Part-Performance Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Part-Performance doctrine is an equitable principle that allows a court to recognize and enforce an oral contract despite its legal deficiencies. It provides a way around the statutory bar to the enforcement of an oral contract. By applying the part performance doctrine, a party can establish the existence of a contract despite the lack of any written evidence. Generally, without written evidence a contract does not satisfy the formal requirements set by legislatures under their statutes of frauds. The doctrine of part performance is an exception to this. This doctrine allows failure to comply with the statute of frauds to be overcome by a party's execution, in reliance on an opposing party's oral promise, of an oral contract's requirements. Nonetheless, a party must still meet the burden of proving the existence of the contract by clear and convincing evidence.