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Warranties In The Box, James J. White Jan 2009

Warranties In The Box, James J. White

Articles

Thousands of times each day, a buyer opens a box that contains a new computer or other electronic device. There he finds written material including an express "Limited Warranty." Sometimes the box has come by FedEx directly from the manufacturer; other times the buyer has carried it home from a retail merchant. Despite the fact that it is standard practice for the manufacturer to include a limited written express warranty on the sale of such products,' and despite the fact that both the manufacturer and the buyer believe that warranty to be legally enforceable, the law on its enforceability is ...


Contracts Without Consent: Exploring A New Basis For Contractual Liability, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2004

Contracts Without Consent: Exploring A New Basis For Contractual Liability, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

This Essay explores an alternative to one of the pillars of contract law, that obligations arise only when there is "mutual assent "--when the parties reach consensus over the terms of the transaction. It explores a principle of "no-retraction," under which each party is obligated to terms it manifested and can retract only with some liability. In contrast to the all-or-nothing nature of the mutual assent regime, where preliminary forms of consent are either full-blown contracts or create no obligation, under the no-retraction regime, obligations emerge gradually, as the positions of the negotiating parties draw closer. Further, the no-retraction liability ...


The Law Of Duress And The Economics Of Credible Threats, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2004

The Law Of Duress And The Economics Of Credible Threats, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

This paper argues that enforcement of an agreement, reached under a threat to refrain from dealing, should be conditioned solely on the threat's credibility. When a credible threat exists, enforcement promotes social welfare and the threatened party's interests. If agreements backed by credible threats were not enforceable, the threatening party would not extort them and would instead refrain from deaing-to the threatened party's detriment. The doctrine of duress, which invalidates such agreements, hurts the coerced party. By denying enforcement when a credible threat exists, the duress doctrine precludes the threatened party from making the commitment necessary to ...


'Agreeing To Disagree': Filling Gaps In Deliberately Incomplete Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2004

'Agreeing To Disagree': Filling Gaps In Deliberately Incomplete Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

Incomplete contracts have always been viewed as raising the following challenge for contract law: does the incompleteness-or, "indefiniteness," as it is usually called-rise to such a level that renders the agreement legally unenforceable? When the indefiniteness concerns important terms, it is presumed that the parties have not reached an agreement to which they intend to be bound. This "fundamental policy" is the upshot of the view that "contracts should be made by the parties, not by the courts."' When, in contrast, the indefiniteness concerns less important terms, courts supplement the agreement with gap fillers and enforce the supplemented contract.


Forward [To Freedom From Contract Symposium], Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2004

Forward [To Freedom From Contract Symposium], Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

This Symposium explores freedom from contract. When I was preparing to travel from my home in Ann Arbor to the University of Wisconsin where this Symposium was to be held, my 9-year-old son asked where I was headed. I explained that a bunch of people and I were going to meet and talk about freedom from contract, but the boy seemed unsure what this exchange was going to be about. I tried to translate: "It is about making promises that you don't really have to keep." This sounded surprising to him. He raised an inquisitive brow, and I knew ...


Freeing The Tortious Soul Of Express Warranty Law, James J. White Jan 1998

Freeing The Tortious Soul Of Express Warranty Law, James J. White

Articles

I suspect that most American lawyers and law students regard express warranty as neither more nor less than a term in a contract, a term that is subject to conventional contract rules on formation, interpretation, and remedy. Assume, for example, that a buyer sends a purchase order to a seller and the purchase order specifies the delivery of 300 tons of "prime Thomas cold rolled steel." The acknowledgment also describes the goods to be sold as "prime Thomas cold rolled steel." Every American lawyer would agree that there is a contract to deliver such steel and furthermore would conclude that ...