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I am having trouble understanding when to use present tense and past tense for some thing that seems to be a a general statement of facts but relates back to the past.

Suppose A entered into a contract that had 4 conditions. When I talk about this contract, is it correct to say:

The contract in this case has 4 conditions, and one of the conditions is ambiguous, OR
The contract in this case had 4 conditions, and one of the conditions was ambiguous.

I understand that the contract was formed in the past, and so it seems appropriate to use the past tense. Yet is it incorrect to use the present tense if it is still true at the time of writing?

Related to the above example - If we question whether a contract even exists, is it correct to say:
There is no contract in this case OR
There was no contract in this case?

I personally think "was" should be used since we are talking about an occurrence in the past, but is using "is" incorrect?

Also, I'm not sure the following guidelines are correct. Please comment:

Use the present tense if the condition is true at the time of writing.
For example: X is guilty of murder since he intentionally shot and killed D. (X is guilty at this moment and not in the past)

Use the past tense if the condition relates to the past and is not true at the time of writing.
For example: X was reasonable because he drove at a speed of 80 mph in a residential zone. (X is not unreasonable as of the time of writing, but in the past when he was driving)

*But I have seen people write X IS unreasonable because he drove at a speed of 80 mph in residential zone. Is this be incorrect?
Comments  
Hi Nasuman, I'm not a teacher, but I saw this thread unanswered, here is just my opinion:
I think that if the contract is still true at the present time you should use present tense, no matter when the contract was made, specially if it is a contract that has legal consequences. It would be incorrect to use the past tense in this example because of this.
I think you could use both, depending on the person. If the person is all the time unreasonable use IS, if he is sometimes unreasonable use WAS.
It is correct to write, IS, because even that the action already happen, the person is still guilty in the present.
And by the way should be...
It is reasonable because he was driving at 80mph in a residential zone.(if you use was..the word drove is needless)