The scenario presented in this assessment centers itself around the identification of particular legal issues that are integral to contract law. It also begs one to apply legal principles in such a way as to determine the outcome of a legal dispute as well as see the dispute from the perspectives of both parties involved. A contract may be defined as an agreement between two or more parties that is intended to be legally binding. According to Graw (2012), every contract has a number of essential elements. These include the formation of the contract, an offer, agreement, consideration, the intention, and legality . In order to determine whether Barry’s and Sarah’s communications constituted a contract, there are particulars within this scenario which will have to be addressed and discussed. The discussion surrounding this scenario will focus on the elements of offer and acceptance because, in my opinion, these are the primary issues at play in the given dispute between the two parties.
Although contract law does not identify itself as a subjective practice, the law often uses ‘the intention of the parties’ as a means for resolving disputes and conflict. This does not refer to the actual intentions of the participants in the contract, but to the ‘proper inference’ from the “facts as a whole as to what would have been the intentions of a reasonable person in the position of the parties .” While contracts do not require a particular formality, they are formed when one party makes an unconditional offer and the other party accepts the unconditional offer. Agreed consideration is also an important element where this refers to the price or other particular guidelines under which the contract is undertaken .
In our scenario, Barry is seeking to purchase a computer from Sarah for his son. As they are relatives, the contract is not formed in person or face-to-face as it could have been were Barry and Sarah in an electronic store. Over the course of two days, the two parties engaged in negotiations regarding the computer to be purchased, the agreed upon price and the guarantee (or lack thereof) of a 12 month warranty. After hearing about the three computers, Barry decided on the laptop and Sarah conveyed that the price was to be at least $1000. When Sarah agreed to hold the laptop for a week, the two parties had not entered into a contract as Barry had not made an official offer on the laptop. At this point in the negotiations process, no terms or conditions were established by either party. Sarah’s offering to sell the laptop to Barry for at least $1000 was, thereby, not binding.
From Barry’s perspective, he may have considered her asserting that she’d ‘put it aside for a week’ a binding promise to sell him the laptop were he to consent to the price she established. Despite what Barry may have thought, an offer is an expression of willingness to “contract on certain terms. It must be made with the intention that it will become binding upon...