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Law

2006

Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Modularity In Contracts: Boilerplate And Information Flow, Henry E. Smith Mar 2006

Modularity In Contracts: Boilerplate And Information Flow, Henry E. Smith

Michigan Law Review

Contractual boilerplate is a little like property. Such a statement might seem like a category mistake. After all, contractual boilerplate language is part of contracts, which, unlike property, are freely customizable by the parties. Contracts create rights between those parties, not against the world at large. Nor do people who devise new boilerplate terms usually have intellectual property in the provisions themselves. I will argue that, in an interesting and overlooked way, boilerplate is the first way station on the road from contract to property. In particular, boilerplate, like all legal communication, is the result of striking a trade-off between ...


The Law And Sociology Of Boilerplate, Todd D. Rakoff Jan 2006

The Law And Sociology Of Boilerplate, Todd D. Rakoff

Michigan Law Review

In my view, the scholarship presented at this symposium demonstrates that, in order to analyze form contracts and boilerplate successfully, one must carry out a set of operations that embodies an approach I will call law and sociology. But I presume I was invited to be a commentator at this conference on boilerplate not because the article I wrote on one branch of the subject awhile back exemplified this methodological approach, but because it took a rather strong substantive position. And so I think I ought first to say a brief word about that. The article in question concerned contracts ...