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the offeree can accept it and form a valid contract. Examine the following examples:
Example 4.8. Laverne tells Ernest: “I’d give you a million dollars for a kiss.”
Ernest, knowing a good deal when he hears it, runs to her and gives her a
quick smooch before she can change her mind.
Example 4.9. Deborah, exasperated at Gabe’s incessant chatter, tells him:
“If you can keep your mouth shut for five minutes, I’ll give you an allexpense-paid cruise around the world.” He smiles and remains silent for
the required time period.
In each of the above examples, if the offerees seek to enforce the offerors’ promises they
will have a difficult time. Laverne and Deborah will almost certainly prevail if they claim
that the offers were not seriously intended. Under the circumstances, a reasonable person
should have realized that the offers were intended in jest and were not serious proposals.
But consider the following example:
Example 4.10. Glen, a radio talk show host, is discussing a recent incident
where the governor of the state was rumored to have had a sexual relationship with an intern. The governor’s opponents are demanding that he be
prosecuted for perjury, since the governor said under oath at a hearing that
he had never had sex with “that woman,” and there now is plenty of evidence that he did. Glen declares that a perjury case in these circumstances
would be ridiculous, and states, “No one gets prosecuted for lying about
their sex life. I’ll pay $10,000 to anyone who can show me a case where
that’s happened.” Joanna, a law student who has just read a case where a
woman who falsely accused a man of raping her was prosecuted for perjury, promptly sends Glen a copy of the court decision.
Did Glen make an offer? In all likelihood, a court would say yes, because objectively it
sounds as though he is serious, and he has been reasonably specific with the terms. He
may have been joking, but what Glen was really thinking doesn’t matter! Since there is an
offer, Joanna has accepted by doing the requested act, and...
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/09/2014 for the course BUS 311 taught by Professor Parker during the Spring '10 term at Ashford University.
- Spring '10
- Business Law