Or is there, in other words broad leeway for when a judge or a court can decide based on all of the other materical circunstances, when or when not he should enforce an otherwise unenforcable promise?
I don't have access to my college business law textbook for reference, so I can't check. What I remember is this: the affected party has to have reasonably relied on that promise and have incurred some sort of economic loss or damage from that RELIANCE.
It is obvious that not all promises are contracts. but what raises questions to me is, the distinction between estoppable and unenforcable promises seems to be so narrow that you could argue the only party bringing a claim to court of a broken promise would almost definately be those who have suffered damages.
but admitting there are matter of factly unenforceable promises and limiting my question only to those others, what basis does the judge or court have in determinging their enforcability. taking into consideration that what I have already said that most people probably could claim they have a remedy at law (including those who friviously went out and incurred the economic loss (or whatever) with the sole purpose of fitting this narrow definition). To me the distinction beween enforcable contract and estoppable promise seems to be so vague that the only real difference it would make is if the judge was granted broad discretion, i.e. the decision to actually issue the order to estopp the promise was soley his perrogitive....)
This is something that has always been at the back of my head.... but since i don't recall the textbook delving into this level I wanted to ask to be sure