Verbal Contract Case Law

Verbal Contract Case Law: What You Need to Know

When it comes to making agreements with others, verbal contracts can be just as binding as written ones. However, there are certain circumstances where verbal contracts may not hold up in court. In this article, we will explore verbal contract case law and what you need to know if you find yourself in a dispute over a verbal agreement.

What is a Verbal Contract?

A verbal contract, also known as an oral contract, is an agreement between two or more parties that is spoken aloud and not put in writing. These agreements can take place in a variety of settings, such as in a business negotiation or between friends. Common examples of verbal contracts include agreeing to purchase a car from someone or hiring a contractor to do home repairs.

Verbal contracts are legally binding in most cases, just like written contracts. However, the challenge with verbal contracts is proving what was agreed upon and the terms of the agreement. Unlike written contracts, there is no physical document to refer to, which can make it difficult to prove the terms of the agreement.

Verbal Contract Case Law

Despite their legality, verbal contracts have limitations when it comes to case law. Here are some key considerations:

Statute of Frauds: The Statute of Frauds is a legal requirement in most states that certain contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. Examples of these types of contracts include real estate transactions, contracts that cannot be performed within one year, or contracts exceeding a certain dollar amount. Therefore, if the agreement falls under the Statute of Frauds, it must be in writing.

Proof of existence: To prove the existence of a verbal contract, both parties must provide testimony under oath that they agreed to the terms of the contract. The testimony must be specific and clear regarding the terms of the agreement.

Breach: If one party breaches the terms of the verbal contract, the other party can file a lawsuit for breach of contract. However, this can be difficult to prove without written evidence. It is important to have witnesses or other evidence to support the terms of the agreement.

Performance: In some cases, the performance of the verbal contract can be used as evidence that it existed. For example, if you hired someone to do repairs on your home and they completed the work, the fact that they performed the work can be considered evidence that you had a verbal agreement for them to do so.

In conclusion, verbal contracts can be legally binding, but they are subject to certain limitations. If you find yourself in a dispute over a verbal agreement, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. Remember to be clear and specific about the terms of the agreement, have witnesses or other evidence to support your case, and consider the limitations of verbal contracts when making business deals.

Christopher Bryan