Am Jur 2d - Contracts § 101

II. Formation of Contracts, D. Consideration, 1. In General; Necessity, § 101 - Definitions and nature

Utilizing a legal definition of contract, no contract exists without sufficient consideration.[1] Consideration may be a benefit to the promisor or a detriment to the promisee.[2] It may take the form of a right, interest, or profit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, or responsibility given, suffered, or undertaken by the other.[3] It may also consist of the creation, modification, or destruction of a legal relation.[4]

There is consideration for a contract if the promisee, being induced by the agreement, does anything legal that he or she is not bound to do, or refrains from doing anything that he or she has a right to do. It is sufficient that something valuable flows from the promisee, or that he or she suffers some prejudice or inconvenience, and that the agreement is the inducement to the transaction.[5]

Consideration is, in effect, the price bargained[6] and paid for a promise[7]-that is, something given in exchange for the promise.[8] Consideration is what distinguishes a contract from a gift.[9]

Observation:

In some jurisdictions, consideration is defined by statute.[10]

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1   § 1 .

2   Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company v. Audax Health Solutions, Inc., 107 A.3d 1082 (Del. Ch. 2014) ; AM General LLC v. Armour, 46 N.E.3d 436 (Ind. 2015) ; Averitt Exp., Inc. v. Collins, 172 So. 3d 1252 (Miss. Ct. App. 2015) ; Dee v. Rakower, 112 A.D.3d 204, 976 N.Y.S.2d 470 (2d Dep't 2013) ; Nuszen v. Burton, 2016 WL 1072489 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. 2016) .

3   Becker v. Colonial Life Ins. Co., 153 A.D. 382, 138 N.Y.S. 491 (2d Dep't 1912) ; Northern Nat. Gas Co. v. Conoco, Inc., 986 S.W.2d 603, 36 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 1011 (Tex. 1998) (surrender of a legal right); First Nat. Bank of Gallipolis v. Marietta Mfg. Co., 151 W. Va. 636, 153 S.E.2d 172 (1967) .

4   Restatement Second, Contracts § 71(c) .

5   Clausen & Sons, Inc. v. Theo. Hamm Brewing Co., 395 F.2d 388 (8th Cir. 1968) .

6   Laflamme v. Hoffman, 148 Me. 444, 95 A.2d 802 (1953) ; In re Sadler's Estate, 232 Miss. 349, 98 So. 2d 863 (1957) .

7   Howard College v. Turner, 71 Ala. 429, 1882 WL 1256 (1882) ; In re Sadler's Estate, 232 Miss. 349, 98 So. 2d 863 (1957) ; Coast Nat. Bank v. Bloom, 113 N.J.L. 597, 174 A. 576, 95 A.L.R. 528 (N.J. Ct. Err. & App. 1934) .

8   Phoenix Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Raddin, 120 U.S. 183, 7 S. Ct. 500, 30 L. Ed. 644 (1887) ; In re Sadler's Estate, 232 Miss. 349, 98 So. 2d 863 (1957) .

9   Deli v. Hasselmo, 542 N.W.2d 649, 106 Ed. Law Rep. 876 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996) ; McLeod v. Sandy Island Corp., 265 S.C. 1, 216 S.E.2d 746 (1975) .

10   Horton v. Kyburz, 53 Cal. 2d 59, 346 P.2d 399 (1959) ; Clements v. Jackson County Oil & Gas Co., 1916 OK 943, 61 Okla. 247, 161 P. 216 (1916) .

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