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Published: Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Offer and acceptance contract law essay
Advice Austin of his legal position and what remedies, if any, are.
Offer and Acceptance is a traditional approach in contract law which is used to determine when an agreement exists between two parties. In order to constitute a contract, there must be an offer by one person to another and an acceptance of that offer by the person to whom is made. A legally binding offer in order to be valid will have to include clearly stated terms because sometimes a statement may be indefinite to consist of a valid offer. Also, an offer will include intention to do business and as a final feature the offer must be communicated to the offeree.The communication of an offer may be written or spoken but it may usually be by conduct.
On the other hand, acceptance in order to be legally binding, it is appropriate to fulfil three main rules. To start with, acceptance must be a ‘mirror image’ of the offer. This is meant that the offeree must be agreeing to all terms of offer and not trying to insert new terms. Secondly, acceptance must be firm and finally must be communicated to the offeror. In this way, offeree has to make the acceptance with communication to the offeror. There are a lot of ways to communicate but the law relating to communication comprehends plenty different rules.
Maurice, a car dealer, was sent an email to Austin offered to sell him a rare vintage car for 50,000 pounds. Austin after reading the email, he realizes that he wants the car and email back his acceptance at 1.00 p.m. By the time Austin sends the email, he was aware that Maurice would be close for lunch. Maurice when he came back to his office from lunch he did not check his emails, and receive an offer from another buyer and he accepted it. Afterwards, at about 4.00 p.m. Austin hears from another car dealer that Maurice was sold the car to Bill. For example, the case of Dickinson v Dodds (1876, CA). The defendant made an offer to sell property to the claimant but sold it to a third party before the claimant responded. A mutual acquaintance of the buyer and the claimant told the claimant of the sale. This was held to be adequate notice. This situation is approximately the similar as in the Contract because as Austin heard from another dealer that Maurice sold the car to Bill and in the case this was happened.
However, emails, once communicated, sometimes maybe well arrive at the moment, but there are occasions where delays may occur in transmission via the server, so maybe communication ought to be deemed to exist once the message is able of being downloaded to receiver’s mailbox. As an example, the case of Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corp(1955,CA) , The Court of Appeal made it clean that acceptance by telex should be treated like acceptance by telephone: instantaneous and effective on being received. In this contract, Austin sent an email to Maurice and the email was sent on time. Unfortunately, Maurice did not bother to check his emails when he was returned to his office and by receiving an offer from Bill he immediately accepted.
Indeed, Austin sent the email at 1.00 p.m. but it was not his fault that Maurice had lunch on this time and that he will not check his emails by the time that he was arrived at his office. Maurice had to wait for an answer and had an obligation to check his emails and then accepts another offer. This reaction of Maurice was absolutely Maurice fault and legally it is not allowed to sell the car to another buyer by the time that you make an offer to someone else and wait for the acceptance.
Brinkibon Ltd v Stahag Stahl und Stahlwarenhandels GmbH(1983,HL). The House of Lords suggested (obiter) that telex messages transmitted when the receiver’s office was closed would be effective only once the office had reopened. So this is a similar case, because in the case of Austin and Maurice we know that Maurice made an offer to Austin and then Austin answered him by email. Maurice did not bother to check his emails after his break and make accept the offer of Bill. Nonetheless, Austin by the time was listened that Maurice sold the car to Bill, he look forward to find a similar car to buy, and in order to buy it he will need an additional amount of 2,000 pounds. When he informs about that, he was sent an email to Maurice demanding back the original car. At the moment that Maurice reads this email, the same time he reads and the acceptance email.
Following this stream of thought, I tend to believe that Austin have the right to do something in order to gain back the car from Maurice. There are some remedies that I think that it will be resulting for this situation. Firstly, he can demand the additional amount of 2,000 pounds in order to be able to buy the same car by another car dealer without costing him more than the initial price of the offer. And, he will be able to demand and a further amount. Also, as an additional suggestion to solve the problem, will be if Austin demands the car from Maurice and Maurice does not accept to give it to him, then to bring an action against him and this will be expanded to the judge. In my way of thinking it depends on Austin opinion how he will manage this occasion and which way will be more beneficial for him.
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