Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Offer, Acceptance, Consideration and Afterwards, Cookies and Juice.

The above post, via the Volohk Conspiracy is a great law story. A large amount of money is loaned by one party by the other. The two go to a bar, and heavens to betsy, the story involves drinking! Then the fellow receiving the money swears up and down he will pay it back and determines TO WRITE THE CONTRACT IN HIS OWN BLOOD. Now, of course, sober and the business not doing well, he reneges! The plaintiff's attorney is arguing that writing it in blood shows its even more serious than a regular contract. The Defense believes, of course that its just meaningless as a contract can be made in any medium. Strangely, by its terms he only promised to pay "to the best of his ability." That is a suckers bet. He could always say he did not have the ability to pay it back and thus its no real promise. It is likely that promise will have to be interpreted reasonably but it still goes to a jury. Only if the Court decides as a matter of law that it is not a real promise, because the promissor did not bind himself to do anything, is he out of the woods. I would bring a promissory estopple and quantum meruit claim as well but the main thing is what is the response to "So, what did you intend by writing this contract in your own blood?" A." Nothing." Q. "You mean to say that you did not intend my client to come away with any heightened expectation of repayment SINCE YOU WROTE THE THING IN YOUR OWN BLOOD? A. "Correct. It was a meaningless act. I was drunk and you know waitresses don't like to give drunks their pens."

I pause to note this is a California case, but I am under the, no doubt unfair impression, that Louisiana gets a lot of this.

Update 6/1/06: Definitions of extreme legalese provided courtesy of MC.


Dave S. said...

Scrabble Challenge on the terms "promissory estopple" and "quantum meruit," if you please. Only a few of our six readers are lawyers.

This does happen in Louisiana a lot but it's such a sociable place that third parties often volunteer blood. Remember that blood loss = cheaper drunk.

Mike said...

Lawyers? Aw, I thought "promissory estopple" was some sort of apple fritter.

Now what am I going to do for dessert??

Anonymous said...