Law Paper - Consider This Real-Life Legal Problem.

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Date Submitted: 01/14/2012 10:39 PM

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Lamar Smunt, eccentric millionaire, sends Casmir Roginsky, famous portrait artist, a letter offering to pay Roginsky $500,000 to do a portrait of Smunt's mother. Roginsky sends back a letter that says, "I've had the misfortune of seeing your mother and would need $750,000 before my artistic sensibilities would allow me to undertake such a harrowing project." Three hours later, after reflecting on the sad state of his finances, Roginsky telephones Smunt and says: "I'd be delighted to paint your lovely mother. Destroy my letter without reading it. It was sent by mistake." Smunt disregards Roginsky's instructions and reads Roginsky's letter when it arrives. He becomes enraged at the insult to his mother and refuses to allow Roginsky to do her portrait. Roginsky files a reach of contract suit against Smunt.

Discuss Roginsky's chance of success.

Dear Mr. Roginsky,

Thank you for contacting me. I understand you wish to file a lawsuit for breach of contract against Mr. Smunt. Let me review what I understand:

Mr. Smunt contacted you via letter asking you to paint a portrait of his mother. He offered to pay you $500,000 for the portrait. You sent a letter back to Mr. Smunt, declining the $500,000, and stating you would need $750,000 to paint the portrait. A few hours later, you regretted sending the letter. You picked up the phone and called Mr. Smunt, asking him to disregard the letter, and saying you would accept his offer of $500,000 for the portrait.

Upon receipt of the letter, Mr. Smunt reads it. He is very angry and refuses to allow you to paint the portrait. You now wish to sue Mr. Smunt for breach of contract, as you believe a binding contract is in effect. Obviously Mr. Smunt feels otherwise.

The way I understand your situation, Mr. Smunt made you an offer. There are three criteria1 for this offer to be valid:

1. Mr. Smunt, who is referred to as the offeror, intended to be bound by the offer.

2. The terms of the offer must be definite.