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.
If any appreciable interval of time is to intervene between the making of the contract and the time of performance, no matter how slight, and the contract is by its terms not to be performed until at least a year from the time that performance
Jellett v. Rhode, 43 Minn. 166; 7 L. R. A. 671; 45 N. W. 13; Suteliffe v. Atlantic Mills, 13 R. I. 480; 43 Am. Rep. 39; Hillhouse v. Jennings, 60 S. C. 373; 38 S. E. 599; Mendelsohn v. Banov, 57 S. C. 147; 35 S. E. 499; Duckett v. Pool, 33 S. C. 238; 11 S. E. 689; Moody v. Jones (Tex. Civ. App.), 37 S. W. 379; Lee v. Hill, 87 Va. 497; 24 Am. St. Rep. 666; 12 S. E. 1052; Draheim v. Evi-son. 112 Wis. 27; 87 N. W. 795. The view taken in the above cases, holding that a contract of employment may be within the statute of frauds, seems inconsistent with that taken by the cases cited elsewhere (see Sec. 676) that such contracts are not within the statute since they are discharged by the death of either party.
3 Bain v. McDonald, 111 Ala. 269; 20 So. 77: Wickson v. Mfg. Co., 128 Cal. 156; 79 Am. St. Rep. 36; 49 L.
R. A. 141; 60 Pac. 764; Comstock v. Ward, 22 111. 248; Thomas v. Mc-manus (Ky.), 64 S. W. 446; Hitt v. Greeser, 71 Mo. App. 206; White v. Holland, 17 Or. 3; 3 Pac. 373. Contra, Higgins v. Gager, 65 Ark. 604; 47 S. W. 848; Whiting v. Ohlert, 52 Mich. 462; 50 Am. Rep. 265; 18 N. W. 219; McCroy v. Toney, 66 Miss. 233; 2 L. R. A. 847; 5 So. 392.
4 Higgins v. Gager, 65 Ark. 604; 47 S. W. 848.
5 Hayes v. Arrington, 108 Tenn. 494; 68 S. W. 44.
6 Brown v. Throop, 59 Conn. 596; 13 L. R. A. 646; 22 Atl. 436. (While this was probably the performance intended, it was not that contracted for. It made no difference where the ice came from if it was left in the ice house when the lease expired. The court upheld the contract by a strained construction.) begins, the statute applies.1 Thus in a contract to last for a year from the time that performance begins an interval of two,2 three,3 seven4 or twelve5 days, or of one,6 two,7 or three8 months, brings the contract within this clause of the statute.9 A contract to last a year, commencing with the date of the contract, is not within this clause of the statute. A contract to last a year beginning on the day after the making of the contract is not within the statute, since by the rules controlling computation of time, the day on which the contract is made must be excluded in computing the year.10 In order to come within the statute, the contracts must by its terms definitely postpone performance to a future date. If performance may or may not begin at once, or if by subsequent agreement performance is postponed, but the original contract contemplated that performance would begin at once, the contract is not within the statute.11 A contract to keep books for a year, and to work for one month to see if both parties will be satisfied, is a contract the performance of which may begin on the date of the contract and last for one year, and is not, therefore, within the statute.12 A contract by A to work for B for one year, to begin as soon as A is released by his present employer, is one of which the performance may begin at once, and is not, therefore, within the statute, though six days elapsed in fact before performance began13 So, if the original contract requires performance within the year, a subsequent oral modification extending the time of performance more than a year from the date of the original contract, but less than a year from the date of the oral modification, does not bring the contract within the statute.14 The "making thereof" from which time the year is to be computed is the moment when the contract comes into existence, and not the time fixed for performance to begin on the one hand,15 nor the time at which the first offer was made on the other.16 Thus where certain promoters of a corporation assumed to make a contract on its behalf before it was formed, and the corporation adopted the contract after it was formed, the date of the adoption of the contract is the date from which the year is to be computed.17 A contract for a year's employment, to begin in the future, is within the statute, although payment therefor is to be made in monthly installments.18
1Wickson v. Mfg. Co., 128 Cal. 156; 79 Am. St. Rep. 36; 49 L. R. A. 141; 60 Pac. 764; Mendelsohn v. Banov, 57 S. C. 147; 35 S. E. 499.
2 Reynolds v. Bank, 62 Neb. 747; 87 N. W. 912.
3Wickson v. Mfg. Co., 128 Cal. 156; 79 Am. St. Rep. 36; 49 L. R. A. 141; 60 Pac. 764.
4 Davis v. Ins. Co., 127 Mich. 559;
86 N. W. 1021; Sutcliffe v. Atlantic Mills, 13 R. I. 480; 43 Am. Rep. 39.
5 Kansas City, etc., Ry. v. Con-lee, 43 Neb. 121; 61 N. W. 111.
6 Draheim v. Evison, 112 Wis. 27;
87 N. W. 795.
7 Lee v. Hill, 87 Va. 497; 24 Am.
St. Rep. 666; 12 S. E. 1052.
8 Mendelsohn v. Banov, 57 S. C. 147; 35 S. E. 499.
9 Aiken v. Nogle, 47 Kan. 96; 27 Pac. 825; Sanborn v. Ins. Co., 16 Gray (Mass.) 448; 77 Am. Dec. 419.
10 Britain v. Rossiter. 11 Q. B. Div. 123; Dickson v. Frisbee, 52 Ala. 165; 23 Am. Rep. 565; citing and following, Cawthorne v. Cor-drey. 13 C. B. N. S. 406. Contra, McElroy v. Ludlum, 32 N. J. Eq. 828.
11 Baltimore Breweries Co. v. Callahan. 82 Md. 106; 33 Atl. 460.
12 A. B. Smith Co. v. Jones, 75 Miss. 325; 22 So. 802.