If there is a dispute over the oral contract, the existence and proof of the oral contract can be established by either direct or circumstantial evidence, and this is generally a question of fact. This is often difficult to do. Further, because the existence and proof of an oral contract are usually questions of fact, witness credibility is paramount. This means if one party to the dispute raises a credibility issue in his or her opponent, the case cannot be dismissed on summary judgment and the case has to be decided at trial.
While not an exhausitive list, the following situations require written contracts to be enforceable in Washington State:
- Marriage and divorce contracts.
- Agreements to sell real property.
- A promise to lend money, extend credit or forbear from enforcing a debt.
- A contract that cannot be performed in one year (i.e. multi-year lease).
- A credit or a security agreement.
- Contracts for the sale of goods where the purchase price is more than $500 (with some exceptions).
Contact Mark D. Walters