Oral Contract

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Oral Contract

An agreement between parties that is either partly in writing and partly dependent on spoken words or that is entirely dependent on spoken words.

An oral contract is enforceable unless its subject matter comes within the statute of frauds, an English Law adopted in the United States, that requires certain contracts to be in writing. For example, a contract to sell real property, to be enforceable, must be in writing to comply with the statute. An oral contract to sell Personal Property for an amount less than that set in the statute does not fall within its limits and, therefore, is enforceable without being reduced to a writing. The Uniform Commercial Code governs the enforceability of oral contracts in sales transactions involving merchants.

oral contract

n. an agreement made with spoken words and either no writing or only partially written. An oral contract is just as valid as a written agreement. The main problem with oral contracts is proving its existence or the terms. As one wag observed: "An oral contract is as good as the paper it's written on." An oral contract is often provable by action taken by one or both parties which is obviously in reliance on the existence of a contract. The other significant difference between oral and written contracts is that the time to sue for breach of an oral contract (the statute of limitations) is sometimes shorter. For example, California's limitation is two years for oral compared to four for written, Connecticut and Washington three for oral rather than six for written, and Georgia four for oral instead of 20 for written. (See: contract, agreement)

References in periodicals archive ?
These types include, but are not limited to, constitutions, statutes, regulations, judicial opinions, judicial orders, oral contracts negotiated by the parties, written contracts negotiated by lawyers, and wills.
The agent who enters into an oral contract will find himself facing someone like old Sam Goldwyn telling him that there is no chance of enforcing the oral agreement.
An oral contract is subject to the basic requirements of contract law such as offer, acceptance, consideration, and sufficient specification of essential terms.
9 Forestal filed a breach of contract claim in the Superior Court of New Jersey in April 2002 for the remaining balance due because it believed the oral contract specified the greater amount.
A home remodeling contractor who has entered into an oral contract for home remodeling, in violation of section 15 of the Home Repair and Remodeling Act (815 LLCS 513/1 et seq), may not only seek recovery under a theory of in quantum meruit but also enforce the oral contract, the Illinois Supreme Court has held.
In the appellate court's view, where one party to the CISG is able to enforce otherwise valid oral contracts while the opposing party is not, a U.
Because there are many thorny evidentiary problems associated with enforcing oral contracts, legislatures and judges show a strong preference for written contracts.
Lower ranking firms, particularly county-level firms, choose oral contracts more often, in part because they maintain close relationships with local farms and have confidence in each other.
Even if the terms of oral contracts in these areas could be proven, the courts won't enforce them.
Under the CISG, oral contracts of sale, that is, agreements made on the phone or in a meeting, are enforceable.
Second, writing requirements have been circumvented to enforce oral contracts, but only to the extent consistent with serving the goals of the writing requirement.
For these purposes, contracts include oral contracts.