Last minute K Q- Family promises

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
lawschoolproblems86
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby lawschoolproblems86 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:37 am

What's the deal with them? I'm still not entirely clear. I keep hearing mixed things, as in the general rule, family promises are never valid because of lack of consideration, but then in some cases they are, and its not even acknowledged that they were family members in the reasoning. I don't see why consideration is needed in a family promise. If the two parties are agreeing to something and giving adequate consideration why the fuck is it relevant if they are related? Or am I not even understanding this whole concept correctly. AHHHHH

HWS08
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:32 am

Re: Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby HWS08 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:10 am

The family relationship between the parties really does not have anything to do with enforceability. It's all a question of consideration (bargained-for exchange).

Not enforceable: aunt says to nephew "I will give you $2000 when you turn 25" and nephew says "cool, I'll take the money when I'm 25." This not an enforceable promise because there is no consideration. The aunt is not getting anything in return for her promise to the nephew. It is completely irrelevant that they are relatives.

Enforceable: aunt says to nephew "If you promise not to drink before you turn 25 I will give you $2,000" and nephew says "Okay, I won't drink until after I turn 25 in exchange for your $2,000." This promise IS enforceable because both parties have bargained for and will receive something they wanted (aunt gets nephew to abstain from alcohol until after he is 25, which is something she apparently wanted, and nephew gets money). Again, irrelevant that they are relatives.

BeaverHunter
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:05 am

Re: Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby BeaverHunter » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:17 pm

I'm not sure that is correct. The family promise you mentioned as valid is only enforceable if there is a significant economic value to the transaction. In Hamer v. Sidway, there was a family promise with CSD, and the law interjected because it was a very wealthy family and its affairs were business like. If you promised to pay your son $100 for mowing the lawn, that wouldn't be enforceable, but if there was reliance there would be an estoppel case. A little confused on this topic as well...

HWS08
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:32 am

Re: Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby HWS08 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:00 pm

BeaverHunter wrote:I'm not sure that is correct. The family promise you mentioned as valid is only enforceable if there is a significant economic value to the transaction. In Hamer v. Sidway, there was a family promise with CSD, and the law interjected because it was a very wealthy family and its affairs were business like. If you promised to pay your son $100 for mowing the lawn, that wouldn't be enforceable, but if there was reliance there would be an estoppel case. A little confused on this topic as well...


That's definitely not how my professor analyzed Hamer. What is CSD?

Also, why wouldn't a promise to pay your son $100 to mow the lawn be enforceable? Obviously it would be a waste of time and money to actually sue on a promise like that because the damages are probably very small, but aside from that, what is the reason? There is an offer, the son accepted, there is consideration (your promise to pay, his promise to perform or actual performance if you made it an acceptance by conduct). If you tell him "I will no longer pay you" or decide not to pay after he's performed, why he couldn't he recover for breach of contract?

ellewoods87
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:18 pm

Re: Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby ellewoods87 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:10 pm

HWS08 wrote:
BeaverHunter wrote:I'm not sure that is correct. The family promise you mentioned as valid is only enforceable if there is a significant economic value to the transaction. In Hamer v. Sidway, there was a family promise with CSD, and the law interjected because it was a very wealthy family and its affairs were business like. If you promised to pay your son $100 for mowing the lawn, that wouldn't be enforceable, but if there was reliance there would be an estoppel case. A little confused on this topic as well...


That's definitely not how my professor analyzed Hamer. What is CSD?

Also, why wouldn't a promise to pay your son $100 to mow the lawn be enforceable? Obviously it would be a waste of time and money to actually sue on a promise like that because the damages are probably very small, but aside from that, what is the reason? There is an offer, the son accepted, there is consideration (your promise to pay, his promise to perform or actual performance if you made it an acceptance by conduct). If you tell him "I will no longer pay you" or decide not to pay after he's performed, why he couldn't he recover for breach of contract?


+1...the fact that they're family promises really has nothing to do with whether they're enforceable or not. we also didn't discuss hamer in that way. I took hamer to be that abandoning a legal right or limiting legal freedom as inducement for a promise constitutes consideration.

in a promissory estoppel context, it can be enforced when one reasonably relies on this family promise (ricketts v. scothorn if you read that one)

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Last minute K Q- Family promises

Postby zomginternets » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:36 pm

The unenforceability of "family promises" as contracts stems from the fact that courts refused to recognize love and affection within a family as consideration for the promise.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], cavalier1138 and 2 guests