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Illegal Contracts

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A contract is considered illegal if either the consideration given for the contract is illegal or the object of the contract is illegal. For example:

  1. Tom promises to give Jerry five grams of cocaine if Jerry promises to drive Tom to Manhattan on Saturday. This is an illegal contract because the consideration given for the contract is illegal.
  2. Tom promises to give Jerry $5,000 if Jerry robs a bank on Saturday. This is an illegal contract because the object of the contract is illegal.

Unlike contracts entered into by people who lack the legal capacity to enter contracts, which are merely voidable by those people, illegal contracts are void. Thus, neither party can enforce such contracts.



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