Monday, January 25, 2010

Meeting of the Minds Element in Contract Formation

ELEMENTS OF ORAL AND WRITTEN CONTRACT The elements of written and oral contracts are the same and must be present for a contract to be binding. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Lopez, 93 S.W.3d 548, 555 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, no pet.). A binding contract must have an offer and an acceptance; the acceptance must be in strict compliance with the terms of the offer. Advantage Physical Therapy, Inc. v. Cruse, 165 S.W.3d 21, 25 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, no pet.). ASSENT / ACCEPTANCE ELEMENT: MORE THAN MERE ACQUIESCENCE REQUIRED Generally, acceptance of an offer must be communicated to the offeror for a contract to be binding. Id. at 26. Thus, silence does not ordinarily indicate acceptance of an offer. See id. (citing Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 69(1) cmt. a (1981)); see also Tex. Ass’n of Counties County Gov’t Risk Mgmt. Pool v. Matagorda County, 52 S.W.3d 128, 132 (Tex. 2000) (noting that “as a general rule, ‘silence and inaction will not be construed as an assent to an offer’” (quoting 2 Williston on Contracts § 6:49 (4th ed. 1991))). SOURCE: The Levin Law Group, PC v. Sigmon (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 21, 2010) (Defendant conclusively established that he did not accept the terms of the mediation specified in the letters faxed by Plaintiff, the mediation rules form, or the mediation agreement form—an essential element of plaintiff's claim alleging breach of agreement to mediate)

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