In the area of Contracts, there are both written and oral contracts. Written contracts are easy to prove as long as you can produce the writing. Is there a date on the contract? Terms and conditions? Signature? Some sort of monetary consideration or exchange? Then you are good to go.
Oral contracts are a little harder to prove. Obviously, they are harder to prove because if you say there was an oral contract and the other person says there was not an oral contract, then how do you prove its existence? Oral contracts, also referred to as implied contracts, are far more circumstantial than written contracts. In other words, in order to prove the existence of an oral contract, you have to be able to point to the actions of others in a way that supports your claim. Take this basic example:
The boy next door claims that he entered an oral contract with you to mow your lawn for $50. You say there was no contract and he mowed your lawn out of the goodness of his heart. At trial, you admit that he came over to your house and asked if he could cut your lawn for $50 next Saturday at 3:30 pm. Not really wanting to pay attention to the boy, you told him to do whatever he wants. So, he cuts your lawn at 3:30 pm on Saturday.
Was there a contract? Yes. We can identify when the boy asked you to cut the lawn, how much a cut would cost, and when the cut was going to happen. If he actually cut the lawn, then you have to pay.
One of the easiest ways to prove an oral contract is to show that age-old handshake. Even in today’s society, a good old hand shake is as good as a signature. If you can point to the other elements of a Contract and add on a handshake, you have a legally binding oral contract.
If you think you have an oral contract, or someone is claiming that you breached an oral contract, call my law firm for a free consultation. I will sit down with you, listen to your circumstance, and together we can decide how to proceed to protect your property and that which is owed to you.
Call 412-209-0657 and ask for Matthew Becker