Oral agreements may be too vague to be enforceable — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Oral agreements may be too vague to be enforceable

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Oral agreements are as binding as written ones, but they can be considerably less precise. Consider this case, in which a disgruntled employee claimed an oral agreement affected future compensation.

Recent case: Lawrence Blackwell said he had an oral agreement with the president of the sports trading-card company where he worked to receive additional compensation at some time in the future if he helped create successful spinoff companies.

Blackwell left several years later and sued, alleging the company owed him big. A jury agreed and awarded him more than $6 million.

But the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision, concluding that an oral agreement to set compensation in the future doesn’t create a contract. (Playoff Corporation v. Blackwell, No. 2:06-249, Texas Court of Appeals, 2nd District, 2009)

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