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Law

2006

Michigan Law Review

Bargaining

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Return Of Bargain: An Economic Theory Of How Standard-Form Contracts Enable Cooperative Negotiation Between Businesses And Consumers, Jason Scott Johnston Mar 2006

The Return Of Bargain: An Economic Theory Of How Standard-Form Contracts Enable Cooperative Negotiation Between Businesses And Consumers, Jason Scott Johnston

Michigan Law Review

Among attorneys, judges, and legal academics, there is virtual consensus that the widespread use by business firms of standard-form contracts in their dealings with consumers has completely eliminated bargaining in consumer contracts. I believe that this perception is false, that rather than precluding bargaining and negotiation, standard-form contracts in fact facilitate bargaining and are a crucial instrument in the establishment and maintenance of cooperative relationships between firms and their customers. On this view, which I elaborate below, firms use clear and unconditional standard form contract terms not because they will insist upon those terms, but because they have given their ...


The Strategy Of Boilerplate, Robert B. Ahdieh Jan 2006

The Strategy Of Boilerplate, Robert B. Ahdieh

Michigan Law Review

That boilerplate is pervasive is hardly surprising. In a variety of ways, standardized terms in day-to-day contracts serve an essential cost-saving function. By this measure, one might expect less frequent reliance on boilerplate in high-value contracts among sophisticated parties. Yet standard terms would appear to be no less widespread in contracts among the sophisticated. Notwithstanding their representation by able counsel, charged to craft comprehensive and detailed, but also particularized, contracts, such parties will commonly conclude agreements comprised heavily of traditional terms--contracting norms of a sort-rather than terms tailored to the distinct features of their particular bargain. Examples of seemingly suboptimal ...