Contract Analysis (50 points)
Each student is to produce a 4 paragraph paper analyzing a contract. In advance of the paper send, for review by the instructor, a copy of a contract used in everyday life, e.g., insurance, credit card, rental agreement, gym membership, etc. Send this by email. Be creative. It can be a blank contract. Several websites offer free form contracts. There are contracts in Canvas under Student Resources Module. The copy of the contract must be turned in with the paper unless you are using one that is in Canvas. In that case, merely reference the title of the contract in your report. A URL is not a substitute. It will count as if no contract was attached.
Please make sure any confidential data has been deleted or blacked out. A four paragraph typed summary of the contract must be attached which discusses any features of the contract that were covered in the text.
The first paragraph is to be a summary of the entire contract. Please note that I said a summary â€“ which means an overview of the contract and not a detailed description. Your summary paragraph should not be much longer than the 3 other paragraphs. Iâ€™m looking for an overview of the contract and not what each section is about.
The other three paragraphs are to be used to discuss and analyze three different clauses in the contract (one per paragraph) and how they relate to the textbook and lecture. Be sure and indicate which paragraph in the contract you are discussing, e.g., #1 of the contract talks about x, y, and z.
I am looking for an analysis of how each clause relates to the class material. Little or no analysis will result in point deductions. Summarizing the clause is not an analysis. Show me that you understand how this clause functions in the â€œreal worldâ€. I want to see that you understand the legal consequences of each clause you are discussing and not just paraphrasing the contract wording. Hypothetical examples are an easy way of showing this.
You must also refer by page or chapter to the part(s) of the text you are using. It is not sufficient to say â€œaccording to the textâ€ or something similar. Additionally, do not reference other textbooks. I donâ€™t have access to them so I can verify the reference. If you donâ€™t have a text, there is one on reserve in the library or you can refer to the chapter the legal concept is found in by using the Power Point slides. I donâ€™t mind if you use the 7th edition but say so as I waste time looking through all texts to see which one a student used. That will bring about a point(s) deduction.
What Not To Put in Your Contract Report
Discussing the formation of a contract is not acceptable. In other words, Express/Implied Contracts, Offer; Acceptance; Consideration; Bilateral; etc., are not clauses in most contracts. Only discuss these if the contract includes language such as: â€œThe parties acknowledge that there is a valid offer and acceptanceâ€¦â€¦â€ Most contracts do not have wording to this effect so donâ€™t talk about offer, acceptance and consideration, etc. Do Not Talk About Offer, Acceptance and Consideration.
Donâ€™t talk about an express contract. If you are unsure, then ask me via email. Most contracts donâ€™t say, â€œThis is an express contractâ€. If your contract is in writing
ITâ€™S AN EXPRESS CONTRACT! It is probably a bilateral contract as well. You will receive no extra points if you state this. If you use any of these concepts as the legal concept in your analysis and, the legal concept isnâ€™t the subject of that clause, you will receive no points for that clause. Each clause is worth 12 points so thatâ€™s a huge loss of points.
If you are using a rental or lease agreement for real property, at least one clause must be from outside of the chapter titled â€œLandlord and Tenant.If all three of your clauses rely on that chapter, there will be an automatic 11 point deduction.Please email me if you are unsure of your clauses.
Please remember, agreements for real property or services do not follow the UCC.So, if using an agreement for real property or services, do not discuss any of those UCC chapters .
Students in online classes often miss the easiest clause to talk about â€“ ADR or Arbitration as it doesnâ€™t have extensive coverage in the text.However, it is critical in the business world.Additionally, most contracts have â€œboiler plateâ€ clauses towards the end.These clauses are the easiest to use as the text generally has good information on them as well as examples.If you are using an example from the text, be sure to reference that.
It is strongly advised to have your contract chosen before mid-term and reviewed by me, the instructor, shortly after that. I will also be happy to review and make any comments on your rough draft if submitted to me a minimum of 48 hours before the due date. If I review your rough draft and suggest changes, subsequent requests for review are welcomed but must include the previously suggested changes.
Spelling and grammar are part of the grading and deductions will be taken if there are errors in these areas.
I also take into account the difficulty of the subject matter you have attempted.It is easy to talk about â€œterminationâ€ of a contract.It is more complex to talk about â€œsubrogationâ€ or â€œrisk of lossâ€.Be sure that you are not talking about the UCC when dealing with a contract for real property, services, e-contracts, etc.
Here is how the grading rubric breaks down:
Summary paragraph , 5 points;
Clause 1, 2 and 3, 12 points each with a further breakdown for each clause of 3 points for correctly identifying a concept, 3 points for defining it, 1 point for referencing it to the text, and 5 points for the analysis;
Contract attached , 3 points; and,
8 points for spelling and grammar.
You can see that a long summary paragraph will not make up for an inadequate analysis.