Contract law refers to the area of law that is responsible for delegating and enforcing legally binding agreements. Contracts are necessary to hold parties accountable for the agreements that they make. This includes business negotiations, personal purchases on credit, and other transactional agreements for services rendered. What are the types of contract law?
There are eight main types of contract law. They are Express, Conditional, Joint, Implied, Unconscionable, Adhesion, Option, and Fixed-price contracts. Each type of contract law serves its own unique purpose.
This guide will break down the different functions each of the contract law types is designed for and the circumstances in which they would be applied. If you are considering a career in contract law, this guide can help you decide which type is best suited for your skills.
What Is Express Contract Law?
Express contracts are formal agreements between two parties that they agree to be bound to legally. Express contract law deals with enforcing these agreements by drawing up the official documents for the parties involved to sign.
This type of contract law is fairly straightforward. Any party in breach of this contract will be subject to litigation. It will be the job of the express contract lawyer to oversee these litigations between the parties.
What Is Conditional Contract Law?
Conditional contracts are contracts that are only enforceable if the stipulations of the agreement are followed. Conditional contract lawyers will oversee the implementation of these stipulations, as well as oversee any litigations due to a breach of these conditions that could cause a dissolution of the contract.
Examples of condition contracts are vehicle sales that have not been paid in full. When you buy a vehicle that you have not paid in full, you will likely be required to enter into a conditional contract that states you will not receive full ownership of the vehicle until it is paid in full.
What Is Joint Contract Law?
Joint contracts are contracts that involve several different parties. This typically involves parties on one side of the contract agreeing to be jointly responsible for any liabilities incurred. A lawyer dealing in joint contracts will oversee the enforcement of the contract’s terms and shared liability.
An example of a joint contract at work is when two parties agree to be liable for a share of the monthly expenses of a business. If one of the parties fails to put up their share of the expenses, the other parties involved can litigate both parties to receive their share.
What Is Implied Contract Law?
An implied contract is one that is based on action and inference rather than typically written agreements. That being said, it has the same legally binding power that an express contract does.
This type of contract is the most difficult to enforce due to its rather ambiguous and implied nature. An example of an implied contract is the warranty that comes when your purchase a new device or appliance.
A lawyer specializing in implied contract law will be in charge of delegating the terms and conditions of the implied contract and also enforcing the terms if necessary.
What Is Unconscionable Contract Law?
Unconscionable contract law focuses on defending against the enforcement of legally binding contracts that have been deemed unfair or malicious. If one party believes that the contract they have entered into is somehow unfair, they can bring it to litigation.
In the litigation stage, contract lawyers will look over the terms and decide whether or not the contract meets the criteria to be deemed unconscionable. If this happens, the terms of the contract will not be enforced and the user can exit the agreement without any penalty.
What Is Adhesion Contract Law?
Adhesion contracts are contracts that must be accepted without any negotiation from the other party. Adhesion contracts involve one party having substantially more bargaining power than the other.
The weaker party in the contract must accept the terms of the contract unconditionally, or else they will not be able to enter into the agreement. An example of an adhesion contract is the terms of service that you enter into when using an application like Facebook or Instagram.
When you make an account on these applications and use their services, you agree to their terms of service unconditionally in exchange for having access to the application.
What Is Fixed-Price Contract Law?
Fixed-price contracts are agreements that two parties enter into with a set price for goods or services. Both parties agree to these terms and the prices set by them by entering into a fixed-price contract.
If either party tries to change the terms of these agreements, they will be subject to litigation due to the fixed nature of the agreement. Any price changes will have to be negotiated and drawn up in a new fixed-price contract for them to be enforceable.
What Is Option Contract Law?
An option contract involves one party offering funds to another for the option to purchase goods at a later date. Once the seller has entered into an option contract with a buyer, they will be unable to sell the item to anyone else but the other party.
There will be a timeframe set up in the contract for the buyer to follow through with the purchase. During this time, if the seller sells the item, they will be open to litigation from the buyer.
What Exactly Is Contract Law?
Now that you understand more about the different types of contract laws, you can examine this area of the law more closely. Contract law deals with enforcing all types of legally binding agreements entered into by individuals or businesses.
Most transactions over five hundred dollars will call for you to sign some form of contract agreement if you are paying for it over time. The terms and conditions of this agreement will be enforceable by law once both parties have agreed to enter into the contract.
Contract law covers the eight different types discussed in this guide, each with its own unique function.
What Does a Contract Lawyer Do?
A contract lawyer is responsible for drawing up the legally binding document that will be signed by all parties involved. Once the contract has been signed, all parties involved will then be subject to enforcement of the terms by a contract lawyer.
Contract lawyers are prevalent in many different facets of the professional world. Some work for large businesses while others practice privately. Like other forms of law, it is quite a lucrative profession and a great area to consider if you are interested in law.
What Happens During Breach of Contract?
If there has been some form of breach in a contract, that means that one or more parties have not held up their end of the agreement. When this happens, a contract lawyer will look over the terms of the contract and oversee the litigation process.
Once the litigation process has determined who is in breach of the contract, they will be ordered to pay a compensatory amount to the other party. It will be the job of the contract lawyer to oversee this process and ensure that the proper judgment is reached.
In some severe cases of contract breach, the offending party could face criminal charges. These instances are rare but could happen if the contract were breached in a manner that is not compliant with the law.
Should I Hire a Contract Lawyer?
It is generally good advice to hire a contract lawyer to oversee the implementation and enforcement of any contract that you are entering into. That being said, it will ultimately be up to the individual to decide if their transaction warrants a contract lawyer.
Generally, for personal sales under a certain price range, it might not be worth it to hire a contract lawyer. If the goods you are selling are valuable, a car, for instance, it might be a good idea for you to have a contract lawyer draw up a legally binding contract to ensure that you receive your payment.
If you have a rather simple contract that you need to draw up, then you can expect to pay between $300 to $900 to have it done by a contract lawyer. For significantly more advanced and complicated contracts, the price will be much higher, at around $1100 to upwards of $5000 a contract.
Using the information provided in this guide, you now have a better understanding of the different facets of contract law and the functions that they serve. Contract law is one of the most interesting branches of the law, as it serves so many different services spanning all parts of the professional world.
If you are interested in contract law, you can use this guide to help you choose which type is best suited for you. This guide has provided detailed breakdowns of all of the different types of contract law for you to consider.