Oklahoma Contract Law

Do you know the elements of an enforceable Oklahoma contract?

It’s one thing to make an Oklahoma “contract” but it is an entirely different and more valuable thing to make an “enforceable Oklahoma contract.”  

So what are the elements of an enforceable Oklahoma contract?  See below:

The Definition

An enforceable Oklahoma contract is . . .

“an agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.”

This is a simple statement but critical if you want to make contracts that are enforceable. Without all the required elements, you can still make contract . . . you just can’t enforce them!

The Elements

The elements of an enforceable Oklahoma contract are:


Parties capable of contracting.


An offer by one party;


An acceptance by the other party; and


Each party must voluntarily give something of value or promise to give something of value in exchange for what the other gives or promises.


That is it. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet thousands of court cases in Oklahoma alone has grappled with seemingly simple elements for over 100 years.

 An example

I can promise to pay you $1,000,000.00 in 90 days. You can whole-heartedly accept my promise. When 90 days comes and goes and I don’t pay you the money, do you think you can win a lawsuit against me to recover the money?

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Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Contract Law

What does promissory estoppel mean under Oklahoma law?

The law is full of terms of art, legal ease, Latin and a variety of other terms that make it hard for anyone other than lawyers (and hard even for some lawyers) to comprehend.

One such term is promissory estoppel.  This is a term that comes up an Oklahoma lawsuit when a person is trying to enforce an agreement but the agreement doesn’t quite meet the legal definition of an enforceable “contract.”

Recently, in a court case in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, the attorneys representing one of the parties provided an excellent definition and explanation of the term promissory estoppel:

Jedson's MPSJ Against CP Kelco 3.11


Here is a link that will take you to the full document (it is a large document, give it some time to load) and to the court case from which the document came.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Contract Law

Have you considered the meaning of “consideration” in Oklahoma contract law?

Image courtesy of Garfield Anderssen via Flickr

The making of a contract

Have you ever wondered what “consideration” means when people talk about it in Oklahoma contract law?

Attorneys occasionally throw around big words that end up sounding like gibberish to everyone else. I don’t think most of us do it intentionally it’s just that we are immersed in legal staff and a lot of times don’t and stopped to think how it’s can the sound of people who don’t spend all day working on legal stuff.

One word that is used quite a bit is consideration. Consideration is one of the elements of a binding legal contract in the state of Oklahoma. But what does it mean in plain English terms and why is it important?

The Legal Definition of Consideration

Let’s start with the formal legal definition from Oklahoma law:

Any benefit conferred, or agreed to be conferred upon the promisor, by any other person, to which the promisor is not lawfully entitled, or any prejudice suffered or agreed to be suffered by such person, other than such as he is at the time of consent lawfully bound to suffer, as an inducement to the promisor, is a good consideration for a promise.

The Simple Definition

In simple terms, consideration is anything you give to the other person in the contract in exchange for what they give you.  Sometimes its money, sometimes it a promise to do something, sometimes it a promise to not do something.

An example

Consider this example:

I make an agreement with my next-door neighbor in which I agree to mow his lawn every month for one year and he agrees to pay me $45.00 each time I mow it.  The consideration I am giving to my neighbor is my promise to mow each month.  The consideration my neighbor is giving to me is the promise to pay me when I mow.

Key points to remember about consideration

Finally, a couple of things to remember about consideration:

  • Consideration must be something new or different above what a person was already obligated to do. For example, I cannot give someone as consideration in a contract my promise to deliver them a product if I am already obligated to deliver the product.
  • Courts are not typically concerned with the amount or type of consideration. Courts are concerned with whether there is any consideration. That is, a very small amount of money or a very small promise could be sufficient consideration to create a binding contract.


Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Contract Law