This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
From the standpoint of performance, contracts have been divided into two classes, the executed and the executory. An executed contract is one in which both parties have fully performed the terms of the contract by them to be performed.1 An executory contract is one in which the parties have not yet performed the terms of the contract by them to be performed.2 It consists of mutual outstanding promises.3 A contract may of course be performed by one party and executory as to the other;4 or it may be partly performed on one or both sides.5 If any part of the contract is still to be performed, it is called executory.6 The executed contract is then said to be one in which nothing remains to be done by either party.7
29 "In bilateral contracts there are reciprocal promises so that there is something to be done or forborne on both sides, while in a unilateral contract there is a promise on one side only, the consideration on the other side being executed." Winders v. Kenan, 161 N. Car. 628, 77 S. E. 687.
See also Rains v. Patton, 101 Ala. 349, 67 So. 600; Murphy v. Hanna, 37 N. D. 156, L. R. A. 1918B, 135, 164 N. W. 32.
30 First National Bank v. School District, 77 Neb. 570, 110 N. W. 349.
1 "A contract is executed where everything that was to be done is done, and nothing remains to be done": De Bergere v. Chaves, 14 N. M. 352, 93 Ac. 762. See also Galbreath Gas Co. v. Lindsey, - Okla. - , 161 Ac. 826.
2 "An executory contract is one where it is stipulated by the agreement of minds, upon a sufficient consideration, that something is to be done or not to be done by one or both parties": Farrinjrton v. Tennessee, 95 U. S. 679, 683, 24 L. ed. 558 [quoted in Be Bergere v. Chaves, 14 N. M. 352, 93 Ac. 762].
3 "An executory contract is one in which a party binds himself to do or not to do a particular thing; * * *. A contract executed is one in which the object of the contract is performed; and this, says Blackstone, differs in nothing from a grant." Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U. S. (6 Cranch) 87, 136, 3 L. ed. 162 [quoted in Mettel v. Gales, 12 S. D. 632, 82 N. W. 181].
4 Galbreath Gas Co. v. Lindsey, - Okla. - , 161 Ac. 826.
5Omaha Lumber Co. v. Co-operative Invest. Co., 55 Colo. 271, 133 Ac. 1112.
6 McCutchen v. Klaes, 26 Colb. App. 374, 143 Ac. 143; Leadbetter v. Haw-ley, 59 Or. 422, 117 Ac. 289 [rehearing denied, Leadbetter v. Hawley, 117 Ac. 505].
7 United States. Farrington v. Tennessee, 95 U. S. 079, 24 L. ed. 558.
Colorado. McCutchen v. Klaes, 26 Colo. App. 374, 143 Ac. 143.
Georgia. Watkins v. Nugen, 118 Ga. 372, 45 S. E. 262.
Illinois. Fox v. Kitton, 19 111. 519.
New Jersey. State v. Jersey City, 31 N. J. L. 575, 86 Am. Dec 240.