Adulterous Contracts

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7 Responses

  1. Lawrence Cunningham says:

    Why Ottawa? Is it a civil law jurisdiction, so not an adherent of the consideration doctrine as the primary basis of contract formation?

    The public policy difficulty reminds me of the chestnut appearing in the Dawson et al Contracts casebook, Whitten v. Greeley-Shaw (Maine 1987) refusing to enforce formal agreement between two in extra-marital relationship by applying strict bargain theory of consideration, without getting into the exact public policy question).

  2. Kaimi says:

    Maggie Gallagher recently suggested that a revived tort of alienation of affection would be a good idea, because of websites like this. (Eugene Volokh disagreed.)

  3. Miriam Cherry says:

    Ok, so the website is morally reprehensible. Is the site any worse than the individuals who use it?

    The contract may be pretty one-sided, but that seems to be a secondary question…

    Websites don’t commit adultery, people do (snarky paraphrase of another Volokh blogger).

  4. Nate says:

    Ottawa is a common law jurisdiction. I think that it was chosen because the business is based in Toronto.

    Miriam: I completely agree that the users of the site are more morally reprehensible than the users. The site is still pretty sleezy…

  5. A.J. Sutter says:

    I’m not sure I understand what makes it a good exam hypo: is it good because there is a good complex issue about blackletter contract law per se, or because you want to elicit public policy arguments? If the latter, is that really what people are testing on in contracts courses these days?

  6. nate says:

    Oops. I should have typed “than the site owners.” It was a long night with a 21-month-old who has an earache…

  7. A.W. says:

    Not sure about Ottawa law, but if we go by american law, you don’t need classical consideration: you have detrimental reliance.

    The public policy issue, however, is more interesting. Its obviously legal to cheat, but i would say that the law shouldn’t lift a finger to help people cheat. So it is unenforceable.

    Of course if this site is smart, they will be paid upfront.