Published on June 23, 2015
Wilbur, who has difficulty making up his mind for most of his 29 years, was sitting around on Sunday, with some of his friends. At one point, he says, "I'm going to try to sell my car, and if I can get an offer close to $9,000 I'm going to take it." Andy, one of the friends, thinks to himself that this might be a good deal. The following events occur later that same week. Monday: Wilbur arranges with the local newspaper for an advertisement to run beginning on Saturday, which will say, "1997 Honda Prelude, excellent, 1st $8,000 takes it. See it at 1902 Maple Street." Thursday: Andy delivers a note to Wilbur, which Wilbur reads later on Thursday. The note says, "I'll will take your car for $9,000" and is signed by Andy. Wilbur never responds to this note. Friday: Wilbur thinks he may have underpriced the car and calls the newspaper to cancel or modify his advertisement. It is too late to cancel or modify the advertisement for Saturday's paper and the ad runs on Saturday in the paper as originally stated. A new ad will start on Sunday which does not mention a price but Wilbur expects the car should bring close to $10,000. Saturday: After seeing the ad in the paper, Bob shows up with $8,000 cash in hand to buy the car. Wilbur refuses to sell the car to Bob. Andy and Bob each separately sue Wilbur wanting to force him to sell the car claiming that a contract has been formed. Discuss each case separately and how it might come out, including the arguments the parties would most likely raise. This is a contract law question so I expect your responses to utilize contract law concepts rather than your own personal feelings about the justice or injustice of the situation. Note: Please assume that the Statute of Frauds is not applicable, i.e., no requirement that the contract being in writing.