==============================  CFJ 1921  ==============================

    If I publish the following statement 'I'll give a quatloo to you,
    comex, if you give me a dingbat', and quatloos and dingbats are
    Agoran quantities, and comex publishes 'Okay' in reference to the
    statement, it forms a binding agreement (a contract).

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Caller:                                 G.

Judge:                                  omd
Judgement:                              


Judge:                                  Iammars
Judgement:                              TRUE

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History:

Called by G.:                           02 Apr 2008 19:19:42 GMT
Assigned to omd:                        06 Apr 2008 22:09:53 GMT
omd recused:                            25 Apr 2008 08:13:53 GMT
Assigned to Iammars:                    25 Apr 2008 08:20:23 GMT
Judged TRUE by Iammars:                 03 May 2008 03:16:58 GMT

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Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1742/14 (Power=1.5)
Contracts

      Contracts are binding agreements governed by the rules.  Any
      agreement made by one or more persons with the intention that it
      be binding on them and governed by the rules is a contract
      (unless it would automatically terminate as a contract).

      A contract automatically terminates if the number of parties to
      it falls below the number of parties the rules require for the
      contract.  If other rules do not specify such a number for a
      contract, then a contract requires at least two parties.

      Parties to a contract SHALL act in accordance with that
      contract.  This obligation is not impaired by contradiction
      between the contract and any other contract, or between the
      contract and the rules.

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Caller's Arguments:

At issue is what makes a "deal" between two players a contract (i.e. a
"binding" agreement in Agora).  I ask the judge to consider a range of
possible cases to create a test for when a binding contract exists for
an exchange of Agoran quantities or considerations (I won't make a separate
CFJ for each one below but some line drawn in the arguments would be
greatly appreciated):

In descending order is it a contract:
  1.  If two players state "this is a contract" or use the term "binding".
  2.  If the term "agree" is used.
  3.  If they don't state that, but use some kind of dense legalese.
  4.  If the phrasing is informal, but it occurs in the PF (the
      statement in question above).
  5.  As in 4, but in discussion forum.
  6.  As in 4, but in private emails.
  7.  As in 4, but on phone/chat/ephemeral medium.

Of particular interest is cases (in any of the above) where one player
claims the contract is binding, or that e agreed "with the intent that
it was binding" but the other player says it wasn't. (In cases where they
*both* agree it is binding or is not binding, there is no conflict to
consider).

I personally believe that we should draw the line below #6, that we should
(in case of conflict) extend the protections of assuming bindingness to
any agreement for which non-ephemeral evidence exists.  In other words,
that we assume in law of players "my word is my bond", and treat fairly
informal (but still clearly written) handshakes as enforcable, as a
necessary basis of trading in an asynchronous community.  But I recognize
that the rules are unclear on the matter, and perhaps reputations are
sufficient for such an economy.

Although the Rules landscape has changed, CFJ 1325 remains relevant as
at the time, "intent to be binding" was in the text concerning
agreements, then as now with no clear test on how to show that intent.

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Judge Iammars's Arguments:

1.  If two players state "this is a contract" or use the term "binding".
I think people would punch me if I said that this wasn't a contract.
This is obviously a contract.

2.  If the term "agree" is used.
Rule 1742/14 states "Any agreement made by one or more persons with
the intention that it be binding on them and governed by the rules is
a contract (unless it would automatically terminate as a contract)".
Therefore if two people agree to something in a public forum, then it
counts as a contract.
But how do we know that they meant for the contract to be binding on
them? By the fact that they posted it to a public forum. Rule 2149/8
(Truthfulness) requires people to tell the truth in public forums.
Obviously, it is hard to tell the truth about the future, but if
someone says that e agrees to X, then in order for that statement to
be the truth, e has to follow X, therefore making X binding.

3.  If they don't state that, but use some kind of dense legalese.
If a person doesn't agree to something, then Rule 2149/8 can't apply.
Someone posting legalese might have other reasons for doing so.
(Outside consulting on a contract or suggestions to how to change a
proposal, with either one posted to the wrong forum.)

4.  If the phrasing is informal, but it occurs in the PF (the
statement in question above).
If two players agree. then Rule 2149/8 applies here, so this is a
contract. I judge TRUE.

5.  As in 4, but in discussion forum.
6.  As in 4, but in private emails.
7.  As in 4, but on phone/chat/ephemeral medium.
Rule 2149/8 doesn't apply to any of these three, so none of these are
a contract.

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