I Vant That In Blood But Vith A Peppercorn!

Here’s an interesting article about a promise written in blood and Korean.  The dramatic touch of writing the promise in blood did nothing to enhance the enforceability of the promise.  The trial court ruled that there was no consideration for the promise to reimburse the other party’s investment losses.  Consideration is required for a validly enforceable contract. That is, each side must exchange something of value in exchange for the promises of the other.  However, the legal maxim is that a peppercorn can be adequate consideration, which is a colorful way of saying that very little consideration is required.  The case is now on appeal.

The Law Religion Culture Review blog has posted the entire verbatim contents of the appellate brief online.  The gist of the argument is that the consideration from the party who lost money was the “forbearance of suit.” That is, he could have filed suit immediately but agreed not to due to the promise of repayment.  Forbearance of suit is also recognized as adequate consideration for a contract in Florida.

The lesson here is to skip the dramatics and write your agreements in ink not blood.  Whether your agreement is enforceable will ultimately depend on whether you remembered the peppercorn and not whether you gave an ounce of blood in the drafting.