Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Paradox? Puzzle #6

A law student (no not my wife) promises to pay his law professor when he wins his first case. He then decides not to practice law and takes no cases. The professor sues the student for his fees. Here are the arguments:

Professor's argument
* If I win, my student must pay, by the court's decision
* If he wins, the student must pay, by our agreement
* Either way, he must pay me

Student's argument
* If I win, I need not pay, by the court's decision
* If my professor wins, I need not pay, by our agreement
* Either way, he must pay me

Who is wrong?

7 Comments:

Blogger Sam said...

The student is wrong. Why should the professor pay at all!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the professor has no case and should not be able to sue based on the contract. He may sue him for some other reason and then loses the case (i.e. the student wins)then the professor may be paid(depending on the specifics of the contract, whether mention of monetary compensation was included in the contract or Just because he wins, he has to pay)
Nice case.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Basu GS said...

Assuming the student represents himself, he will win the case and need not pay the professor. But as soon as student wins, professor can sue him again and get his fees!

4:29 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

There was no doubt a meeting of the minds and a binding contract between the student and the Professor. When the professor agreed to teach the student he relied on the student's promise that he intended to practice law upon graduation.

If the student later decides not to practice law then he owes the professor the fair market value of the services provided.

The student's argument is flawed.

The professor's suit is based on implied contract; NOT the actual contract. Even if the professor loses the suit based on implied contract, the actual contract will still be valid. If the student wins the case then the conditions under the original contract requiring the student to pay will become active and he will be obligated to pay.

If the profesosor wins the suit the student will have to pay because the court has ordered him to do so, not based on the original contract but based on the implied contract between the two.

Either way, the student would owe the professor fro his services and the professor would have to pay the student nothing.

The student's better argument might be that the professor failed to provide adequate services because the student obviously didn't learn anything.

This case clearly illustrates an age old saying: "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."

This answer comes from a lawyer who decided not to practice! But I paid all my professors in full. :) Reza please send me an email at charliep(a)gmail. I have some questions for you about Google Talk.

3:46 AM  
Anonymous varun said...

Paradoxes are very interesting if you start to apply your brain. Google up and you will find many good paradoxes on the net. Many are worth the read.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous motore auto said...

googling i found other great paradoxes!

9:38 AM  
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7:09 PM  

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