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Foundational Principles of Contract Law$
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Melvin A. Eisenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731404

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199731404.001.0001

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The Elements of a Contract

The Elements of a Contract

Expressions, Implications, Usages, Course of Dealing, Course of Performance, Context and Purpose

Chapter:
(p.367) Twenty-Seven The Elements of a Contract
Source:
Foundational Principles of Contract Law
Author(s):

Melvin A. Eisenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199731404.003.0027

Chapter 27 concerns the elements of a contract. Contracts consist in large part of expressions, that is, manifestations consisting of words, acts, or both, which are either communicated by an addressor to an addressee or jointly produced by two (or occasionally more) contracting parties. It is sometimes assumed that where contractual expressions are embodied in a single writing the writing is the contract. That assumption is incorrect because contracts almost invariably include a number of additional elements—in particular, the implications of the parties’ expressions and any relevant usage, course of dealing, and course of performance. The context and purpose of a contract are not, strictly speaking, elements of a contract, but bear on its interpretation.

Keywords:   expressions, implications, usages, course of dealing, course of performance, context, purpose

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