BILATERAL CONTRACT - Black's Law Dictionary

What is BILATERAL CONTRACT? Definition of BILATERAL CONTRACT in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.

A term, used originally in the civil law, but now generally adopted, denoting a contract in which both the contracting parties are bound to fulfill obligations reciprocally towards each other; as a contract of sale, where one becomes bound to deliver the thing sold, and the other to pay the price of it. Montpelier Seminary v. Smith, 69 Vt. 382, 38 A. 66. A contract executory on both sides, National Surety Co. v. City of Atlanta, 102 S.E. 175, 176, 24 Ga.App. 732, and one which includes both rights and duties on each side, Crane Ice Cream Co. v. Terminal Freezing & Heating Co., 147 Md. 588, 128 A. 280, 282, 39 A.L.R. 1184. One containing mutual promises between parties; each party being both promisor and promisee. Aden v. Dalton, 341 Mo. 454, 107 S.W.2d 1070, 1073.

"Every convention properly so called consists of a promise or mutual promises proffered and accepted. Where one only of the agreeing parties gives a promise, the convention is said to be 'unilateral.' Wherever mutual promises are proffered and accepted, there are, in strictness, two or more conventions. But where the performance of either of the promises is made to depend on the performance of the other, the several conventions are commonly deemed one convention and the convention is then said to be 'bilateral.' " Aust.Jur. § 308.

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