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For instance, there are no commas before the coordinating conjunctions (or, and) in the two examples below:


"The parties disagree concerning whether the Court should apply the law of the state of New York or of some other state in evaluating whether defendant's promotional campaign constituted an offer. "


"The court found that no contract existed between the parties because under an objective standard, a reasonable person could tell that no offer was intended and the alleged contract was void because it was for goods in excess of $ 500.00 and not in writing."

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des3"The parties disagree concerning whether the Court should apply the law of the state of New York or of some other state in evaluating whether defendant's promotional campaign constituted an offer. "

the law of the state of New York or of some other state - This is a noun phrase. We do not put commas before conjunctions in a phrase unless there is a series of elements. The final comma is called a "serial comma" and there is a lot of debate about its use.

There is only one independent clause in the sentence.

des3"The court found that no contract existed between the parties because under an objective standard, a reasonable person could tell that no offer was intended and the alleged contract was void because it was for goods in excess of $ 500.00 and not in writing."

Commas govern the parsing of intricate sentences. This is the intended parsing:

... a reasonable person could tell [ that no offer was intended and the alleged contract was void ] because it was for goods in excess of $ 500.00 and not in writing.


Not this:

... a reasonable person could tell [ that no offer was intended], and [ the alleged contract was void because it was for goods in excess of $ 500.00 and not in writing.]