Prof. Tom W. Bell

Wednesday, May 10, 2000
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


This exam consists of 25 multiple-choice questions and 3 essay questions. You have three hours to complete it. Please write your exam number above and turn in this exam with your answers.

This is an open book exam. You may use your casebook, statutory supplement, any material that I handed out in class, and any notes that you or your study group prepared. You may not use any other materials, such as nutshells or commercial outlines. Unless otherwise indicated, all events described below take place in a common law jurisdiction where the legislature has enacted the UCC.

Together, the multiple choice questions count for 25% of your grade for this exam. I advise you to spend 45 minutes on the multiple choice section, or an average of 1.8 minutes per question. Indicate the one best answer to each multiple choice question by filling in your Scantron sheet as directed.

The essay questions count for various percentages of your grade for this exam, as indicated below. I advise you to allocate your time accordingly. Before you begin writing any essay answer you should: 1) read the question carefully; 2) think about exactly which issues you need to address; and 3) outline your answer. Good organization and good analysis almost always go hand-in-hand.

Start your answer to each essay question in a new booklet and number the booklets so that I can easily follow their intended sequence. Write on one side only of each page, on every other line. For your benefit and my eyesight, please write as legibly as possible. I cannot grade what I cannot read. If you think it necessary to assume a fact in order to answer an essay question you may do so, but you should clearly indicate that you are making an assumption and briefly explain why you think it reasonable to do so.

If you have any procedural questions about taking this exam, please ask them now or contact me in my office during the exam.

Do not turn the page until told to begin the exam.

Multiple Choice Questions

25% of exam's total grade
(suggested time: 45 minutes, or 1.8 minutes/question)

[Multiple choice questions excised from online archive.]

Essay Question 1

35% of exam's total grade
(suggested time: approx. 60 minutes)

Without a signed writing, Abe hired Carol to engineer and build for him a custom catamaran, complete with computerized navigation system. Carol began work on January 1, 1999. After she had expended substantial effort, she learned that Abe intended to hire a computer specialist to engineer the navigation system. Carol angrily threatened to walk away from the project unless Abe left the navigation system in her hands. She furthermore demanded that Abe increase her fee from the $300,000 that they had originally agreed upon to $400,000. The project was taking more work than they had expected, she explained. Abe reluctantly agreed to Carol's demands.

When Carol had delivered the completed boat in the spring of 2000, however, Abe refused to pay her more than $300,000. Carol cashed Abe's check because she sorely needed the money and brought suit for breach of contract for the remaining $100,000 that she felt Abe owed her. Please discuss Carol's rights and remedies.

Essay Question 2

30% of exam's total grade
(suggested time: approx. 55 minutes)

Carol, whose plight the question above describes, hired Ben to represent her in her contract suit against Abe. Pursuant to Ben's written agreement to provide legal services to Carol, he was to receive a fixed fee of $5,000 plus 50% of any amount recovered in excess of $100,000. Ben had performed substantial work on the case, and incurred some $200 worth of photocopying costs, before Carol discharged him without cause. Ben estimates that, based on his hourly rate, he had done about $12,000 worth of work on the case. Carol had paid him nothing.

Carol replaced Ben with Debra, who billed $1,300 worth of work on the case and recovered $120,000 in settlement from Abe. Upon hearing of Debra's success, Ben got so upset that he missed a day of work--a day when Elmer, an important client, happened to call with an emergency problem. Because Ben was not available, Elmer paid a competing law firm $30,000 to resolve his problem. The result so pleased Elmer that he decided to transfer all of his legal business from Ben to the competing firm, a loss that Ben estimates at $580,000.

Ben sues Carol for breach of contract. Please discuss his rights and remedies.

Essay Question 3

10% of exam's total grade
(suggested time: approx. 20 minutes)

Being an expert in contract law, you are helping to draft the Restatement (3rd) of Contracts. You have been asked to consider expanding the category of "incapacity" to include poverty and lack of education. Discuss whether or not you think this is a good idea and why.

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Contract Law II Final Exam, Spring 2000 - - v. 06/00