Stanford University Meeting of Minds To Form a Contact Responses

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What elements must be present for there to be a “meeting of the minds” to form a contact? If I am very frustrated with my car after being told that a repair will cost a lot of money and I say, “I’d take 2 cents to get rid of this money pit of a car.” Can you say, “sold, here is a nickel and you can keep the change” and have an enforceable contact?

Just do response each posted # 1 TO 3 down below only

Posted 1

To have a contract, one must have a voluntary agreement; a promise or offer, acceptance; consideration to support the promise or offer; capacity by both parties to contract performance; and legal performance and objective. Usually in a contract, there is negotiation by both parties. A valid contract must be enforceable. In the example mentioned, stating that taking 2 cents to get rid of a car is not a contract. It is lacking a voluntary agreement (“meeting of the minds”), and is just a statement that would not be enforceable. Thus, it is not a valid contract.

A proposal is an offer to perform services, but it is lacking certain conditions required to form a valid contract. For one it is not enforceable. The information entered in the proposal could become part of a contract if there is a voluntary agreement and likely negotiation. There are some times when a contract is “implied”, but that would depend on facts and circumstances. I doubt that the proposal offer to provide cold water that was mentioned would stand as a contract under contract law.

I would likely put a disclaimer in a proposal expressing that it is not a contract.

Posted 2

There are many elements that must be present for a contract to be formed. According to our text, to qualify as a contract there must be a set of promises based on a voluntary agreement, which is comprised of an offer and acceptance of the offer. There must be a form of consideration to backup each party’s promise as well as the capacity for the parties to form a contract. The contract must also be performed in a legal capacity. The main item that must be noted there is the voluntary agreement, which is to say that a party has the intent of selling an asset and the other party is offering up some form of consideration for the asset. If there is no intent, then there is no way to know if the offeror is serious about an offer or if they are just verbalizing internal thoughts at the moment. That is where the legal term “meeting of the minds” comes from because it is a conversation that establishes the intent to move forward with a contract once a common understanding has been reached.

The example we were given about the car being offered up for two cents fits that kind of scenario of figuring out if someone is making a legitimate offer. In the case of the car, there is no “meeting of the minds” because no intent has been discussed or terms roughly established. There has been no time to establish a common understanding that the contract is even a legitimate offer for another person to buy the car. Usually, there are negotiations to hammer out what the offer is, and it is preferred that the offer and acceptance be written so as to avoid legal issues. So, I would say that there is no way I can justify there being an enforceable contract. In this scenario, I have simply heard another person getting frustrated about a car and vocalizing their frustration with unrealistic humor.

Posted 3

A “meeting of the minds” is a common phrase used to say that a deal was made, or a contract was formed. A contract is made up of an offer and an acceptance of the offer. The details of the offer should be in the contract to avoid legal issues regarding confusion of expectations between the parties in the future.

“A proposal that fails to state specifically what the offeror is willing to do and what he asks in return for his performance is unlikely to be considered an offer” (Langvardt, A.W., p.364-365). A proposal could be the start of negotiations that lead to a contract. For example, the frustrated car owner saying that she would take 2 cents if someone wanted to buy her car. This is an exaggeration said out of frustration and not a binding contract if someone nearby says ‘sold’. However, someone could hear this and make her a fair value that could potentially become a contract.

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