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Chap008

The Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business

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Chapter 08 - Introduction to Contract Law – Classifications, Terminology, and Formation CHAPTER 8 INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW – CLASSIFICATIONS, TERMINOLOGY, AND FORMATION I. LEARNING OBJECTIVES The purpose of this chapter and the next is to introduce the student to that body of law known as contracts, which underlies the buying and selling agreements of the private enterprise system. The chapter emphasizes a broad, overall coverage of contract law. Special attention is devoted to the vocabulary and concepts of classification and formation of contracts. Also covered is how contracts can impact third parties who are not original parties to the contract negotiation and agreement. These topics permit students to comprehend how many of the other subjects discussed in this book are based, at some level, on contract law. II. REFERENCES Benson, P., The Theory of Contract Law: New Essays . Cambridge University Press (2001). Calamari, J. and J. Perillo, Calamari and Perillo’s Hornbook on Contracts . Thomson West (2003). Epstein, R.A., Contract: Freedom and Restraint . Garland Publishers, 2000. Gilmore, Grant, The Death of Contract . Ohio State University Press (1995). Gordley, J., Foundations of Private Law: Property, Tort, Contract, Unjust Enrichment . Oxford University Press (2006). Matthew, H., Contract Law and Morality . Greenwood Press (1999). Slawson, W.D., Binding Promises: The Last 20th Century Reformation of Contract Law . Princeton University Press, 1996. Treitel, G.H., Some Landmarks of Twentieth Century Contract Law . Clarendon (2002). III. TEACHING OUTLINE BASIC CONCEPTS 1. Contract Law in Private Enterprise A. Emphasize : (1) The prevalence of contracts in the private enterprise system. 8-1
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Chapter 08 - Introduction to Contract Law – Classifications, Terminology, and Formation (2) That contract law enables people to make agreements legally enforceable. (3) Why contract law is more important to a private enterprise economy than it is to a state-controlled economy. B. Additional Matter for Discussion Use Sidebar 8.1 – “The Confidentiality Agreement” – to illustrate how contracts can be used to agree to anything that is not illegal or against public policy. Emphasize how vital contract law is to accomplishing business objectives. 2. Sources of Contract Law A. Emphasize : (1) What it means to say that most contract law is common law. (2) That the UCC has special statutory law applying to the sale of goods. 3. Breach of Contract A. Emphasize : (1) The various remedies available for breach of contract. See Figure 8.1 labeled “Remedies for Breach of Contract” on page 239. (2) That most contractual disputes are not litigated. Discuss the importance of the negotiated settlement. (3) Note the importance of mitigation of damages. (4) Sidebar 8.2 – “Restitution Puts Parties in Precontractual Position.” 8-2
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Chapter 08 - Introduction to Contract Law – Classifications, Terminology, and Formation B. Case for Discussion Mobil and other oil companies received the right to explore and develop oil found off the coast of North Carolina. The companies paid the United States $158 million for such rights in the form of 10 year renewal leases.
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