Before Maria starts her first year of college, Fred promises to give her $5,000 when she graduates. She goes to college, borrowing and spending far more than $5,000. At the beginning of the spring semester of her senior year, she reminds Fred of the promise. Fred sends her a note that says, “I revoke the promise.” Is Fred’s promise binding? Explain
Tabor is a buyer of file cabinets manufactured by Martin. Martin’s contract with Tabor calls for delivery of fifty file cabinets at $40 per cabinet in five equal installments. After delivery of two installments (twenty cabinets), Martin informs Tabor that because of inflation, Martin is losing money and will promise to deliver the remaining thirty cabinets only if Tabor will pay $50 per cabinet. Tabor agrees in writing to do so. Discuss whether Martin can legally collect the additional $100 on delivery to Tabor of the next installment of ten cabinets.
Daniel, a recent college graduate, is on his way home for the Christmas holidays from his new job. He gets caught in a snowstorm and is taken in by an elderly couple, who provide him with food and shelter. After the snowplows have cleared the road, Daniel proceeds home. Daniel’s father, Fred, is most appreciative of the elderly couple’s action and in a letter promises to pay them $500. The elderly couple, in need of funds, accept Fred’s offer. Then, because of a dispute between Daniel and Fred, Fred refuses to pay the elderly couple the $500. Discuss whether the couple can hold Fred liable in contract for the services rendered to Daniel.
Costello hired Sagan to drive his racing car in a race. Sagan’s friend Gideon promised to pay Sagan $3,000 if she won the race. Sagan won the race, but Gideon refused to pay. Gideon contended that no legally binding contract had been formed because he had received no consideration from Sagan in exchange for his promise to pay the $3,000. Sagan sued Gideon for breach of contract, arguing that winning the race was the consideration given in exchange for Gideon’s promise to pay the $3,000. What rule of law discussed in this chapter supports Gideon’s claim?
Access Organics, Inc., hired Andy Hernandez to sell organic produce. Later, Hernandez signed an agreement not to compete with Access for two years following the termination of his employment. He did not receive a pay increase or any other new benefits in return for signing the agreement. When Access encountered financial trouble, Hernandez left and began to compete with his former employer. Access filed a lawsuit against Hernandez. Is the noncompete agreement enforceable? Discuss
Claudia Aceves borrowed from U.S. Bank to buy a home. Two years later, she could no longer afford the monthly payments. The bank notified her that it planned to foreclose (take possession of and sell) on her home. Aceves filed for bankruptcy. The bank offered to modify Aceves’s mortgage if she would forgo bankruptcy. She agreed. Once she withdrew the filing, however, the bank foreclosed. [Aceves v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 192 Cal.App.4th 218, 120 Cal.Rptr.3d 507 (2 Dist. 2011)]
Could Aceves succeed on a claim of promissory estoppel? Why or why not?
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