Reformation and the Statute of Frauds

There is unnecessary confusion and difference of opinion over the effect of the statute of frauds as a bar to reformation that would otherwise be available in connection with bargain transactions. Both the confusion and the conflict could be eliminated if it were clearly perceived that a decree of reformation is not the enforcement of an oral contract. Instead, it is a correction of the writing in question, or more basically a recognition that the legally significant agreement is the one the parties intended to express or describe in the writing. It is a separate question whether the writing as corrected complies with the statute of frauds so as to make the agreement enforceable.