Leading-Object Rule Law and Legal Definition

Leading object rule is a principle of contract law. Under this rule, if a promise to guarantee another's debt is made primarily for the promisor's own benefit, then the statute of frauds does not apply and the promise does not have to be in writing. Leading object rule is also known as the main purpose rule.

The following are examples of case law on this rule :

Under "leading object" rule, a contract that all or part of a duty of a third person to the promisee shall be satisfied is not within the statute of frauds as a promise to answer for the duty of another if the consideration for the promise is in fact or apparently desired by the promisor mainly for his own economic advantage, rather than in order to benefit the third person. [R&R Chems., L.L.C. v. Cellect, L.L.C., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16379 (D. Mass. Aug. 29, 2002)]

The Leading Object Rule is applicable in cases in which the promise was to pay a debt owed by a corporation and individuals. [In re Pi, 239 B.R. 778, 782 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 1999)]