Offer: A promise to do or refrain from doing some specified thing in the future, conditioned on an act, forbearance, or return promise being given in exchange for the promise or its performance; a display of willingness to enter into a contract on specified terms, made in a way that would lead a reasonable person to understand that an acceptance, having been sought, will result in a binding contract.
Acceptance: An offeree's assent, either by express act or by implication from conduct, to the terms of an offer in a manner authorized or requested by the offeror, so that a binding contract is formed.
Counter-offer: An offeree's new offer that varies the terms of the original offer and that ordinarily rejects and terminates the original offer.
Consideration: Something (such as an act, a forbearance, or a return promise) bargained for and received by a promisor from a promisee; that which motivates a person to do something, especially to engage in a legal act.
Performance: The successful completion of a contractual duty, usually resulting in the performer's release from any past or future liability.
All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).
A contract is a formal written agreement between two parties in relation to a particular set of goods or services. A contract for the sale of goods is governed by the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). A contract for services is governed by common law, though the UCC is often used by analogy. It is important to determine whether the general thrust of the contract is for goods or services prior to beginning a contract law analysis. An easy way to determine this is to ask, “What was the goal of the transaction—was it for a product or to have a service rendered?” The elements of a contract generally include: mutual consent, an offer, acceptance, consideration, and performance or delivery. There are other elements to be considered (such as good faith and fair dealing, or the statute of frauds) but these are the basic elements that must be examined first.
Bloomberg Law: In the Search & Browse tab, choose All Legal Content. In the Select Sources box, type “contracts” and select a source from the list that auto populates.
Bloomberg Law contains several reports on proposed legislation, as well as treatises and practice manuals such as Working with Contracts: What Law School Doesn’t Teach You and the Bargaining & Negotiated Contracts Manual.
Lexis Advance: Browse Topics—Contracts
Browse Sources—Search “Contracts” —Contract Law Emerging Issues; Corbin on Contracts; Restatement of the Law 2d, Contracts
Westlaw: There is no Westlaw topic on Contract Law. Instead, use the main search box to search using relevant keywords. Then, use the left-hand column to view Secondary Sources. Under Publication Type, narrow the search to Texts & Treatises. Some keywords you may wish to use are “contracts and unconscionability,” “contract remedies,” “statute of frauds,” or “contract formation.” Westlaw provides access to many related sources, including Williston on Contracts, Modern Law of Contracts, and Lawrence’s Anderson on the Uniform Commercial Code.
Under Tools—West Key Number System, 95: Contracts, 185: Statute of Frauds, 205H: Implied and Constructive Contracts, 316H: Public Contracts, and 358: Specific Performance may provide guidance in finding related materials.