde". The same year, her images were used as the centerfold and in the cover of the first issue of the men's magazine Playboy. Although she played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, she was disappointed when she was typecast and underpaid by the studio. She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project but returned to star in one of the biggest box office successes of her career, The Seven Year Itch (1955).

When the studio was still reluctant to change Monroe's contract, she founded a film production company in late 1954; she named it Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP). She dedicated 1955 to building her company and began studying method acting at the Actors Studio. In late 1955, Fox awarded her a new contract, which gave her more control and a larger salary. Her subsequent roles included a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and the first independent production of MMP, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). Monroe won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her work in Some Like It Hot (1959), a critical and commercial success. Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits (1961).

Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Her second and third marriages, to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, were highly publicized and both ended in divorce. On August 4, 1962, she died at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles. Although Monroe's death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.

Memorandum of understanding

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is a type of agreement between two (bilateral) or more (multilateral) parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used either in cases where parties do not imply a legal commitment or in situations where the parties cannot create a legally enforceable agreement. It is a more formal alternative to a gentlemen's agreement.Whether a document constitutes a binding contract depends only on the presence or absence of well-defined legal elements in the text proper of the document (the so-called "four corners"). The required elements are: offer and acceptance, consideration, and the intention to be legally bound (animus contrahendi). In the US, the specifics can differ slightly depending on whether the contract is for goods (falls under the Uniform Commercial Code) or services (falls under the common law of the state).

Many companies and government agencies use MoUs to define a relationship between departments, agencies or closely held companies.

Money in the Bank ladder match

The Money in the Bank ladder match is a multi-person ladder match held by the professional wrestling promotion WWE. First contested at WWE's annual WrestleMania event beginning in 2005, a separate Money in the Bank pay-per-view was established in 2010. The prize in the match is a briefcase containing a contract for a championship match, which can be "cashed in" by the holder of the briefcase at any point in the year following their victory. If the contract is not used within the year of winning it, it will be invalid, but this has yet to happen. From its inception until 2017, ladder matches only involved male wrestlers, with the contract being for a world championship match. Beginning with the 2017 event, women also have the opportunity to compete in such a match, with their prize being for a women's championship match.

The first match was contested in 2005 at WrestleMania 21, after being invented by Chris Jericho. At the time, it was exclusive to wrestlers of the Raw brand, and Edge won the inaugural match. From then until Wrestlemania XXVI, the Money in the Bank ladder match, now open to all WWE brands, became a WrestleMania mainstay. 2010 saw a second and third Money in the Bank ladder match when the Money in the Bank pay-per-view debuted in July. Unlike the matches at WrestleMania, this new event included two such ladder matches—one each for a contract for a WWE Championship match and a World Heavyweight Championship match, respectively.

Before the establishment of the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view, wrestlers were allowed to use the contract to claim a match for any world championship in WWE. After the establishment of the pay-per-view, the Money in the Bank contracts were specifically aimed at one or the other championship. With the unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight titles into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in December 2013, there was only a single briefcase/contract in play. This went into effect beginning at the 2014 Money in the Bank pay-per-view event.

The brand split returned after the 2016 event along with a new world title, the WWE Universal Championship, but the 2017 pay-per-view event was made a SmackDown-exclusive event for a contract for a match for its world championship, the WWE Championship (formerly WWE World Heavyweight Championship). The 2017 event also included the first-ever Women's Money in the Bank ladder match, with the winner receiving a contract for a SmackDown Women's Championship match. Due to the controversy surrounding the ending of that match, the first non-pay-per-view Money in the Bank ladder match occurred on the June 27 episode of SmackDown Live. The 2018 event was dual branded, involving both the Raw and SmackDown brands, and with one men's match and one women's match.

Prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement (PNA), commonly abbreviated as prenup, is a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union, or any agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery; further conditions of guardianship may be included as well. It should not be confused with the historic marriage settlement which was concerned not primarily with the effects of divorce but with the establishment and maintenance of dynastic families.

In some countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, the prenuptial agreement not only provides for the event of a divorce, but also to protect some property during the marriage, for instance in case of a bankruptcy. Many countries, including Canada, France, Italy, and Germany, have matrimonial regimes, in addition to, or some cases, in lieu of prenuptial agreements.

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, except that they are entered into after a couple is married. Historically (and sometimes still today) prenuptial agreements were called marriage contracts. Marriage itself is often viewed as a contract.

Social contract

In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order. The relation between natural and legal rights is often a topic of social contract theory. The term takes its name from The Social Contract (French: Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique), a 1762 book by Jean-Jacques Rousseau that discussed this concept. Although the antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, the heyday of the social contract was the mid-17th to early 19th centuries, when it emerged as the leading doctrine of political legitimacy.

The starting point for most social contract theories is an examination of the human condition absent of any political order (termed the "state of nature" by Thomas Hobbes). In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point, social contract theorists seek to demonstrate why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up their natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order. Prominent of 17th- and 18th-century theorists of social contract and natural rights include Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel von Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762) and Immanuel Kant (1797), each approaching the concept of political authority differently. Grotius posited that individual humans had natural rights. Thomas Hobbes famously said that in a "state of nature", human life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". In the absence of political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to plunder, rape and murder; there would be an endless "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). To avoid this, free men contract with each other to establish political community (civil society) through a social contract in which they all gain security in return for subjecting themselves to an absolute sovereign, one man or an assembly of men. Though the sovereign's edicts may well be arbitrary and tyrannical, Hobbes saw absolute government as the only alternative to the terrifying anarchy of a state of nature. Hobbes asserted that humans consent to abdicate their rights in favor of the absolute authority of government (whether monarchical or parliamentary). Pufendorf disputed Hobbes's equation of a state of nature with war. Alternatively, Locke and Rousseau argued that we gain civil rights in return for accepting the obligation to respect and defend the rights of others, giving up some freedoms to do so.

The central assertion that social contract theory approaches is that law and political order are not natural, but human creations. The social contract and the political order it creates are simply the means towards an end—the benefit of the individuals involved—and legitimate only to the extent that they fulfill their part of the agreement. Hobbes argued that government is not a party to the original contract and citizens are not obligated to submit to the government when it is too weak to act effectively to suppress factionalism and civil unrest. According to other social contract theorists, when the government fails to secure their natural rights (Locke) or satisfy the best interests of society (called the "general will" by Rousseau), citizens can withdraw their obligation to obey, or change the leadership through elections or other means including, when necessary, violence. Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable, and therefore the rule of God superseded government authority, while Rousseau believed that democracy (self-rule) was the best way to ensure welfare while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law. The Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence. Social contract theories were eclipsed in the 19th century in favor of utilitarianism, Hegelianism and Marxism; they were revived in the 20th century, notably in the form of a thought experiment by John Rawls.

Tort

A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.

American Tort law covers civil wrongs. This is known as a tort. It can cover the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries, invasion of privacy, and many other things. Tort Law is a common law practice which means it has basic principles assigned to it.

Tort law, where the purpose of any action is to obtain a private civil remedy such as damages, may be compared to criminal law, which deals with criminal wrongs that are punishable by the state. Tort law may also be contrasted with contract law which also provides a civil remedy after breach of duty; but whereas the contractual obligation is one chosen by the parties, the obligation in both tort and crime is imposed by the state. In both contract and tort, successful claimants must show that they have suffered foreseeable loss or harm as a direct result of the breach of duty.

WWE Money in the Bank

Money in the Bank is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced annually by WWE. It is named after the Money in the Bank ladder match, which previously only took place at WrestleMania. The Money in the Bank ladder match debuted at WrestleMania 21 in 2005. The Money in the Bank match would then be held at the next five WrestleMania events, after which the match concept was spun off on to its own pay-per-view beginning in 2010.

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