CONSIDERATION, a legal term covering the principle governing contracts and signify ing something in the way of price or compen sation whidi may be of value to the contractor or of detriment to the contractee. In law no contract is valid if it does not expressly stip ulate the amount or consideration for which any lease, sale or transfer is made. As there are various lcinds of contracts recognized in law, so are there different sorts of considera tions. The simplest case is that where one party surrenders some property right to another for a consideration. In dual contracts the promises are mutual—each promising a consideration to the other. But whatever the nature of the contracts—and they grow in complexity from day to day—no legal action can be taken upon them unless the consideration is clearly specified therein. But considerations need not always involve direct benefits to the contracting parties. Promises made after services rendered cannot become the basis of legal action, because such services are not rendered in view of a con sideration. Thus, promising a reward after
being saved from drowning, for instance, does not make one liable. Nor are promises binding when they involve the performance of what is one's legal duty, anyhow. No promise is legal which involves the performance of an illegal act. The adequacy or inadequacy of a con sideration, however great or small, never mat ters in law. Thus, one may legally transfer property rights worth thousands of dollars in consideration of one cent.
The history of the law of contracts, could it be entered into here, would show the origin of the requirement of consideration. It clearly grew out of the original custom of requiring proof of damage or detriment suffered by the plaintiff seeking pecuniary consideration. Con sideration as applied to a court, in legal phra seology, means the judgment of the court, °it is considered by the court)) being equivalent to °it is adjudged by the court.° See CON TR.ACT.