Bar Exam (US) Contracts: Question below is based on the following fact situation. In June 2007, ...

Question

Question below is based on the following fact situation.

In June 2007, the South Philadelphia School of Law advertised in The National Law Journal for a Legal Ethics and Jurisprudence professor. Among those applicants responding to the ad was Harlan Heckler, who was a practicing attorney in the nearby city of Sherman Oaks. Alfred Avis, the assistant dean at the South Philadelphia School of Law (who was in charge of interviewing all applicants), was impressed with Heckler's credentials. He immediately wrote Heckler to offer him the position and enclosed the following instrument for Heckler's signature:

"1. The South Philadelphia School of Law agrees to employ Harlan Heckler as a Legal Ethics and Jurisprudence professor during the academic year 2007-2008. Mr. Heckler's salary will be $25,000, payable in equal bi-weekly installments during the period from September 1, 2007, to June 1, 2008.

2. Mr. Heckler agrees to accept such employment and to perform his duties as law school professor diligently and competently.

3. Mr. Heckler shall be entitled to ten sick days, with full pay, for the academic year.

South Philadelphia School of Law

By/s/ ________________________

Alfred Avis

_____________________________

Harlan Heckler"

After Heckler received this letter, he replied by mail, requesting a salary of $30,000 and sick leave of fifteen days. Upon receipt of Heckler's letter, Avis telephoned Heckler on June 30 and told him that the law school followed the American Bar Association guidelines with respect to salary and sick leave for its professors. Heckler acquiesced on the salary question, but insisted that his sick leave be extended to fifteen days. Avis told Heckler that the law school was bound by the ABA guidelines but said, "Let's not permit a minor issue to stand in the way of your coming to South Philadelphia. In the event you require more than ten sick days, I promise that the matter will be taken care of to your benefit." Heckler informed Avis that he would sign the contract and forward it to Avis (which he promptly did).

Heckler began teaching at South Philadelphia School of Law on September 1, 2007. Three months later, Heckler was out sick for five days with laryngitis. Heckler did not miss another school day until Monday, March 1, 2008, when he fell ill with food poisoning. This illness kept Heckler home for five additional sick days. By this time, several other professors, as well as numerous students, contracted botulism after eating in the law school cafeteria. As a consequence, Heckler telephoned Dean Avis on Monday, March 8 and said, "Dean, please be advised that I shall not be resuming my teaching duties until this botulism epidemic has safely been brought under control."

Although the law school remained open during the week of the botulism epidemic, only a few of the regularly scheduled classes were held as the majority of professors and students stayed home. By Monday, March 15, the epidemic had been safely arrested and the law school resumed normal operations. Heckler, who had fully recovered from his attack of food poisoning, also resumed his teaching duties on March 15. When Heckler received his salary check at the end of the week, his check did not include payment for the previous week (from March 8 to March 12). Accompanying the check was a statement that read:

"Salary payment for period from Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 19 with pro rata deduction to reflect five teaching days missed during said period."

On the back of Heckler's check, the law school typed the following statement:

"Endorsement of this check by payee constitutes surrender of all claims against South Philadelphia School of Law arising out of his/her employment contract."

When Heckler received his check, he immediately confronted Dean Avis and requested full payment for the week of March 8 through 12. Avis responded, "Harlan, I'm sorry, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it." In need of money, Heckler endorsed the check and cashed it.

Suppose Heckler asserts a claim against South Philadelphia School of Law for breach of contract. Heckler offers to introduce evidence that during his telephone conversation with Avis on June 30, Avis promised, if necessary, to provide him with additional sick days. The most accurate statement concerning Avis's oral promise would be that

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    Parol evidence is admissible to show that the parties assented to their written contract only as a partial integration of their complete contract.
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    Parol evidence is admissible to prove a subsequent oral agreement that varies or contradicts the terms of a prior written contract.
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    Parol evidence is admissible to show that the written contract is not enforceable because of undue influence or fraud.
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    Parol evidence is inadmissible to prove contemporaneous oral agreements that vary or contradict the terms of a written contract.
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