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Postoffer Illegality

15 January, 2016 - 09:32

A statute making unlawful the object of the contract will terminate the offer if the statute takes effect after the offer was made. Thus an offer to sell a quantity of herbal weight-loss supplements will terminate if the Food and Drug Administration outlaws the sale of such supplements.


An offer is a manifestation of willingness to enter into a contract, effective when received. It must be communicated to the offeree, be made intentionally (according to an objective standard), and be definite enough to determine a remedy in case of breach. An offer terminates in one of seven ways: revocation before acceptance (except for option contracts, firm offers under the UCC, statutory irrevocability, and unilateral offers where an offeree has commenced performance); rejection; counteroffer; acceptance with counteroffer; lapse of time (as stipulated or after a reasonable time); death or insanity of the offeror before acceptance or destruction of subject matter essential to the offer; and postoffer illegality.


  1. Why is it said an offer is a “manifestation” of willingness to enter into a contract? How could willingness be “manifested”?
  2. Which kind of standard is used to determine whether a person has made an offer—subjective or objective?
  3. If Sandra posts a written notice offering “to the kitchen staff at Coldwater Bay (Alaska) transportation to Seattle at the end of the fishing season,” and if David, one of the maintenance workers, says to her, “I accept your offer of transportation to Seattle,” is there a contract?
  4. What are the seven ways an offer can terminate?