Agreements which are neither void nor voidable may, nevertheless, be unenforceable by one or both parties. If such contracts produced no legal consequences whatever, they would not be contracts at all. If either or both parties had the right to avoid them at will, they would properly be described as voidable. But there is another class of agreements which though not enforceable by ordinary legal remedies may, nevertheless, produce certain legal consequences for the parties to them. Such agreements are sometimes called agreements of imperfect obligation; 49 but they may also be called unenforceable contracts. A contract may be unenforceable because (1) no oniinary remedy is provided by the law for obligations of such a character; (2) because some prerequisite for the full validity of the obligation has not been performed; (3) because the remedy has been lost. Illustrations of the first type are contracts with a government. These are enforceable against the government only so far as it chooses; and yet such contracts are recognized by the law, and produce certain legal consequences.50 Other illustrations are found in England in
48 See infra, Sec.683
49Pollock on Contracts (8th fid.), 682.
50 For instance, a trustee in bankruptcy of one who had contracted with the government would be entitled to receive such performance of the con-tract as the government, was willing to the right of barristers to compensation for their services.51 Illustrations of the second type of case may be found in contracts within the Statute of Frauds. The Statute does not render the original contract void, but a right of action is denied against either or both parties while the requirements of the statute are not complied with. The third type of case is illustrated by Statutes of Limitations, which though they bar a right of recovery do not prevent the law from recognizing in various ways the existence of a contract.52 Certain illegal contracts may also be classed as unenforceable by one or both parties rather than as void or voidable, since legal effects are often produced by such contracts and their avoidance does not always depend upon the wishes of the parties.53 raider. The performance by the gov-ancient would not be regarded as a voluntary gift to the contractor (in which case the trustee would not be entitled to it), although the government's performance took place subsequent to the bankruptcy. See Williams v. Heard, 140 U. S. 529, 35 L. Ed 552; Butler v. Goreley, 146 U. S. 303, 36 L. Ed. 981; Price v. Forest, 173 U. S. 410, 43 L. Ed. 749; Calder v. Henderson, 54 Fed. 802, 4 C. C. A. 584; Cf. Blagge v. Balch, 162 U. S. 439, 40 L. Ed. 1032; Briggs v. Walker,
171 U. S. 466, 43 L. Ed. 243, 19 Sup. Ct. 1.
51 See Pollock on Contracts (8th ed.), 712.
52 Consider, e. g., the effect of a new promise to pay a barred debt, infra, Sec.160 el seq. Also that the payment of a barred debt by an insolvent debtor is not a fraudulent conveyance, since the creditor is recognised as entitled to the money. 14 Am. & Eng. Cyc. of Law (2d ed.), 226.
Also other incidental effects exist.
53 See infra, Sec.Sec. 1628-1632.