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Interesting eBay Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by California Dreamer, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    This is absolutely true. I know nothing of it.

    To my uneducated mind: if there is no explicit and written contract that both parties agreed to....: there is no contract.


    Still wrong. Contracts an be oral or written, explicit or implied. Even when no binding contract has been formed, one party can still have a claim against the other for what is known as "promissory estoppel" if he has disadvantaged himself by taking action, or refraining to act, in reliance upon the statements of the other.
     
  2. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Actually most agreements "reduced" to writing that is why you have a job.

    At least you're consistent. Leaving aside the fact that odoreater's practice (as I understand it) generally doesn't turn completely on contract law, it's the fact that most contracts are not reduced to writing, or at least not a writing that clearly covers all contingencies, that generates so much work for litigators.
     
  3. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    Indeed, lawyerdad and odoreater are 100% correct. Back when I did a more general practice, the vast majority of the contract disputes never had a writing that addressed anywhere near four-square the area(s) of concern raised by the client.

    One of my favorites contract war stories (I was merely an observer) took place in NYC Small Claims Court. Plaintiffs sued defendant for, inter alia, breach of contract for selling a dog that died within hours of delivery. Defendant offered as a defense that the classified ad merely promised a dog. not a live dog. The judge understood that implied warranties had been breached. If one wants to observe the theater of the absurd of oral contracts, one ought spend a night in one's jurisdiction's small claims court.
     
  4. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    Wow, I've missed a good one here. The only thing I'd add is that the Statute of Frauds provides that there are certain contracts that must be reduced to writing in order to be valid. Of course, this relates to U.S. law. No idea if this is the same in the winter is summer, opposite swirling toilet part of the world.
     
  5. Rolo

    Rolo Senior member

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    Just to toss a spanner into the works . . .

    I think there is still an open question in most jurisdictions about whether state auction statutes and/or regulations apply to eBay transaction.
     
  6. dkzzzz

    dkzzzz Senior member

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    I realize that the law and the life are two different things.
    My brain always takes a shortcut through common sense, alas I am wrong.

    Why these implied, not even verbalized "contracts" have their day in court could be only explained by Pickwick Club heritage. That moldy bunch of "gentlemen-code" bullshit left over from British empire.
     
  7. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I realize that the law and the life are two different things.
    My brain always takes a shortcut through common sense, alas I am wrong.

    Why these implied, not even verbalized "contracts" have their day in court could be only explained by Pickwick Club heritage. That moldy bunch of "gentlemen-code" bullshit left over from British empire.


    Thank god we don't all live in the world of dkzzzz law, where no agreement is binding unless it is written down. I can imagine the stories:

    Man sits down at a cafe and orders a coffee. Server brings him his coffee. Man drinks coffee and stands up to leave. Server: "sir, you must pay for that coffee." Man: "says who?" Server: "sir, there is an agreement implicit in our conduct that you must pay for the coffee." Man: "show me where that agreement is written down." Server: "um, well, gee, uh, err, um, well uh, okay then, I guess you don't have to pay."

    dkzzzz - the reason that oral agreements are enforceable is because of common sense, not in spite of common sense.
     
  8. dkzzzz

    dkzzzz Senior member

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    Thank god we don't all live in the world of dkzzzz law, where no agreement is binding unless it is written down. I can imagine the stories:

    Man sits down at a cafe and orders a coffee. Server brings him his coffee. Man drinks coffee and stands up to leave. Server: "sir, you must pay for that coffee." Man: "says who?" Server: "sir, there is an agreement implicit in our conduct that you must pay for the coffee." Man: "show me where that agreement is written down." Server: "um, well, gee, uh, err, um, well uh, okay then, I guess you don't have to pay."

    dkzzzz - the reason that oral agreements are enforceable is because of common sense, not in spite of common sense.


    I disagree with your interpretation of common sense.

    The example of bizzaro world should look like this:

    The man sits at the table in a restaurant.
    Server brings a menu.
    Men orders cup of coffee.
    Server comes back and apologies for having no coffee left in the shop.
    Customer (his voice braking):"But, but your menu clearly says 4 dollars for Irish coffee?"
    Server:" Yes it does sir , but we sold it all today to other customers".
    Customer (with tears in his eyes): " But I want coffee so much!"
    Server:"Sorry sir. I guess you out of luck here"
    Customer : "I will sue you restaurant for breach of implied contract ! I'll see you in court!"
     
  9. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    OMG!

    Once again, you are conflating concepts. The menu is an offer to start a discussion, not an offer.

    Customer: Oh, I see you have coffee, I will take a cup (offer)
    Waiter: Yes, sir. Right away. (acceptance and contract)


    Customer: Oh, I see you have coffee, I will take a cup (offer)
    Waiter: Sorry, sir, we are out (no acceptance and, therefor, no contract)
     
  10. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I disagree with your interpretation of common sense.

    The example of bizzaro world should look like this:

    The man sits at the table in a restaurant.
    Server brings a menu.
    Men orders cup of coffee.
    Server comes back and apologies for having no coffee left in the shop.
    Customer (his voice braking):"But, but your menu clearly says 4 dollars for Irish coffee?"
    Server:" Yes it does sir , but we sold it all today to other customers".
    Customer (with tears in his eyes): " But I want coffee so much!"
    Server:"Sorry sir. I guess you out of luck here"
    Customer : "I will sue you restaurant for breach of implied contract ! I'll see you in court!"


    But in the real world, the law works exactly as you are implying common sense would dictate. Customer is SOL, and it's up to him to decide whether he wants to order something else, come back a different day, or take his patronage to a restaurant with better inventory control.
     
  11. meister

    meister Senior member

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    The buyer won the plane case today in the papers and the seller is still spewing for some reason aka the othe guy offered more!
     
  12. Silk

    Silk Active Member

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    Apr 1, 2007

    Of course none of this will have any impact on American contract law in the least.


    I might be wrong but I think the case has persuasive value no matter the jurisdiction from which it originates. Depending on how desperate I am, I am willing to use any case, be it from India or even China.
     
  13. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    It is very unlikely that a bread and butter contract enforcement action in a foreign country will have any precedential value in US courts. Basically, the facts of the case make this of some limited interest to folk who care about Australia, e--bay, and planes. However, there are not really any new legal principles at play.

    A US court would look to controlling US statutes and/or regulations and applicable decisional precedent to address a comparable case.
     

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