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something of Legally Sufficient Value must be given in exchange for the promise or the performance of an action that one is otherwise not obligated to undertake

legally sufficient value

a promise to do something that one has no prior legal duty to do


the refraining from an action that one has a legal right to undertake

Consideration in Bilateral Contracts

promise in return for a promise

Consideration in Unilateral Contracts

promise in return for a performance

Preexisting Duty

a promise to do what one already has a legal duty to do, no consideration

unforeseen difficulties

when the unforeseen difficulties that give rise to a contract modification are the types of risks ordinarily assumed in business and the courts will assert the preexisting duty rule

rescission and new contract

two parties can mutually agree to cancel their contract


the unmaking of a contract so as to return the parties to the positions they occupied before the contract was made

Past Consideration

promises made in return for actions or events that have already taken place are unenforceable (past consideration is no consideration)

Illusory Promises

when the nature or extent of performance is too uncertain, the promise is rendered illusory and unenforceable

option to cancel clauses

when the promisor has the option to cancel the contract before performance has begun

requirements contract

a buyer and seller agree that the buyer will purchase from the seller all of the goods of a designated type that they buyer needs, or requires

output contracts

the buyer and seller agree that the buyer will purchase from the seller all of what the seller produces, or the seller's output

Accord and Satisfaction

a debtor offers to pay, and a creditor accepts, a lesser amount than the creditor originally claimed was owed, only with unliquidated debt

Liquidated Debt

one whose amount has been ascertained, fixed, agreed on, settled, or exactly determined, no accord and satisfaction can take place


a contract in which one party forfeits the right to pursue a legal claim against the other party

Covenant Not to Sue

parties substitute a contractual obligation for some other type of legal action based on a valid claim

promissory estoppel

change in direction in reliance on a contract

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