Contractual Illegality & Public Policy: Definition, Examples & Issues


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Pete knew he could be with Doris if he just found a way to get rid of his wife, Marjorie. Pete decided to pay Marjorie's mechanic to loosen the brake cables of Majorie's bike so when she rides down a steep hill, she will not be able to stop. Pete wrote a contract and presented it to the mechanic. The mechanic agreed, took a $500 deposit and signed the contract. Is this contract enforceable?

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1. The right to a free public education is considered a:

2. Deon and Barry opened a taco business together. During the time they were partners, Barry and Deon developed a secret recipe of spices for their fish tacos. When Deon left the company, he took the secret recipe with him and opened a taco stand just about a mile away. What should have happened prior to Deon opening the new taco stand?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

When you enter into a contract that violates public policy, it is unenforceable. You can assess your knowledge of how public policy affects your contract using this worksheet, which covers the principles that constitute public policy as well as the doctrines of In Pari Delicto and restraint of trade.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Key facts and doctrines about contracts and public policy are covered in this assessment:

  • Determining the validity of a contract that requires a party to violate a law
  • An example of public policy
  • Appropriate use of a non-compete covenant in a contract
  • Identifying a valuable intangible asset associated with a business
  • The definition of public policy

Skills Practiced

  • Making connections - use understanding of the concept of public policy and how it applies in American society
  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine principles governing non-compete covenants in a different light
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as public policy and covenants
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information regarding the doctrine of In Pari Delicto and interpret it correctly

Additional Learning

To learn more about how public policy affects contracts, review the accompanying lesson that covers issues with contractual illegality & public policy. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Determine the principles that are contained under the element defined as the object of the contract
  • Understand what public policy consists of and how it is enforced
  • Define covenant and explain how it is used in a contract
  • Understand the doctrine of In Pari Delicto
  • Differentiate between restraint of trade and a non-compete covenant
  • Know what good will consists of