April 18, 2012
Professor DeAngelis on the Mirror Image Rule
We have previously posted links to Professor Mark DeAngelis's "Law Lessongs" on Raffles v. Wichelhaus, the UCC's Battle of the Forms (2-207), substantial performance, offers and mixed contracts from Professor DeAngelis's YouTube site .
A nice companion piece to the Battle of the Forms and the offer song is this law lessong about the Mirror Image Rule, which professor DeAngelis introduces as follows:
This is a "Law Lessong" - a law lesson in a song - that I wrote to help students consider the application of the Mirror Image Rule to contract acceptances. This song deals with the issues of acceptance of contract offers. At Common Law, the Mirror Image Rule required that the acceptance language mirror that of the offer. Any different or additional language may convert the attempted acceptance into a counteroffer - terminating the ability to accept the original offer. The modern trend is for courts to soften the MIR by looking at the substance and meaning of additional language - finding counteroffers where the attempted acceptance manifests an intent to contract only under the new or different terms.
Mirror Image Rule
Lyrics by M. DeAngelis
Tune: Secret Agent Man
There's a rule of contract law that's danger,
For businessfolks to whom contract law's a stranger.
With each offer in the trade,
How is acceptance made?
You don't want to risk a counteroffer!
Refrain: Mirror Image Rule, Mirror Image Rule, The language of acceptance and the offer must be the same.
Any different language could be trouble.
Add another term - you've got trouble doubled!
At Common Law it's true,
With additional language you're through.
No acceptance here, it's counteroffer.
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