Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
I’m sure you’ve been a situation where the other person asks, “Don’t you trust me? Why do we need a contract? Is my word not good enough?” The simple answer to this is NO! There’s an unfair amount of shame attached to asking a friend or family member to sign a contract. Why is it that we don’t bat an eye when signing a financing contract when buying a new car or signing mortgage papers when purchasing our dream home? Contracts are purely created to protect the parties involved in the transaction and shouldn’t be looked at as a barometer of trust between people, no matter the intimacy of the relationship or closeness of the friendship. I know it can appear harsh at times to ask another person to memorialize the agreement to writing, but in reality, it’s in the best interest of both parties.
Let’s delve deeper into contract law, a vast and fascinating area of the law. Do you know what makes a contract valid? A contract is a legally binding agreement between parties to do or not do something. There are three elements that must be present for a contract to exist.
Components of a Contract:
OFFER: A written or spoken statement by a party of his/her intention to be held to a commitment upon the offer’s acceptance.
This first element causes most legal disputes and misunderstandings. Often times, during the course of a conversation or negotiation, a customer believes an offer has been made, whereas the business argues they were only discussing possible options. This misunderstanding is more common than you think. Luckily, there are a number of factors to look at to determine whether an offer constitutes an offer. For example, is the person making the offer serious? If a person jokingly tells you that he will sell you his vintage sportscar for a strong cup of coffee, is not making an offer. On the other hand, a corporate executive who writes up on an offer on a lunch napkin may be perfectly serious. A court will examine the context in which the statement was made to determine whether it was a valid offer.
Another factor to consider is whether the statement shows a willingness of the party to be held to its contents. For example, a person requesting a price quote at a car dealership is not making an offer. Similarly, advertisements are not considered offers. They are viewed as mere invitations to an offer, rather than the offer itself.
It is essential to ask yourself if the statement contains definite terms? If the subject is clearly identified, the parties are identified, the price is set, and a time is set for performance, it’s likely that an offer was indeed made. The test hinges on whether or not there is enough information contained in the statement for a court to enforce the contract.
ACCEPTANCE: In order for a contract to be valid, there must be acceptance of the offer. Acceptance is effective if it was made when the offer was still open. In some instances, the offer will include a deadline or end date by which the offer must be accepted. Other ways an offer may end include: the person making the offer withdraws the offer, the person who receives the offer, rejects it, a reasonable amount of time has passed after the offer is made, or the subject matter of the offer is destroyed before acceptance.
Unless specified otherwise, an offer can be accepted through the mail. Texas abides by the “mailbox rule” that says acceptance is effective once it’s put in the mailbox. Therefore, if the offeror attempts to revoke the offer after the acceptance is mailed, but before it’s received, the person accepting the offer can hold the offeror to the contract. To avoid possible confusion, it’s advisable to specify in an offer that acceptance of the offer is only
effective upon receipt of the acceptance.
Also, it’s important to note that if a person changes the conditions of the offer, the original offer is considered rejected, and the changed conditions constitute a counter-offer. Additionally, there are two ways that a person can accept an offer: by promising to do something (bilateral contract) or by performing the desired act (unilateral contract).
CONSIDERATION: The third and final element of a valid contract is “consideration.” This legal concept and term of art describes something of value given in exchange for a performance or a promise of performance. Consideration is the distinguishing factor between contracts and gifts. For example, consideration can be the promise to do something there is no legal obligation to do, or a promise to not do something there is a legal right to do. The exchange of money, goods, or services are all forms of consideration. It’s vital to note that all parties in an agreement must give consideration in order to create a contract.
Now you are familiar with the three elements of a legally binding contract. All three, offer, acceptance, and consideration must be present in order for a contract to be formed. The next time you sign a contract, see if you can identify these three key compenents. Happy contracting!
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?