Stranger to the Contract and to the World

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night All around the country, first year law students are staring at the prospect of their final examination in contracts, one of the required courses in the law school curriculum in the United States. So here is a practice question. A lawyer for David Dennison drafts a memorandum of agreement between Mr Dennison and Stephanie Clifford. The memorandum calls for Ms Clifford to remain silent about a sexual liaison between Mr Dennison and her, in return for payment of $130,000, in “hush money.” Mr Dennison never signed the putative contract, and he never provided the consideration for Ms Clifford’s silence. The lawyer for Mr Dennison, however, wired Ms Clifford the money, although he apparently was never given the money by his client, or reimbursed for the payment, later1. Mr Dennison’s lawyer also represents the President of the United States (POTUS). POTUS may well be Mr Dennison, but he has never acknowledged that Dennison was a…

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