H Adm 387
Does Kayla have a contract?
There are three elements that are required in order to have a valid contract:
1. Offer – The semantics matter in an offer, which refers to whatever the person
says or writes down, not necessarily what their intention was.
The offer expires when it
is expressed in the contract.
If it is not expressed, then it expires when a reasonable
amount of time has passed as determined by an objective party.
2. Acceptance – The recipient of the offer must accept the offer as it is and in the
same manner it is offered.
Any deviation or counter-offer will constitute a rejection of
The two parties must have mutual assent, meaning that they each understand
what they are getting into.
3. Consideration – Finally, both parties must be giving up something to which that
party is legally entitled to.
Without consideration, the offer is merely a gift, not a
In this particular case, Dan offers Kayla $20,000 to obtain forgiveness from Kayla for
one of his employees “slacking”, which resulted in the car being towed.
First, there is
definitely an offer, as Dan clearly sends Kayla a contract with his apologies and offers to
pay Kayla for her troubles and does not specify an expiration for the contract, so
whatever time that passed certainly would not be considered unreasonable by an
Second, there is a clear acceptance of the offer in the exact manner that it was presented
She writes to Dan to say “I accept”, clearly constituting acceptance.
Finally, although the Dan offered Kayla the money, and Kayla accepted the money, she
does not actually have a legally enforceable contract.
While Dan is giving up $20,000 to
clear his conscience, Kayla is not giving up anything to which she is legally entitled.
trouble that Kayla “went through” is not a legally enforceable element of consideration,
so rather than being a contract, Dan’s offer of $20,000 is merely a gift. And a generous
one at that…
In conclusion, although Dan offered Kayla $20,000 for the trouble of having her car
towed, Kayla did not give up anything to which she was legally entitled to, which
constitutes Dan’s offer as a gift and not a contract, so the two parties did not have a valid