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 the contract provides for performance upon the happening of some event which may or may not take place within the year, such contract is not within the statute. Thus a contract to be performed on the sale of certain property, such as paying commissions,1 or to divide profits,2 as on the winding-up of a business,3 or a contract to construct a railroad,4 or to hold property until reimbursed out of the profits for certain improvements,5 or to continue "until I have made the net profit of $50,000,"6 are none of them within the statute of frauds. So a contract of employment to last as long as the employee does faithful and honest work,7 or as long as his services are satisfactory,8 or as long as both parties are "mutually satisfied,"9 or as long as the employee wishes to work,10 or as long as the employer continues in business,11 is not within the statute. So a contract to occupy land until the lessor should demand possession12 or should get another tenant,13 or a contract to marry when promisor regains his health,14 or to buy a note, payable in five years, from the payee if she should marry and need the money before it came due,15 are none of them within this clause of the statute. So a contract to be performed when certain stock is issued by a corporation is not within the statute.16
9 Powder River Livestock Co. v. Lamb, 38 Neb. 339; 56 N. W. 1019.
10 Drew v. Wiswall, 183 Mass. 554; 67 N. E. 666.
1 Bartlett v. Mystic River Corporation, 151 Mass. 4.33; 24 N. E. 780; Scribner v. Mfg. Co., 175 Mass. 536; 56 N. E. 603. (Citing Peters v. Inhabitants of Westboro, 19 Pick. 364; Lyon v. King, 11 Metc. 411; 45 Am. Dec. 219; Doyle v. Dixon, 97 Mass. 208; 93 Am. Dec. 80; Somerby v. Buntin, 118 Mass. 279; 19 Am. Rep. 459; Bartlett v. River Corp., 151 Mass. 433; 24 N. E. 780; Carnig v. Carr, 167 Mass. 544; 57 Am. St. Rep. 488; 35 L. R. A. 512; 46 N. E. 117; McGregor v. McGregor, 21 Q. B. Div. 424.) Jackson v. Higgins, 70 N. H. 637; 49 Atl. 574.
2 Durham v. Hiatt, 127 Ind. 514; 26 N. E. 401; Jordan v. Miller, 75 Va. 442. So of a contract to buy and operate a quarry and divide the profits. Treat v. Hiles, 68 Wis. 344; 60 Am. Rep. 858; 32 N. W. 517.
3Osment v. McElrath, 68 Cal. 466; 58 Am. Rep. 17; 9 Pac. 731.
4 Burns v. Chisholm, 32 N. B. 588.
5Dailey v. Cain (Ky.), 13 S. W. 424.
6 Hodges v. Mfg. Co., 9 R. I. 482.
7 Louisville, etc., R. R. v. Offutt, 99 Ky. 427; 59 Am. St. Rep. 467; 36 S. W. 181.