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Homework Help: Help for commercial law, easy stuff but cant quite do

  1. May 9, 2005 #1
    its about contracts i guess, apparently there are 3 parts to each answer

    On 3 June, Emma placed an advertisement in the local newspaper. "Lost, gold locket and chain. Reward . Ring 352 535.

    Discuess the likely outcome in each of the follow scenarios

    A) Natalie, who had read the advertisement but who had forgotten about it, finds the lockey, discovers through a mutual friend that it is Emma's and telephones. She asks if there is a reward and Emma says "no". She has now reread the advertisement.

    B) Sonia, Who had not read the advertisement, finds the locket, is told about the reward by Liz and phones Emma. Emma refuses to pay the reward.

    C) Having recovered the locket, Emma loses it again. It is found by Karen, who telephones emma claiming the reward.

    D) On 3 December, Joy finds the locket. She phones to claim the reward. Emma refuses to pay.

    E) REbecca finds the locket. Knowing it is Emma's, she drives immediately to Emma's house and claims the reward. Emma refuses, saying "YOu should have phoned first."


    (Not sure if previous case precendents are needed, think they are)
    Nick went to sabrinas gift shop to buy a present for his wife. As he entered the shop, he read a notice which said: "ALl breakages must be paid for. " white reading it, he collided with a display stand and a vase was broken. Sabrina demanded payment.

    To calm his nerves, Nick then went to purchase a cup of coffee. While queuing to pay, a friend approached him and said: "Isnt your wife waiting for you outside the supermarket? Nick immediatley put the cup down and, followed by cries from the cashier, ran to the supermarket.

    When he arrived, his wide told him to purchase a number of items she had forgotten. Nick selected the items and proceeded to the checkout. As he reached the register, the checkout operator demanded to search his bag as per the notice peominently displayed over the front entrance.

    Finding nothing untoward, she then rang up the various items and said "that will be $26.00". Nick discovered that he had only $20


    COntractually speaking, how does Nick stand in respect of each of tese four situations?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2005 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Agressor! :biggrin:
    To get you started, for the first set of questions, I think the three questions to ask are:
    1) Was a contract formed? If so, when?
    2) How are the terms of the contract to be interpreted?
    3) How can Emma escape her obligation?
    Does that sound familiar? This would be a unilateral contract, so (1) is not so straightforward. Can you answer (1) for each case?
  4. May 9, 2005 #3
    Ok ill try one from each question how i think its meant to be but im pretty sure i need to say more

    "Finding nothing untoward, she then rang up the various items and said "that will be $26.00". Nick discovered that he had only $20"

    Nicks offer was when he took the items to the counter to be tallyed, a the obligation and contract to pay for each item is accepted when they the tally clerk runs the items through the (whateverthey are), so in this case as the items were tallyed Nick is obliged to pay for the items.. or something like this
  5. May 9, 2005 #4


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    Edit: This information is for the US. If you're in another jurisdiction, sorry, I made a silly assumption. Still, it may apply.
    Take this with a grain of salt- I've just done some quick research regarding the reward case. There may be someone else here who can be of more help; I just mean to get you started. I'll add to it as I learn more. Some of this info can be found in Restatement Second of Contracts, if you have access to it. The UCC may also be helpful.
    So Emma (offeror) has made a unilateral offer to the world (offerees). Things to consider:
    Check that the offer is legal and the parties are capable.
    Check for adequate consideration. The consideration for Emma's promise to pay the reward is the offeree's performance (returning the locket to Emma and possibly also calling Emma beforehand?); The consideration for the offeree's performance is Emma's promise to pay the reward.
    The offeror cannot revoke the offer once the offeree has begun performance.
    An option contract is formed when the offeree begins performance.
    The requirement that the offeree's acceptance of the offer must be communicated to the offeror is waived.
    The offeree must fully perform in order for the contract to be formed.
    The offeree must also know about the offer in order for the contract to be formed; Coincidental performance doesn't count.
    In a unilateral contract, any ambiguity is considered to be the fault of the party drawing the contract (offeror), so any interpretation will go against the drawer and in favor of the offeree.
    It's not clear whether Natalie returned the locket and afterwards reread the offer, but let's assume this is what happened. Use the fact that the offeree must know about the offer. The contract would have been formed upon Natalie's performance, but Natalie didn't know of the offer when she returned the locket to Emma. Is there anything else to consider?
    Does it matter how Sonia came to know about the offer? Not to my knowledge, but you may know otherwise. The offer was made "to the world", and this includes Sonia. Emma cannot revoke the offer once Sonia has begun performance, so Emma would be obligated to pay the reward.
    I'm not sure.
    There was no duration specified in the offer, so unless there is something else to consider (?), the interpretation should go against Emma. Also, Emma cannot revoke the offer once Joy has begun performance.
    Again, whether calling Emma was actually part of the performance is ambiguous, so the interpretation should go against Emma. Edit: Actually, this may be just the reasonable interpretation.

    I hope this helps get you started, but they are just some quick thoughts- I'm not promising they're correct. :)
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
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