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Prove the Existence of a Contemporaneous Oral Agreement Modifying the Contract

Prove the Existence of a Contemporaneous Oral Agreement Modifying the Contract

Proving the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement modifying the contract can be quite a challenge. Contracts are legally binding documents that spell out the terms and conditions of a particular deal between two or more parties. When parties wish to make changes to the original contract, they often do so in writing. However, there are instances where parties make oral agreements to modify the original contract. In such instances, it becomes essential to prove the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement to avoid any legal disputes.

Here are some tips on how to prove the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement modifying the contract:

1. Keep a Record

It is essential to keep a record of any oral agreement made during contract negotiations. This could include emails, text messages, handwritten notes, or any other form of documentation. It is crucial to identify and document any conversations where parties discuss the modifications to the original contract. Keeping a record of these conversations will serve as a vital piece of evidence to prove the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement.

2. Witnesses

Having witnesses present during the oral agreement can be a powerful tool when proving the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement. Witnesses can testify in court to validate the agreement. Although it is not always possible to have a third party present during oral agreements, having a witness can strengthen the case if any legal challenges arise.

3. Subsequent Conduct

The parties` subsequent conduct following the oral agreement can also serve as evidence to prove the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement. If both parties continue to act according to the modified terms, it indicates that there was an agreement between them. Any actions taken after the oral agreement must align with the terms agreed upon, or it could be difficult to prove the modification.

4. Admissions

In some instances, one of the parties may admit to the oral agreement made to modify the contract. This admission can be in the form of an email, text message, or even a conversation with a third party. In such cases, the admission can serve as powerful evidence in court to prove the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement.

In conclusion, proving the existence of a contemporaneous oral agreement modifying the contract requires careful planning and documentation. It is essential to keep a record of any conversations, have witnesses present where possible, ensure subsequent conduct aligns with the modified terms and look for any admissions made by the parties. With this evidence, it becomes easier to prove the existence of an oral agreement, protecting both parties from legal disputes.

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