February 21, 2011
Teaching Contracts via Seinfeld...Again
I find that some students tend to struggle with the concept of implied terms, especially when it comes to the non-occurrence of an implied condition serving as an excuse for non-performance. When that happens, I offer some additional explanation and then point them to this clip from Seinfeld. In the contract between George Costanza and Newman, George C. promises to pay Newman in exchange for Newman's promise to deliver a calzone to George C.'s employer, George Steinbrenner, whose office is located along Newman's mail route. When George C. discovers Newman at home instead of out delivering mail and Italian delicacies, he accuses him of breach. Newman, however, has an excuse. And it's a particularly funny one given his profession. More importantly than the humor, however, is that this presentation of an implied condition leads to many of those "Oh, *now* I get it" moments that make teaching so worthwhile. Enjoy!
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