The supreme court engaged fundamental, black-letter principles of contract law in Angel v. Tauch, No. 19-0793 (Jan. 14, 2022), holding:

“Offer and acceptance are essential elements of a valid and binding contract. As a matter of blackletter law, an offer empowers the offeree to seal the bargain by accepting the offer. But equally well-established is the rule that acceptance is ineffective to form a binding contract if the power of acceptance has been terminated, such as by the offeror’s revocation before acceptance. The main issue in this contract dispute is whether a purported offer to settle a debt for a reduced sum was accepted before it was revoked. Resolution of that issue turns on the parameters of the recognized, but rarely implicated, doctrine of implied revocation.

Here, the parties dispute whether the implied-revocation doctrine (1) is limited to offers involving the sale of land, (2) applies if the offeree learns about the offeror’s inconsistent act from someone other than the offeror, and (3) is satisfied under the undisputed facts in this case. We hold that the doctrine is not constrained to real-property transactions and the settlement offer was impliedly revoked when the offeror assigned the underlying judgment to a third party for collection and the assignee gave the offeree a copy of the assignment agreement before he accepted the settlement offer. We therefore reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and render judgment that no contract to settle the debt was formed.”

(footnotes and citations omitted, emphasis added).

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