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Unformatted text preview: 77 C HAPTER 10 N ATURE AND T ERMINOLOGY A NSWERS TO Q UESTIONS AT THE E NDS OF THE C ASES CASE 10.1(PAGE 220) WHAT IF THE FACTS WERE DIFFERENT? Suppose that the October 15 letter had used the phrase potential offer of em- ployment instead of using the word conditional. Would the court in this case still have considered the letter to be a unilateral contract? Why or why not? This might have been acceptable, depending on each partys interpretation of the word potential, but it might have required splitting hairs because of the words offer of employment. The city would have done better to phrase its October 15 letter in the same terms as its other letters to the applicants to avoid the letter being considered a contract. Specifically, the city should not have used the phrase conditional offer of em- ployment. THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT DIMENSION Why did the court order the city to stop the 61st Police Academy unless the plaintiffs were included? The court reasoned that the letter to the rejected applicants was a unilateral offer that the plaintiffs had accepted by passing the required medical and psychological examinations. The letter expressly stated that it was a conditional offer of employment and the message that it conveyed was that the recipient would be admitted into the 61st Academy if he or she successfully completed the medical and psy- chological examinations, requirements that the City could not lawfully impose unless it was making a conditional offer of employment. Furthermore, [t]he plaintiffs accepted the Citys offer of admission into the Academy by satisfying the specified conditions. Each of the plaintiffs submitted to and passed lengthy and intrusive medical and psy- chological examinations. In addition, many of the plaintiffs, in reliance on the Citys of- fer, jeopardized their standing with their existing employers by notifying the employers of their anticipated departure, and some plaintiffs passed up opportunities for other em- ployment. CASE 10.2(PAGE 222) THE ETHICAL DIMENSION Should a court accept without proof a partys assertion that something was or was not done by mistake? Explain. No, in part because the temptation might be 78 UNIT THREE: CONTRACTS AND E-CONTRACTS irresistible to make this contention in almost any case. Thus, even if it were legal, as it would be if a court were to accept it, it could be unethical, encouraged by avarice or self- interest, or caused by carelessness. THE E-COMMERCE DIMENSION Would the outcome of this case have been different if the parties had commu- nicated via an e-mail system that limited the size of the documents that they could send to each other? Why or why not? This might have supported Foxs argu- ment that the Excluded Sections were omitted from the parties contract by mistake. The outcome likely would not have been different, however, because the court based its decision not solely on a lack of proof as to how the mistake occurred. More signifi-decision not solely on a lack of proof as to how the mistake occurred....
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- Fall '10
- Business Law