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Full-Text Articles in Law

Designing And Enforcing Preliminary Agreements, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis Feb 2020

Designing And Enforcing Preliminary Agreements, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis

Articles

Preliminary agreements—variously labeled as memoranda of understanding, letters of intent, term sheets, commitment letters, or agreements in principle—are common in complex business transactions. They document an incomplete set of terms that the parties have agreed upon, while anticipating further negotiation of the remaining provisions. They often create legal obligations, particularly a duty to negotiate in good faith. This duty has been the subject of a substantial number of judicial opinions over the past few decades and yet continues to be regarded as a confusing and unpredictable issue in contract law. Legal scholarship is hamstrung in its analysis of ...


Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr Oct 2015

Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses are pervasive in consumer financial and investor contracts—for credit cards, bank accounts, auto loans, broker-dealer services, and many others. These clauses often ill serve households. Consumers are typically presented with contracts on a “take it or leave it” basis, with no ability to negotiate over terms. Arbitration provisions are often not clearly disclosed, and in any event are not salient for consumers, who do not focus on the importance of the provision in the event that a dispute over the contract later arises, and who may misforecast the likelihood of being in such a dispute ...


Negotiating The Situation: The Reasonable Person In Context, Lu-In Wang Jan 2010

Negotiating The Situation: The Reasonable Person In Context, Lu-In Wang

Articles

This Essay argues that our understanding of the reasonable person in economic transactions should take into account an individual’s race, gender, or other group-based identity characteristics - not necessarily because persons differ on account of those characteristics, but because of how those characteristics influence the situations a person must negotiate. That is, individuals’ social identities constitute features not just of themselves, but also of the situations they inhabit. In economic transactions that involve social interaction, such as face-to-face negotiations, the actor’s race, gender, or other social identity can affect both an individual actor and those who interact with him ...


On The Stickiness Of Default Rules, Omri Ben-Shahar, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2006

On The Stickiness Of Default Rules, Omri Ben-Shahar, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

It was once perceived, and still is commonly taught, that default rules in contract law must mimic efficient arrangements. Otherwise, these rules impose needless transaction costs upon parties who seek to opt out of them to reach more efficient positions. In settings where these costs are high, parties might find themselves "stuck" in a default, unable to reach the outcome that they prefer. The strong version of this account-that the only factor that can make an inefficient default rule stick is the direct cost of drafting a tailored provision-has been gradually reappraised. It is by now recognized that factors beyond ...


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 ...


'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 ...


Default Rules In Sales And The Myth Of Contracting Out, James J. White Jan 2002

Default Rules In Sales And The Myth Of Contracting Out, James J. White

Articles

In this article, I trace the dispute in the courts and before the ALI and NCCUSL over the proper contract formation and interpretation default rules. In Part II, I consider the Gateway litigation. In Part III, I deal with UCITA and the revision to Article 2. In Part IV, I consider the merits of the competing default rules.


Precontractual Reliance, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2001

Precontractual Reliance, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

During contractual negotiations, parties often make reliance expenditures that would increase the surplus should a contract be made. This paper analyzes decisions to invest in precontractual reliance under alternative legal regimes. Investments in reliance will be socially suboptimal in the absence of any precontractual liability-and will be socially excessive under strict liability for all reliance expenditures. Given the results for these polar cases, we focus on exploring how "intermediate"-liability rules could be best designed to induce efficient reliance decisions. One of our results indicates that the case for liability is shown to be stronger when a party retracts from ...


Good Faith And The Cooperative Antagonist (Symposium On Revised Article 1 And Proposed Revised Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 2001

Good Faith And The Cooperative Antagonist (Symposium On Revised Article 1 And Proposed Revised Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

One of Karl Llewellyn's most noted achievements in the Uniform Commercial Code was to impose the duty of good faith on every obligation under the Uniform Commercial Code.1 Some (I am one) have privately thought that imposition of this unmeasurable, undefinable duty was Llewellyn's cruelest trick, but no court, nor any academic writer, has ever been so bold or so gauche as to suggest that good faith should not attend the obligations of parties under the UCC. Notwithstanding this silent indorsement of the duty of good faith, the courts2 and commentators3 have had difficulty in determining what ...


Autistic Contracts (Symposium), James J. White Jan 2000

Autistic Contracts (Symposium), James J. White

Articles

In this paper I address the question whether the law should affirm the offeror's inference and should bind the offeree to the terms proposed by the offeror even in circumstances where the offeree may not intend to accept those terms and where an objective observer might not draw the inference of agreement from the offeree's act. Modem practice and current proposals concerning contract formation in Revised Article 2 and in the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (nee Article 2B) press these issues on us more forcefully than old practices and different law did. 1 But contractual autism is ...


Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 1997

Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

The current draft of section 2-206 in Revised Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") entitled "Consumer Contract: Standard Form"1 presents a unique and threatening challenge to the drafters of consumer form contracts. In earlier drafts, one part of the section applied to both to commercial contracts and consumer contracts. It required that "one manifest assent" to any form contract, commercial or consumer, in order for it to be binding.2 Bowing to commercial opposition in the most recent version, the drafters have omitted all reference to commercial contracts. As the section stands, it applies only to consumer ...


Use And Non-Use Of Contract Law In Japan, Whitmore Gray Jan 1984

Use And Non-Use Of Contract Law In Japan, Whitmore Gray

Articles

This article first defines the scope of enquiry, then surveys some of the existing literature, and finally, presents the results of my preliminary survey interviews and questionnaire. It is my hope that it will serve as a basis form discussion leading to better definition of the problems for research in this area, and will suggest ways to proceed to gather the information necessary for more sophisticated exposition and commentary.