Oral Contract

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to Oral Contract: written contract

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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In other words, I ask them to assume (not unreasonably) that an oral contract was formed during the phone call, based on the combination of the Hills' oral offer to purchase the computer and Gateway's "prompt promise to ship." The "formal memoranda" referred to in Official Comment 1 would then be the written terms that are included in the computer box.
These constraints differentiate the circumstances of constitutional communication from an ordinary conversation (and from an oral contract negotiation).
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.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Dimmick has filed a breach of contract suit in Shawnee County District Court, claiming he and the Rowleys reached a legally binding oral contract that they would hide him in exchange for an unspecified amount of money.
An "agreement, partly written and partly oral, must be regarded as an oral contract, the liability arising under which is not founded upon an instrument of writing." Johnson v.
(8) Daros paid Forestal $1,458,212.35 for finger-joints which, according to Forestal, were valued at $1,857,766.06.9 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.
For example, some states permit a court to order the breaching party to perform a contract only if it is in writing; the party suing upon a breach of an oral contract is limited to damages.
A promise will not be enforced unless the actions attending it clearly refer to the existence of the oral contract for sale of the land.
The award type between the two is a definitive contract, which is "a written or oral contract reflecting the last thing two parties have agreed on," explained Abdel Aziz Aidaros, corporate lawyer at LAW FIRM.