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In Chapter 10, we emphasized the importance of predictability and stability for those who enter into contracts. Nevertheless, we do not want parties to jump immediately to the conclusion that they have a contract every time they talk about an exchange. Instead, we want to make it possible for people to talk about an exchange without having actually made a commitment to the exchange. Why? To aid your critical thinking about issues surrounding contract formation and performance, let’s look at a fact pattern involving concert tickets. Jennifer and Juan were recently involved in a breach-of-contract case. Juan had two extra tickets to a Garth Brooks concert, and he agreed to sell these tickets to Jennifer. After they had agreed on the price, Juan promised to give the tickets to Jennifer the next day. The next day, however, Jennifer did not want the tickets. Jennifer had discovered that it was an outdoor, afternoon concert. Jennifer argued that she should not have to buy the tickets because she is allergic to sunlight and unable to spend any extended period of time outside. The judge ruled in favor of Jennifer.

1. What ethical norms seem to dominate the judge’s thinking (see Chapter 1)? Clue: We have said that security is one reason for enforcing contracts. Review your list of ethical norms. Which norms seem to conflict with security in this case?

 2. What missing information might be helpful in this case? Clue: To help you think about missing information, ask yourself the following question:Would the fact that Juan knew that Jennifer was allergic to sunlight affect your thinking about this case?

 3. What ambiguous words might be troublesome in this case? Clue: Examine the reasoning that Jennifer uses to argue that she should be released from the contract.


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