The posting rule (or mailbox rule in the United States, also known as the "postal rule" or "deposited acceptance rule") is an exception to the general rule of contract law in common law countries that acceptance takes place when communicated. By contrast, the posting rule states that acceptance takes effect when a letter is posted (that is, dropped in a post box or handed to a postal worker).
One rationale given for the rule is that the offeror nominates the post office as implied agent and thus receipt of the acceptance by the post office is regarded as that of the offeree. The main effect of the posting rule is that the risk of acceptance being delivered late or lost in the post is placed upon the offeror. If the offeror is reluctant to accept this risk, he can always expressly require actual receipt as a condition before being legally bound by his offer.
However, if the offeree mails a rejection and then sends an acceptance (or otherwise changes his mind), whichever communication is received by the offeror first controls.
Other articles related to "posting rule, rule":
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