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Corbin on Contracts
Copyright 2017 SPRING, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

7-27 Corbin on Contracts 27.syn


Capacity of Parties


Edited by Professor Joseph M. Perillo

Chapter Summary


This chapter discusses the capacity of parties to enter contracts. Certain classes of people have limited contractual capacity; therefore, agreements entered by them are either void or voidable. For example, contracts entered by minors under the age of 18 are voidable, regardless of emancipation status. Such contracts are voidable by the minor and in many cases are voidable by their parents or legal guardians. Minors can disaffirm or ratify, expressly or by conduct, most agreements. However, there are some contracts that minors cannot avoid, such as a legal duty to supply the necessities of life to their children. Some statutes create exceptions for certain types of agreements related to military service and banking laws. The chapter discusses a number of issues relating to minors and contracts, including: restitution, torts and liabilities for necessaries.

The chapter also discusses the limited contractual capacity of the mentally infirm, whose agreements are voidable. This class of people includes those who are insane, senile, mentally retarded, and those experiencing temporary delirium resulting from physical injuries, intoxication, or medication. The chapter discusses the various tests applied to test mental capacity and ability to comprehend the nature of agreements. The chapter also discusses restitution, liabilities for necessaries, avoidance and ratification, and exploitation of alcoholics and others.

Finally, the chapter discusses attempts by persons to contract with themselves. While this generally is not possible, an individual may contract with a group when he is also a member of the group.

Hailed as ''the greatest law book ever written," this venerable resource is one of the most cited and influential treatises in print. Providing an exhaustive analysis of all the rules of contract law, including all exceptions and variations, Corbin on Contracts can help you prevent disputes and keep your clients out of court. Cited extensively in federal and state court opinions, this exhaustive exposition of all the working rules of contract law has for more than half a century helped lawyers understand what the rules of contract mean and how they can be used in daily practice.


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See Chapter 3, Acceptance and Rejection of Offer, for a more generalized discussion on entering or avoiding a contract.


See Murray on Contracts (Matthew Bender) for critical analysis of the law of contracts.

For extensive guidance, samples, and practice tips on contracts in California, see California Legal Forms: Transaction Guide (Matthew Bender).

For extensive guidance, samples, and practice tips on contracts in Texas, see Texas Legal Forms: Transaction Guide (Matthew Bender).

For complete guidance and procedural analysis of both the mechanics of completing UCC related forms, and the substantive law connected with those forms, see Forms & Procedures Under the UCC (Matthew Bender).
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