Business Law Question


In the case of Lucy v. Zehmer, Zehmer spent the night drinking with his friend Lucy. During the evening, a piece of paper was signed whereby Zehmer agreed to sell his farm to Lucy. In this assignment, you will review the full case study in your textbook, analyze the contractual elements and ruling, and indicate whether you agree with the ruling.


Read the Lucy v. Zehmer case summary in the “Elements of the Offer” section of Chapter 14 in your textbook, and the analyze the case in relation to contract law.

Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:

Identify the contractual element Zehmer contended was missing.

Summarize the court ruling and explain the reason for the ruling.

Agree or disagree with the ruling, and include a rationale to support your ideas.

Summarize a personal experience in which you entered into a contract that you did not think of as a binding contract at the time. Consider which elements of a contract were in place and which were missing.


Identify the contractual element Zehmer contended was missing:

In the case of Lucy v. Zehmer, Zehmer contended that the element of mutual assent or intent to contract was missing. He argued that the agreement made while drinking with Lucy was merely a joke or jest, not a serious offer to sell his farm.

Summarize the court ruling and explain the reason for the ruling:

The court ruled in favor of Lucy, upholding the validity of the contract to sell the farm to him. The court reasoned that, based on the circumstances surrounding the agreement, there was evidence of mutual assent between the parties. Despite the informal setting and the consumption of alcohol, the court found that both parties had manifested an intention to be bound by the agreement. The court emphasized the objective standard of contract law, which focuses on the outward expressions and actions of the parties rather than their subjective intentions.

Agree or disagree with the ruling, and include a rationale to support your ideas:

I agree with the court’s ruling in this case. While it is true that the agreement between Zehmer and Lucy occurred in a casual setting and may have initially seemed like a joke, the court correctly applied the principles of contract law to determine the enforceability of the agreement. Contract law is based on objective standards, and the court appropriately considered the outward manifestations of the parties’ intent rather than their subjective beliefs. Both parties engaged in negotiations, exchanged offers and counteroffers, and ultimately reached a mutual agreement to sell the farm. Therefore, the court’s decision to uphold the contract reflects a fair and equitable application of contract law principles.

Summarize a personal experience in which you entered into a contract that you did not think of as a binding contract at the time. Consider which elements of a contract were in place and which were missing:

One personal experience I had involved entering into a verbal agreement with a friend to purchase a concert ticket. We discussed the details of the ticket, including the price and seating arrangement, and verbally agreed that I would buy the ticket from my friend. However, I did not consider this agreement to be a binding contract at the time, as it was a casual conversation between friends and lacked formal documentation or signatures.

In this situation, the elements of offer and acceptance were present, as my friend offered to sell me the concert ticket, and I accepted the offer. Additionally, consideration was provided in the form of payment for the ticket. However, the element of intention to create legal relations may have been missing, as the agreement was made in a social context between friends and did not involve any formalities or indication of a serious intent to be bound by the agreement. Therefore, while the essential elements of a contract were present, the informal nature of the agreement may have led me to perceive it as non-binding at the time.

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