Paula orally agrees to work with Next Corporation in New York City for two years. Paula moves her family and begins work. Three months later, Paula is fired for no stated cause. She sues for reinstatement or pay. Next Corporation argues that there is no written contract between them. What will the court say? Oral contracts are as good as written contracts; however in some jurisdictions it is require that a written contract be in writing such in the sale of real state.
An oral contract is also defined as any written or physical evidence used where two or more parties have agreed. Even though there is a piece of paper involved, the contract is not consider being a written one. In the case of Paula she has a legitimate reason to file charges for reinstatement or pay as long as she has some type of proof where Next Corporation compromises to give her employment. A good example will be a welcome letter, emails, or any other document that has information about her employment and duties.
Luckily for her, in the state of New York a handshake deal is a legally binding document such in the case of Texaco and Pennzoil in 1984. Also, if Paula can present witnesses in court that were aware of the business or employment offer, she can enforce it just like a written contract. The terms or even existence of her contract is somewhat hard to prove in court. If Paula was to decide to sue Next Generation for breach of an oral contract, she would be required to show that the oral contract exists. This may or may not be possible.
Assuming that Next Generation disagrees about the existence of or the terms of their oral contract, she must be able to prove her case by “a preponderance of the evidence”. In other words, the majority of the evidence must exist on her side. Other factors that may also corroborate the terms or existence of her contract are the level of organization, her demeanor (attitude), and ability to provide WRITTEN CONTRACTS3 Written Contracts documents that would corroborate her testimony are often the proof that is necessary to win an oral contract dispute.
Witnesses are always helpful, especially if they are not associated with her. If someone that she does not know witnessed the agreement and understands what the agreement was all about, that can be pretty potent evidence. With all these evidence on hand, Paula has a good case and possibly the court will make Next Generation to reinstate her or pay her for the remaining of the time. President Nixon said “trust everyone, but cut the cards. ” Sources used: Legal Zoom. com; Wikipedia; Allbusiness. com; personal notes.