Top 10 Contract Drafting Articles

Authored by , LegalMatch Legal Writer

Top 10 Contract Drafting Articles

A lot of life’s achievements – owning a home, getting a new job, and getting a loan – come with conditions. These conditions are put into a contract. Even simple transactions, such as purchasing a pack of gum or giving a birthday gift to a friend, involve contract laws.

It’s easy to ignore or skim through contract terms. However, you should never put too much faith in the person who drafted a contract. To understand the basics of contract law, here are the top 10 articles from the LegalMatch Law Library.

1. Contracts Basics

A contract can be as simple as two people agreeing to do something for one another. However, contracts can also become very complex very fast. When groups of people end up in court over a contract dispute, they often will argue that the contract was not valid in the first place. This article outlines what is in a valid contract and circumstances that may invalidate it.

2. Essential Elements of Breach of Contract

Once there is a valid contract, another reason people end up in court is because one of them may have breached the contract. Breach occurs when one person does not hold up their part of the contract. However, courts also allow people to sue in anticipation of breach, if he or she has reason to believe the other person is not going to breach. Learn about different types of breaches and the lawsuits that follow in this article.

3. Can a Minor Make a Valid Contract?

Can you contract with in an infant? In some cases the answer is yes because in some states an infant is anyone under 18. Usually what we think of as a "minor," people under 18 can contract in certain circumstances. Find out when contracts with minors are valid in this article.

4. Charitable Gifts as Contracts

The promise within a valid contract is enforceable in court, but the promise of a gift is not enforceable. One instance where the line between contract and gift gets blurry is with charitable contributions. If someone pledged to give money or property to a charity and changed his or her mind, then whether or not it is an enforceable promise depends on whether or not there was a contract.

5. Contract Assignments

A contract assignment does not refer to homework that involves reading contracts. It is the term for transferring the benefits of the contract to someone else. For example, if you are supposed to receive $5,000 in exchange for your car, you can assign that $5,000 to someone you owe money, perhaps a bank. Then, the buyer of the car will just pay the bank the money.

6. Illegal Contracts

Contracts with illegal purposes are not valid. For example, a court will not enforce a contract for the sale of drugs or other illegal objects. Additionally, some courts will not enforce contracts that are technically legal, but involve illegal activities for public policy reasons. For example, a court invalidated a contract associated with the sale of a corporation because it was involved with the manufacturing of drug paraphernalia including bongs and roach clips.

7. Can Someone be Bound to a Contract by Not Saying Anything?

Generally, one cannot be bound to a contract when he or she does not say anything in response to an offer. However, there are situations where a contract may be formed if the parties intended to create a contract. A common example is sales contracts where the parties have created several contracts and expect to continue in such a way, like promise to deliver goods every month.

8. Writing and Signature Requirements for a Valid Contract

One of the biggest misconceptions about contract law is that all contracts must be in writing and signed. Some oral contracts are valid, but there may be less evidence for a court to determine there was a contract. Even though it is always smart to put contracts into writing, learn what contacts must be put in writing and the requirements for a valid signature in this article.

9. Employment Contracts

Most new employees are often so excited about a new job; they don’t bother to read the employment agreement. Often times though, employment contracts are one of the best places to pull out you or your lawyer’s negotiation skills. If you didn’t read your employment contract, you may want to read this article to learn about common clauses that affect your relationship with your employer.

10. Land Contracts

A land contract sounds like it would just be a contract for the sale of land. However, it is legalese for a contract where the seller finances the money for the sale to the buyer. This is also known as an installment contract and has lots of legal and financial implications for both the buyer and the seller.

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Last Modified: 11-25-2013 04:45 PM PST

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