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Application: The Elements of a Contract


A contract has three key elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration. If these three elements are not present, a contract may not exist. Sometimes, the presence of these elements can be elusive. For example, the mental intent of the parties may determine the existence of a contract. How can you determine a person’s intent? Clearly, this is a complex area of law where litigation should be left to lawyers. A public administrator, however, may have to form contracts as part of his or her job responsibilities. As such, he or she must be aware of the elements of contracting so as to enter into the most advantageous agreement for his or her organization while avoiding illegal contracts.




To prepare for this assignment:




  • Review Chapter 8 in The Study of Law: A Critical Thinking Approach (4th ed.). Reflect on how contracts are formed, destroyed, modified, and broken.


  • Review the article “Contract Law: An Introduction.” Review the section “The Elements of a Contract” to refresh your recollection about the basic elements of contracts.


  • Review the resource “Contract-Based Fact Pattern.” Read carefully for facts that will assist in arguments for and against the formation of a contract.


  • Identify elements of a contract in the fact pattern.


  • Think about whether a contract exists in the fact pattern.


  • Consider possible defenses against the formation of a contract in the fact pattern.




The assignment (2–3 pages):




  • Describe the elements of a contract in the fact pattern.


  • Explain whether you think a contract exists. Use facts from the fact pattern to argue your opinion.


  • Explain two possible defenses against the formation of a contract in the fact pattern.


    Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.


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