KEY TERMS USED IN CONTRACTING

Offer: an unequivocal and clear manifestation by one party of its intention to contract with another.
Unequivocal: clear, definite and without doubt
Invitation to treat: This is a mere invitation by a party to another or others to make offers or bargains. The invitee becomes the offeror and the invitor becomes the offeree. A positive response to an invitation to treat is an offer.
Acceptance: This is the external manifestation of assent by the offeree.
Revocation: This is the withdrawal of the offer by the offeror.
Consideration: It has been defined as ―an act or promise offered by the one party and accepted by the other party as price for that others promise.‖
Estoppel: It a doctrine that is to the effect that where parties have a legal relationship and one of them makes a new promise or representation intended to affect their legal relations and to be relied upon by the other, once the other has relied upon it and changed his legal position, the other party cannot be heard to say that their legal relationship was different.
Conditions: This is a term of major stipulation in a contract. If a condition is breached, it entitles the innocent party to treat the contract as repudiated and to sue in damages.
Warranties: This is a minor term of a contract or a term of minor stipulation. If breached, it entitles the innocent party to sue in damages only as the contract remains enforceable and both parties are bound to honour their part of the bargain.
Merchantable quality: Fit to be offered for sale. Reasonably fit for the buyer‘s purposes
Privity of contract: This doctrine is to the effect that only a person who is party to a contract can sue or be sued on it.
Void: Lacking legal force.
Voidable: Capable of being rescinded or voided.
Caveat emptor: It literally means ―buyer beware‖ This is a Common Law principle to the effect that in the absence of fraud or misinterpretation, the seller is not liable if the goods sold do not have the qualities the buyer expected them to have.
Quantum meruit: This literally means ―as much as is earned or deserved”. This is compensation for work done. The plaintiff is paid for the proportion of the task completed.
Breach of contract: A failure to perform some promised act or obligation
Frustration of contract: A contract is said to be frustrated when performance of the obligations becomes impossible, illegal or commercially useless by reason of extraneous circumstances for which neither party is to blame.
Damages: it is a monetary award by court to compensate the plaintiff for the loss occasioned by the breach of contract.
Ex-gratia Sum: – a free-sum, one not required to be made by a legal duty
In futuro: – in future:
Unilateral Mistake: This is a mistake as to the identity of one of the parties to the contract. Only one party is mistaken and the mistake is induced by the other party.
Misrepresentation: This is a false representation. It is a false statement made by a party to induce another to enter a contractual relationship.
Duress: – actual violence or threats thereof

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