The first year of law school, at least for me and others of my generation going through the University of South Carolina School of Law, involved an in-depth study of contracts and of “consideration,” usually money exchanged for person goods, like a widget or a car or for real property but there were those pesky oral contracts also. Looks like a lawyer made what a law student believed was an oral contract which he accepted by performance: http://www.ajc.com/news/law-student-moves-fast-568319.html See, there has to be an offer, an acceptance and it must be supported by the hairy thing known as consideration.
In South Carolina and elsewhere, “A contract is an obligation which arises from actual agreement of the parties manifested by words, oral or written, or by conduct.” Ralph King Anderson, Jr., South Carolina Requests to Charge-Civil § 19-1 (Contract – Defined). But the Texas law student who sued for the failure to pay what he contended was a contract was relying upon the premise that an “implied in fact contract is a contract which arises when assent of parties to agreement is manifested by conduct.” Rolandi v. City of Spartanburg, 294 S.C. 161, 363 S.E.2d 385 (Ct. App. 1987). Have I lost you yet on this? (I know that “consideration” was a pure-tee bear when I was a law student in 1981.)
As the sued lawyer put it in the story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I’m really unconcerned about it,” Mason said last year. “When it’s over, somebody or some group of people out there are going to have to face the consequences of filing such a false, stupid lawsuit.” The law student and his attorney see it differently, of course.
Do you think this will be like the million dollar cup of coffee spilled by the lady into her own lap in a McDonald’s drive through? Will this be another example of our litigious society? Will this be an attorney who has to pay the piper? What do you think?