Agency is a vague area of law whereby a person, called the “principal,” makes an agreement with another person, called an “agent,” to act on the principal’s behalf in a legal relationship with a third person, called the “third party.” As with most contractual relationships, the intent of the parties plays an enormous part in the legal outcome. For example, what if the agent, while representing the principal in a legal relationship with a third party, makes his or her own independent agreement with that third party about an unrelated matter? Is the principal entitled to the benefit of that independent agreement? What was the agent’s intent? What was the third party’s intent?
Public administrators may function as either agents or principals. Accordingly, a public administrator must be able to analyze a situation for agency agreements. If a public administrator cannot successfully analyze agency agreements, he or she may unknowingly create agency agreements, act inappropriately, or damage the reputation of the agency he or she is serving
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review the assigned pages of Chapter 10 in the course text The Study of Law: A Critical Thinking Approach (4th ed.). Reflect on situations in which the public administrator may be an agent or in which the public administrator might create an agent.
Review the article “Contract Law: An Introduction.” Focus on the section “oral contracts” to explore how traditional contract elements can be present in quick, oral communications.
Consider the scope of an agent’s authority to impose an obligation on his or her organization.
Consider the formation of an oral contract.
Reflect on any insights you had and conclusions you drew about contracts during your preparation.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a 300 word explanation by Thursday January 26, 2017 regarding the scope of an agent’s authority to impose an obligation on his or her organization. Be specific, explaining whether an oral contract exists, and why or why not. Then, explain at least one insight you had or conclusion you drew about contracts.
Support your work with proper APA citations from the Learning Resources and any other sources.