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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 09 - Contractual Issues Form, Interpretation, Performance, and Discharge CHAPTER 9 CONTRACTUAL ISSUES FORM, INTERPRETATION, PERFORMANCE, AND DISCHARGE I. LEARNING OBJECTIVES This chapter can be viewed as a continuation of the preceding one. Once again, students study aspects of contracts. In particular, this chapter focuses on what form a contract has to be in to be enforceable, how contractual provisions are interpreted, and the performance of contracts. Included in the last section is an examination of when contracting parties are excused or discharged from having to perform their contractual agreements. II. REFERENCES Benson, P., The Theory of Contract Law: New Essays . Cambridge University Press (2001). Calamari, J. and J. Perillo, Calamari and Perillos 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 FORM AND INTERPRETATION 1. Written versus Oral Contracts A. Emphasize : (1) That generally speaking, oral contracts are as enforceable as written ones. (2) That parties should be encouraged to put their contractual agreements in writing to avoid disputes about the details of the agreement. 9-1 Chapter 09 - Contractual Issues Form, Interpretation, Performance, and Discharge B. Additional Matters to Consider (1) Discuss common situations when your students contract in retail stores, in restaurants, in conversation with friends and family. (2) What kind of language is typically used in these situations? Point out that we seldom use formal language of contractual promises or obligations. 2. Statute of Frauds A. Emphasize: (1) The fundamental purpose of the statute of frauds requiring contracts to be in writing. (2) The basic types of transactions covered under the statute of frauds. See Sidebar 9.1 Types of Contracts Required to be Evidenced by a Signed Writing. (3) The variety of contracts covered under the concept of "sales of interest in land," and explain the doctrine of part performance. (4) Between primary and secondary promises to pay, and note the main purpose doctrine. (5) That courts have interpreted very narrowly the types of contracts that cannot be performed within one year....
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