Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
LAWYER2
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 pm

Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby LAWYER2 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:22 pm

A jockey is under contract to race a horse for the owner, but the owner of the horse subsequently offers to pay the jockey an additional $10,000 if he wins a race. This would not be enforceable because the jockey already has a contractual duty to the owner to try to win the race. Now suppose I offer the jockey $10,000 to win a race (I'm not the owner), because I have a bet on his horse? He has no legal duty to me. Clearly, I will benefit if he wins.

Enforceable?
Any cases to cite to?

User avatar
Bustang
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:26 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Bustang » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:51 pm

Does the jockey promise to race? If so, then enforceable (he is losing his right of forbearance to race). If you simply say "if you win, i'll give you $10,000" and he was planning on racing anyway, you could revoke it before the race starts (RST 2d sec 45 states that once performance begins in a unilateral K you cannot revoke your offer) However if you revoked, and he filed suit, you would argue he incurred no legal detriment because he did what he was going to do anyway.

GatorBait09
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:02 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby GatorBait09 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:02 pm

Ditto, the extra $10000 is a gratuitous promise. The jockey gains nothing by accepting to do what he was already going to do. But are you sure you have the hypo right? Because a couple of weeks ago we got one where the jockey was offered $10000 by a different owner of a different horse to lose on purpose. And the question was who (if anyone) would have a right to action under various circumstances.

User avatar
LAWYER2
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby LAWYER2 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:13 pm

Thanks for the input Bustang and Gatorbait!

@Gatorbait, yes the fact pattern and circumstances are correct. That is a very interesting twist in the hypo presented in your class. What was the outcome?

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby dakatz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:19 pm

He is already contractually obligated to try and win the race. It doesn't matter if his owner offers him an additional $10,000 if he wins or if you offer him the money. It can't be a bargained-for exchange since the pre-existing duty rule precludes this. Had he not been participating in the race and you offered him 10K to win, thats a totally different story. But you can't bargain for his pre-existing duty.

Another example that completely parallels this would be if my parents called me up today and said they will offer me $10,000 if I get all A's in my first semester (lets put aside the discussion of family agreements and their enforceability). I, like everyone else here, was already shooting for A's. My pursuit of A's was not induced by my parent's offer, so it can't be consideration in the modern sense of a bargained-for exchange. Each side's promise or action must mutually induce the promise or action of the other.

For some cases regarding pre-existing duty, read Davis & Co. v. Morgan or Stilk v. Myrick. Both of these cases explicate the pre-existing duty rule and how prior obligations do not constitute consideration.

Hope this helps!

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Grizz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:04 pm

dakatz wrote:Another example that completely parallels this would be if my parents called me up today and said they will offer me $10,000 if I get all A's in my first semester (lets put aside the discussion of family agreements and their enforceability). I, like everyone else here, was already shooting for A's. My pursuit of A's was not induced by my parent's offer, so it can't be consideration in the modern sense of a bargained-for exchange. Each side's promise or action must mutually induce the promise or action of the other.


To be fair, you could just try to barely pass. Or you have the right to just fail if you want. Jockeys are contracted to try to win.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Bankhead » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:08 pm

Is this jockey really contracted to win? I'd at least bring up the ambiguity. As far as your betting, I'm not sure that is valid consideration (go into why it might be and why it might not).

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Grizz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:12 pm

Bankhead wrote:Is this jockey really contracted to win?


I'd argue that an implied term here is to try his best to win, I guess. Maybe not "win" per se.

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby dakatz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:13 pm

rad law wrote:
dakatz wrote:Another example that completely parallels this would be if my parents called me up today and said they will offer me $10,000 if I get all A's in my first semester (lets put aside the discussion of family agreements and their enforceability). I, like everyone else here, was already shooting for A's. My pursuit of A's was not induced by my parent's offer, so it can't be consideration in the modern sense of a bargained-for exchange. Each side's promise or action must mutually induce the promise or action of the other.


To be fair, you could just try to barely pass. Or you have the right to just fail if you want. Jockeys are contracted to try to win.


Again, like anyone in some sort of competition, we're operating under the assumption that one tries wholly and completely to win. You are right that, if i am a slacker, and my parents offer me 10K in order to completely overhaul my study habits and make me work harder, then that is consideration, since there is a modification of my pre-existing duty.

As for the jockey, the same applies. If for some reason he is expected to give some half-ass effort and not really train hard for the race, but is given 10K to work harder, that is a modification of his pre-existing duty. But again, if we are operating under the assumption that one doesn't compete unless one is trying to win, then its pretty concrete.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Grizz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:16 pm

dakatz wrote:As for the jockey, the same applies. If for some reason he is expected to give some half-ass effort and not really train hard for the race, but is given 10K to work harder, that is a modification of his pre-existing duty. But again, if we are operating under the assumption that one doesn't compete unless one is trying to win, then its pretty concrete.


I'd argue the above, that absent special circumstances, people contract jockeys to try to win. It's implied. But yeah, I see what you're saying, too. If it were an exam, I'd write both.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby 270910 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:31 pm

There are cases out there establishing that modifications to contracts don't require consideration. Otherwise many reasonable modifications would be unenforceable by being viewed as unilateral through a consideration/bargaining lens. Here the argument would be that a term was modified by mutual assent rather than the creation of a new unenforceable contract.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Grizz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:32 pm

disco_barred wrote:There are cases out there establishing that modifications to contracts don't require consideration. Otherwise many reasonable modifications would be unenforceable by being viewed as unilateral through a consideration/bargaining lens. Here the argument would be that a term was modified by mutual assent rather than the creation of a new unenforceable contract.


Ah, haven't gotten there yet.

User avatar
clintonius
Posts: 1239
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:50 am

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby clintonius » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:31 am

oh my jesus christ this class is going to kill me

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby Grizz » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:51 am

betasteve wrote:
rad law wrote:
dakatz wrote:As for the jockey, the same applies. If for some reason he is expected to give some half-ass effort and not really train hard for the race, but is given 10K to work harder, that is a modification of his pre-existing duty. But again, if we are operating under the assumption that one doesn't compete unless one is trying to win, then its pretty concrete.


I'd argue the above, that absent special circumstances, people contract jockeys to try to win. It's implied. But yeah, I see what you're saying, too. If it were an exam, I'd write both.

This is closer. There is an implied duty of good faith in performance in every K.

As to the OP, see McDevitt v. Stokes, 192 S.W. 681 (Ky. 1917).


Validated by beta? My day's off to a good start.

User avatar
LAWYER2
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: Please help me out with this Contracts fact pattern

Postby LAWYER2 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:37 pm

clintonius wrote:oh my jesus christ this class is going to kill me



LoL, it's really not that bad at all, as long as you keep your string of rules in order. You simply go down a checklist to see if it meets certain criteria. If not, keep going, when you find it. Lay out an example why, a counter for why not, conclude it and you're done!




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests