#LearnTheLaw – What is a Contract?

Contracts are promises that the law will enforce to be met. The law behind the security of a contract provides remedies to the harmed party which is commonly resolved in the form of monetary damages. But in limited situations, the court will order “specific performance” of the promise to be made.
The basic elements required for a contract/agreement to be legally enforceable are:
– Mutual Assent
– A valid Offer and Acceptance has been made
– Adequate Consideration from any party involved
– Capacity (Usually requires a person to have reached a minimum age and to have soundness of mind.)
– Legality (No parties being bound to perform or engage in illegal activity – the legality of the purpose of the contract is required for the contract to be enforceable.)
Specific Performance – A contractual remedy in which the court orders a party to actually perform its promise as closely as possible because monetary damages are somehow inadequate to fix the harm. (Source: LII)
Breach of Contract – The violation of a contractual obligation. One may breach a contract by repudiating (or denying) a promise, failing to perform a promise, or interfering with another party’s performance. (Source: LII)
Offer – A promise to do or refrain from doing something in exchange for something else. An offer must be stated and delivered in a way that would lead a reasonable person to expect a binding contract to arise from its acceptance. (Source: LII)
Acceptance – To form a binding contract, acceptance should be relayed in a manner authorized, requested, or at least reasonably expected by the offeror (Source: LII)
Mutual Assent – Agreement by both parties to a contract. Mutual assent must be proven objectively and is often established by showing an offer and acceptance (e.g., an offer to do X in exchange for Y, followed by an acceptance of that offer). (Source: LII)
Interesting Fact:
The shorthand symbol used for a “contract” is “K” this term is used almost universally by lawyers and law students (Source: Law.com)

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