Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers.
April 26, QUESTION PRESENTED 1 Under New York law, 2 did 3 Loman's Fashions' description of a designer leather coat in an advertising circular constitute an offer 4 to sell the coat which became a binding contract when the text of the advertisement indicated that the coats were a "manufacturer's closeout" and that the early shopper would be rewarded, and when a shopper signified her intent to purchase the coat according to the advertised terms?
The ad announced that the store would open at 7 a. The store manager declined, and the shopper filed a complaint in Small Claims Court, 9 alleging that Loman's had breached a contract by failing to sell the advertised leather coats at the advertised price.
In this case, the manufacturer had discontinued the line of coats and Loman's was not prepared to sell other, designer leather coats at such a drastic markdown. Loman expressed concern 11 that, if the shopper's interpretation were to hold, Loman's would have to reconsider its marketing strategies; she had assumed that the advertised terms applied while supplies lasted.
She asks whether Loman's would have any contractual obligation under these circumstances. Loman's contends that the advertisement was intended to apply while supplies of the item lasted, and that is it not obligated to sell the shopper a comparably valued coat at the advertised price.
The issue in this case is whether a retailer's advertisement will be considered to be an offer that may be turned into a binding contract by a shopper who signifies an intention to purchase the items described in the advertisement. A court would likely conclude that the shopper did not state a cause of action for breach of contract because the advertisement did not constitute an offer which, upon acceptance, could be turned into a contract but rather and invitation to negotiate.
The only general test is the inquiry whether the facts show that some performance was promised in positive terms in return for something requested.
However, a purchaser may not make a valid contract by mere acceptance of a "proposition. Nor does the purchaser have the right to select an item which the seller does not have in stock or is not willing to sell at a reduced price. In Schenectady Stove Co.
Under these circumstances, the Court of Appeals held that no contract was ever made between the parties with respect to an order that defendant submitted because the plaintiff had not made an offer that was complete and definite in all material terms.
Hence, it was not possible for the defendant to make a valid contract by mere acceptance of a "proposition.
Similarly, in Lovett, a department store advertised that it would sell, deliver, and install certain "wellknown standard makes of radio receivers at 25 per cent. The plaintiff had demanded a particular model of radio that was not listed in the ad, and the defendant had declined to sell it at the reduced price.
The court held that an advertisement by a department store was not an offer but an invitation to all persons that the advertiser was ready to receive offers for the goods upon the stated terms, reasoning that such a general advertisement was distinguishable from an offer of a reward or other payment in return for some requested performance.
The court further held that, even assuming the plaintiff's "acceptance" turned the offer into a contract, the purchaser did not have the right to select the item which the defendant did not have in stock or was not willing to sell at a reduced price.
By its terms, the advertisement announced that it had a stock of coats to sell, and described the coats as a manufacturer's closeout selling at a substantially reduced price. As the court noted in Lovett, 19 a prospective purchaser does not have the right to select items that the retailer does not have in stock or is not willing to sell at a reduced price.
However, the ad indicated that the store, opening for business on the day of the sale at 7 a.September marks the 45th anniversary of the coup in which the CIA helped remove the democratically elected (but leftist!) president of Chile, and replaced him with the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
For this reason, many people do not write the final version of the question presented (or the short answer) until they have almost completed the "discussion" section of the memo.
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