Can a written contract reduce to being oral if it is lost?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a written contract reduce to being oral if it is lost?

Plaintiff wants to sue me for breach of contract but cannot find the contract. I also cannot locate the contract. I have a biolerplate contract that we usually use, and suggested that the terms are probably the same. If the plaintiff cannot find the contract, does the biolerplate become the accepted contract by the court or is it considered now an oral agreement (for which the statute of limitations has expire if it is)?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A written contract does not become an oral agreement if a copy cannot be found--it is still a written agreement (such as for statute of limitations purposes), but one whose terms and conditions need to be proven in other ways, such as by testimony, emails, correspondence, or memos, or by looking at draft/sample agreements it was modeled on or derived from. Therefore, while the boilerplate agreement does not become the contract, the boilerplate agreement may provide evidence of what the contract's terms most likely were, if there is credible testimony or other evidence that the actual contract would have been similar to the boilerplate.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption