THE BROWN COW (2nd attempt....1st was better) 
Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 02:08 PM
Posted by Administrator
I remember, I think, the law-school-contracts-class example of no "meeting of the minds". There is no contract...no enforceable agreement... if minds on each side don't meet. Here goes:

I am a cow farmer. We are on one side of my fence and a passel of my cows is on the other. You say to me "I want to buy the brown and white cow.", I tell you "$500" and we shake hands on the deal. The next day, you come back with your cow hauler and I lead up the cow I thought you wanted: brown with white spots. You say "I told you I wanted the brown and white cow...the one that was white with brown spots." Obviously, white cows with brown spots are worth much more than $500 so I am not willing to give you the cow you thought you'd bought....I'm only willing to give you the cow I thought you'd bought.

We don't have a contract because there was no meeting of the minds. If you paid, already, I give you your money back and that it that. Except that you really want to sue me and your lawyer finds a way (but, that is another story).

Two weeks ago, I thought I had hired someone to do four small repair jobs at my house. "All three spots and cut the shingles for $450?", I asked. "Yes."

But, after the "workers" came and went, I found only 1/2 of the work had been done. I called the man I'd made the deal with and, he said that he had never agreed to do 1/2 of the work I thought I had hired him for.

By the miracle of modern law (as passed down from the old days in England....and referred to as "English Common Law".....) he is entitled to the reasonable value of what he did since we never had a contract and, therefore, we never really agreed on a price. Could the reasonable value of the two jobs be more than what (I thought) we'd agreed to for the 4 jobs? Sure. Neither side gets "the benefit of the bargain" if there is no bargain (where "bargain" is used to mean enforceable agreement/contract).

"Nothing in writing?", you may ask. Of course not. That would make too much sense.

....and, I'd have nothing to write about. (Also, at the time I thought we'd made a deal....we were standing on my roof.)
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