§1: Origins of the
Statute of Frauds
1677 England passed the law “An Act for the
Prevention of Frauds and Abuses.”
Certain types of contracts must be in writing
and signed by the party against whom
enforcement is sought to be enforceable.
Today, almost every state has a Statute of
§2: The Statute of Frauds
To be enforceable, the following types of
contracts must be in writing and signed:
Contracts involving interest in land.
Contracts involving “One-Year Rule.”
Collateral or Secondary Contracts.
Promise made in consideration of marriage.
Contracts for the sale of goods priced at $500 or
Interests in Land
Land includes all physical objects that are
permanently attached to the soil: buildings,
fences, trees, and the soil itself.
All contracts for the transfer of other interest
in land: mortgages and leases.
Case 14.1: Michel v. Bush (2001).
The One-Year Rule
A contract that cannot, by its own terms, be
performed within one year from the date it
was formed must be in writing to be
One-year period begins to run the day after
the contract is made.
Test: Whether performance is possible
(although unlikely) within one year.
Promises Made in
Consideration of Marriage
Prenuptial agreements must be in writing and
signed to be enforceable.
Contracts must be supported by some
consideration to be enforceable.
Prenuptial agreements may not be enforceable
if the agreement is not voluntary.
Contracts for the Sale of Goods
UCC requires a writing or memorandum for
the sale of goods priced at $500 or more.
Case 14.2: Spears v. Warr (2002).
Special Exceptions under the UCC.
§3: Sufficiency of the Writing
Under the Statue of Frauds.
Must name, identify subject matter, consideration,
other essential terms, and must be signed by the
the party against whom enforcement is sought.
Under the UCC.
Need only name the quantity term and be signed
by the party to be charged.
Case 14.3: Interstate Litho Corp. v. Brown
§4: Parol Evidence Rule
Oral representations or promises made prior
to the contract’s formation or at the time the
contract was created, may not be admitted in
the Parol Evidence Rule
Contracts subsequently modified.
Voidable or Void contracts.
Contracts containing ambiguous terms.
Prior dealing, course of performance, or
usage of trade.
the Parol Evidence Rule 
Contracts subject to orally agreed-on
Contracts with an obvious or gross clerical
error that clearly would not represent the
agreement of the parties.
Case 14.4: Cousins Sub Systems v.