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Contracts

Exam 17
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

Upon graduation from culinary school, Pastry Chef applied for several jobs with local bakeries. Chocolatier was planning to open a bakery, and he needed a chief baker. Having reviewed Pastry Chef’s credentials, Chocolatier called Pastry Chef in for an interview. 

Impressed, Chocolatier agreed to hire Pastry Chef as chief baker. Chocolatier anticipated that the shop would open in eight weeks, but noted that this would be possible only if he signed a lease renting shop space in the next three weeks. Pastry Chef asked whether Chocolatier had any leads on suitable rentals. Chocolatier replied that he had been negotiating with the landlords of three different locations, each of which would work well for his planned shop. The two signed the following agreement on 2/1:

Chocolatier will employ Pastry Chef as the chief baker for his shop for six months, paid $5,000 per month, beginning 4/1, on condition that Chocolatier signs a lease renting shop space by 2/22.

On February 23, Chocolatier called Pastry Chef and told her that he had been unable to secure any rented space for his shop. Pastry Chef responded with sympathy, but became suspicious when Chocolatier avoided answering any questions about why the negotiations fell through. 

Pastry Chef contacted the three landlords, and learned that on February 8, Chocolatier had stopped returning any phone calls or emails from the landlords. Pastry Chef subsequently secured alternative employment with another local bakery, but her replacement job began on May 1 instead of April 1, and she earns only $4,000 per month. Upset, Pastry Chef has sued Chocolatier for breach of contract.


Questions

  1. Is a court likely to find an enforceable contract, even though Chocolatier did not sign a lease for his shop space? Explain, assuming that the basic requisites of offer, acceptance, and consideration are all satisfied.
  2. If the court finds that Chocolatier and Pastry Chef formed an enforceable contract that Chocolatier breached, what damages will Pastry Chef likely receive? Explain.

Question 1

Is a court likely to find an enforceable contract, even though Chocolatier did not sign a lease for his shop space? Explain, assuming that the basic requisites of offer, acceptance, and consideration are all satisfied.

Question 2

If the court finds that Chocolatier and Pastry Chef formed an enforceable contract that Chocolatier breached, what damages will Pastry Chef likely receive? Explain.

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