The task for this post is to, again as a class, come up with a solution to a legal hypothetical. The instructions for this discussion forum are similar to the ones given to you in the Tort Law forum but, obviously, in the context of Contract Law this time.
This week’s discussion forum is about the required “elements” that must be present for a contract to be successfully declared valid or, if one or more elements is missing, declared void in court. As I explained in the Tort Law forum, this is essentially a “group work” assignment since each student will be offering his/her contribution to the final solution here.
The instructions for this discussion forum are as follows:
1) Read the following scenario:
John is living in the basement suite of a house that is owned by Chris, his best friend. Chris has 2 tenants living in the house (David upstairs and John downstairs). Chris, a licenced realtor by profession, decides that it is time to sell the house and sends out a letter to both John and David asking them if they are interested in buying the house before he puts it on the market. In the letter, Chris explains that he is “interested in selling his house” and he’d be “willing to take $500,000” but that he’d only wait for 7 days to hear from either John or David.
A few days after John and David received Chris’ letter, Chris decided to advertise on his website that the house was for sale. Seeing the ad, John wrote a letter to Chris offering $500,000 for the house and mailed the letter before the promised week was up. John expected to hear from Chris as soon as he received the letter with his offer but had to leave town immediately due to a family emergency. John tried to call Chris but he was unable to connect with him.
David called Chris the day he put the ad up on his website. During their conversation, David offered Chris $455,000 for the house. Chris never had any intention of selling the house to David as he felt that David was a bad tenant. He only gave David a copy of the letter he sent to John as a courtesy. Chris also knew that David sold cannabis on the side and that this was David’s main source of income. Instead of making any commitment one way or the other, Chris just told David that he’d “think about it” and said that he’d get back to him.
Chris received John’s letter 8 days after Chris sent his offer letter to John and David. A day prior to receiving John’s letter, Chris accepted an offer of $520,000 for his house from a man called Spencer. Spencer saw the ad on Chris’ website and contacted him via email. Spencer was looking to buy a house in the area as an investment. He lives in England and has no intention of moving to Canada. Although Spencer has the money, he is 85 years old and suffers from dementia. His estate is governed by a trustee who is legally entrusted with making all financial decisions for him.
Explain, using the principles of contract law, the position of each of the parties involved in this scenario.
2) Contribute to the solution by explaining how ONE of the contract elements applies to the scenario above by using ONE of the tests used to prove an element of a contract. Note: limit your analysis to one element and one corresponding test of one potential contract (e.g. if you decide to write about “Intention” then limit your discussion to how Intention is (or is not) present in the case of say, for example, the potential contract between Chris and John (i.e. don’t also write about how Intention is or is not satisfied in the other potential contracts).
The goal here is to have a complete answer to this legal scenario by the end of the week by adding all the student posts together. Please limit your contribution to allow others to add to the solution. Towards the end of the week, there should be an opportunity to comment on elements beyond the structure of a contract law solution (such as factors that affect the contractual relationship that would make a contract voidable).
3) Remember: your goal here (as a class) is to offer a complete solution together. So, if someone has covered an element or test then a subsequent post must cover a different element or test (or at least cover it in a different way). This means you must read and follow all the posts that come before yours. Note: if someone has left their post incomplete (that is, there is opportunity to add to a fellow classmate’s post) then you can respond to their post and elaborate.
Each student’s individual post will be graded based on: 1) if they contributed to the solution; 2) if their contribution was correct (i.e. the elements/tests were successfully applied); 3) if they utilized the principles of contract law to produce their solution; 4) if references were cited; and 5) the quality of the writing in the post.
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