We are getting 6-10 inches of snow dumped on us this weekend. And if you are like me, your thoughts turn to two things: shoveling and contract law.
Contracts can be classified as bilateral or unilateral. A bilateral contract arises when both sides to the contract promise to exchange performance. A unilateral contract arises when one side promises to perform if the other side chooses to perform.
Now for the shoveling. I have a unilateral contract with my landscaper that, if he plows my driveway, I will pay for the service. That said, I usually shovel the driveway myself – and my landscaper is under no obligation to plow. I have no right to insist that he plow, and if he fails to plow, I have no remedy for breach.
Our contract would be bilateral if my landscaper had promised to plow my driveway in exchange for payment. In that circumstance, I could rely upon his promise to plow and I would have a remedy for breach if my landscaper failed to do so.
I’m glad we got that straightened out. Now I’m headed outside to shovel my driveway.