Contract Law 20 I Statute of Frauds | Summary and Q&A

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July 21, 2017
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Contract Law 20 I Statute of Frauds

TL;DR

The statute of frauds requires certain agreements to be in writing for them to be enforceable, aiming to prevent false claims and perjuries. Parties can use promissory estoppel to enforce oral promises falling under the statute.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was the purpose of the statute of frauds?

The statute of frauds aimed to prevent false claims by requiring certain contracts to be in writing, ensuring enforceability and protecting parties from fraudulent allegations.

Q: Can the statute of frauds promote another kind of fraud?

Yes, the statute can encourage false denials of contracts when parties actually did agree, allowing fraudulent deniers to escape liability for their promises.

Q: How can parties comply with the statute of frauds?

Parties must have contracts in writing, which can be in various forms such as electronic records or any authentication symbolizing the intention to authenticate the writing as the signer's.

Q: What happens if parties fail to comply with the statute of frauds?

Failure to meet the statute of frauds' requirements makes an oral agreement unenforceable at the option of the party against whom enforcement is sought. The agreement is voidable, not void.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The 1677 English Parliament passed the precursor to the American statute of frauds to prevent false claims and perjuries by requiring certain contracts to be in writing.

  • Contracts for the sale of goods over a certain price, contracts for the sale of land, contracts that cannot be performed within a year, and agreements in consideration of marriage fall under the statute.

  • Parties can protect themselves from denial fraud by insisting on written contracts, but the statute may promote false denials of contracts and some fraudulent deniers may escape liability.

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