Contracts between employers and employees are almost

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contracts   between   employers   and   employees   are   almost   universally   rejected   (“freedom   from contract”). D. C OVENANTS  N OT   TO  C OMPETE The text indicates that the constantly changing state of technology has led knowledge learned on the job, including trade secrets, to become a more valuable commodity than it once was, but states that this may spell the end of covenants not to compete. In some states, they are not enforceable. In states in which they are enforceable, a covenant cannot be overly broad, in which case a court might reform it. II. Oral Contracts and Promissory Estoppel Ethical standards underlie the doctrine of promissory estoppel, which allows a variety of promises to be enforced despite a lack of consideration.  The text provides a few examples. III. Oral Contracts and the Statute of Frauds An exception to the unenforceability of an oral contract under the Statute of Frauds is made if a party has reasonably relied, to his or her detriment, on the oral contract.  Arguably, this exception undercuts the essence of the Statute of Frauds, but it is intended to prevent the statute from being used to promote injustice.  The statute has also been criticized because it can be used as a technical defense. T EACHING  S UGGESTIONS 1. Explain how much American society in general and business in particular has changed over the last two   hundred   years.     The   United   States   has   gone   through   political,   industrial,   and   technological revolutions.   Business has grown from small master-servant workshops to huge multinational con- glomerates.  As introduced in Unit One's Focus on Ethics, as social circumstances evolve, society's ethics change and the law evolves to accommodate those changes.  In the area of contract law, to acknowledge
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126           INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL TO ACCOMPANY  BUSINESS LAW , ELEVENTH EDITION the change, some long-held principles have been made to yield to others.  In the last sev enty years, the change has accelerated.   As will be discussed in Unit Three, in recent years there have been many attempts to make commercial law more reflective of modern commercial practices and more conducive to uniform results by drafting uniform statutes and codifying certain common law principles. 2. Discuss ethics in the context of mistakes in contract law.  The notion that a mistake should release contracting parties from their obligations gained strength as ethics changed.  At one time, rescission based on a unilateral mistake could not be obtained when the mistake resulted from a failure to exercise reasonable care.  Early in the twentieth century, for example, a bidder who submitted a below-cost offer
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