Modifications and the Pre-existing Duty Rule: Discussions in Contracts Podcast
The topic of this podcast is when contract modifications are not enforceable due to the pre-existing duty rule. Consideration is required to support enforcement of an agreement, including a modification to an agreement. In this podcast, we will look at when the pre-existing duty rule renders modifications unenforceable and when the modern common law rule and the rule of UCC § 2-209 permit enforcement of some modified agreements in the absence of new consideration.
On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
- Explain that a modification of a contract has to be agreed to by the parties.
- Explain that modifications follow the same rules of assent as apply to the formation of contracts.
- Identify and apply the pre-existing duty rule that requires modifications to be supported by new consideration to be binding.
- Explain and apply the modern common law rule that permits modification without new consideration if there are unforeseen circumstances, and the modification is fair and equitable.
- Explain and apply the rule of UCC § 2-209, which also validates contracts as modified without new consideration.
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