Parol Evidence Rule.........

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iworkforlsac
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:35 am

Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby iworkforlsac » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:29 am

Anyone struggling with this shit (Parol Evidence Rule)? Or am I the only one thats just fcking stupid?

Especially regarding the fact that there are just so many takes on this topic

(Williston, Corbin, Rest 1st, Rest 2d, UCC, etc.)...

The rules to this topic are equally perplexing, and even my hornbook blatantly admits there are no clear answers and

that this is just one big mess of a rule (similar to what it says about the "Battle of the Forms" UCC 2-207).

Will be glad to hear others weigh in on PER.

WinbyLazy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:01 pm

Re: Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby WinbyLazy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:25 pm

Perhaps these will help -– made these during my 1L Ks class. Netted an A.

Battle of the Forms (pdf) (LinkRemoved)

Parol Evidence Chart & Scope (pdf) (LinkRemoved)

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SilvermanBarPrep
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Re: Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:54 pm

It's best to first understand the rule, and then think about the exceptions to the rule. Keep in mind that although it's often tested in Contracts, it's a rule of Evidence. For purposes here, let's assume that x and y enter into a written contract.

The Parole Evidence Rule states that if x and y intended for the written contract to be the final statement of their intentions regarding the agreement (the court will often look to a merger clause in the contract to prove it was meant to be a complete and final recitation of the agreement), then any oral statement that contradicts a statement in the written contract that was made prior to the written contract, or while the contract was being written, will not be admissible as evidence in court. Essentially the policy here is that if the oral statements were so important to x or y (or both) then they should have included it in the written agreement; the burden of not including it is placed on them by not having those statements admitted into court.

But there are a few exceptions to definitely note. If the oral statement was one that either x or y is claiming is evidence of a formation defect (for example perhaps the oral statement is evidence of a mistake during formation of the contract), then that evidence will be admissible regardless of the Parole Evidence Rule. The same holds true if the oral statement is deemed to be a condition precedent, or one that will explain an ambiguous term within the contract. It's also very important to note that if the statement doesn't contradict a statement in the written contract (perhaps it merely clarifies a statement), it will be admissible, as will any oral statement that is made subsequent to the written contract (only statements made prior to the written contract or at the same time as the written contract, are subject to the rule..

What makes the rule difficult are all of the exceptions, but understand the policy, and it becomes easier.

iworkforlsac
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:35 am

Re: Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby iworkforlsac » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:35 pm

Both of your responses were immensely helpful-- thank you.

Seeing that both of you guys did well, any other advice in general for doing well in Contracts?

My exam is closed book, and the prof is really big on parsing out the majority/minority rules

and takes a heavily rule-based approach.

blong4133
Posts: 219
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby blong4133 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:10 am

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:It's best to first understand the rule, and then think about the exceptions to the rule. Keep in mind that although it's often tested in Contracts, it's a rule of Evidence. For purposes here, let's assume that x and y enter into a written contract.

The Parole Evidence Rule states that if x and y intended for the written contract to be the final statement of their intentions regarding the agreement (the court will often look to a merger clause in the contract to prove it was meant to be a complete and final recitation of the agreement), then any oral statement that contradicts a statement in the written contract that was made prior to the written contract, or while the contract was being written, will not be admissible as evidence in court. Essentially the policy here is that if the oral statements were so important to x or y (or both) then they should have included it in the written agreement; the burden of not including it is placed on them by not having those statements admitted into court.

But there are a few exceptions to definitely note. If the oral statement was one that either x or y is claiming is evidence of a formation defect (for example perhaps the oral statement is evidence of a mistake during formation of the contract), then that evidence will be admissible regardless of the Parole Evidence Rule. The same holds true if the oral statement is deemed to be a condition precedent, or one that will explain an ambiguous term within the contract. It's also very important to note that if the statement doesn't contradict a statement in the written contract (perhaps it merely clarifies a statement), it will be admissible, as will any oral statement that is made subsequent to the written contract (only statements made prior to the written contract or at the same time as the written contract, are subject to the rule..

What makes the rule difficult are all of the exceptions, but understand the policy, and it becomes easier.


This is a very good summary of the law.

I don't have anything to add to this but I will say that with most of the complex legal theories you'll learn, the best way I learned to tackle them is to work from the outside in. First, get a good handle on the purpose of the law. REally understand what the law is trying to do. Once you get this, then start moving in to some of the more specific issues.

But whatever you do, don't sit down and try to learn the whole thing at once. Take it in portions. You'll save yourself a lot of headache over this stuff. Get your general concepts, then slowly start adding to it.

Contracts can be very complicated, but if you use the outside-in approach, it will make things much, much easier to handle.

Good luck!

WinbyLazy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:01 pm

Re: Parol Evidence Rule.........

Postby WinbyLazy » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:06 pm

iworkforlsac wrote:Both of your responses were immensely helpful-- thank you.

Seeing that both of you guys did well, any other advice in general for doing well in Contracts?

My exam is closed book, and the prof is really big on parsing out the majority/minority rules

and takes a heavily rule-based approach.


I think my doing well in Contracts was partly because I enjoyed the subject matter. But, contracts generally has a lot of rules, exceptions, etc. which is made more difficult because of your closed-book exam. What I did, first, was have a very rigid and well organized outline. Second, because of the many rules and exceptions, I made acronyms(?) of everything. For example, if the first tier of my outline was: Statute of Frauds, Parol Evidence Rule, Defenses, I'd use the letters "SPD" and make a phrase I can remember, like, "Sexual Police Department"––funny and easy to remember. Then, I'd use the tier under "State of Frauds" and make an acronym from one letter of each of the main elements (like sales of land, sales of goods >$500, consideration of marriage, etc.), so then I'd have a series of letters and, in turn, a phrase.

So come exam time (on scratch paper), I'd write out my phrase at the top, "Sexual Police Department." Subsequently, I'd write S for Statute of Frauds, then write the acronym vertically and write out the main topics. Thus, I'd, within 5 minutes, have my entire outline written out in that I'd have all the main topics right there.

While that's easy, what you have to know are the little things: small exceptions, how to apply rules, etc. But I've found that when you can visually see your outline, you can better recall and apply the rules that come with each tier and section of your outline. But organization is tantamount to this.

(I'm a visual learner.)




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