We began by asking whether the parties have made a promise. Did West give Bailey sufficient reason to believe that he wished to board Bascom’s Folly at Bailey’s farm? Was Lucy justified in taking seriously Zehmer’s decision to sign the contract for the sale of the Ferguson Farm? Our two most recent principal cases explored whether some promises are simply too indefinite to be enforced. Either the parties had no intention of being contractually bound, or the purported contract gives the court too little information to be able to discern the substance of the parties’ agreement.
In this chapter, we will examine the doctrines that determine whether courts will enforce even reasonably definite promises.