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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 ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell Jun 2016

A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell

Articles

This Article draws attention to a conceptual point that has been overlooked in recent discussions about the theoretical foundations of contract law. I argue that, rather than enforcing the obligations of promises, contract law concerns complaints against promissory wrongs. This conceptual distinction is easy to miss. If one assumes that complaints arise whenever an obligation has been violated, then the distinction does not seem meaningful. I show, however, that an obligation can be breached without giving rise to a valid complaint. This Article illustrates the importance of this conceptual distinction by focusing first on the doctrine of substantive unconscionability. I ...


Partially Odious Debts?, Omri Ben-Shahar, Mitu Gulati Jan 2007

Partially Odious Debts?, Omri Ben-Shahar, Mitu Gulati

Articles

The despotic ruler of a poor nation borrows extensively from foreign creditors. He spends some of those funds on building statues of himself, others on buying arms for his brutal secret police, and he places the remainder in his personal bank accounts in Switzerland. The longer the despot stays in power, the poorer the nation becomes. Although the secret police are able to keep prodemocracy protests subdued by force for many years, eventually there is a popular revolt. The despot flees the scene with a few billion dollars of his illgotten gains. The populist regime that replaces the despot now ...


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 ...


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 ...


Comparing The General Good Faith Provisions Of The Pecl And The Ucc: Appearance And Reality, Harry Flechtner Jan 2001

Comparing The General Good Faith Provisions Of The Pecl And The Ucc: Appearance And Reality, Harry Flechtner

Articles

"Good faith" is a notoriously amorphous and variable concept. Thus it is the interpretation and application of the concept that provides the most important points of comparison for the good faith provisions of the Principles of European Contract Law ("PECL") and the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") . The UCC has been in force since the 1950's, and its good faith provisions have been applied in hundreds of cases. In contrast, the PECL is a new phenomenon and its good faith rules have not been applied to actual cases. The comment to PECL Article 1:201, however, includes five concrete illustrations ...


The Tentative Case Against Flexibility In Commercial Law, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 1999

The Tentative Case Against Flexibility In Commercial Law, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

Well-rooted in modern commercial law is the idea that the law and the obligations that it enforces should reflect the empirical reality of the relationship between the contracting parties. The Uniform Commercial Code ("Code") champions this tradition by viewing the performance practices formed among the parties throughout their interaction as a primary source for interpreting and supplementing their explicit contracts. The generous recognition of waiver and modifications, as well as the binding force the Code accords to course of performance, course of dealings, and customary trade usages, effectively permits unwritten commercial practices to vary and to erode explicit contractual provisions.


How To Negotiate A Sales Contract, James J. White Jan 1995

How To Negotiate A Sales Contract, James J. White

Articles

A. Introduction 1. In my experience, lawyers begin negotiating only after the business people have decided upon the description and quality of the product, the time of delivery, and the mode and amount of payment. The lawyers are left with the pathological problems - who gets what in case of trouble. 2. Most of those pathological problems relate to the seller's responsibility if the product does not conform to the contract or otherwise fails to please the buyer. These failures can cause economic loss to the buyer, economic loss to a remote purchaser, or personal injury or property damage to ...


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.


Mutuality In Specific Performance, Edgar N. Durfee Jan 1922

Mutuality In Specific Performance, Edgar N. Durfee

Articles

Prior to the present century, the subject of mutuality in specific performance was an unsolved puzzle. The decisions of the courts were in the main wise, but the attempts both of courts and text writers to formulate a statement of the principle governing these decisions were far from happy. After two centuries of litigation and discussion, the current formula was that the remedy must be mutual, must be equally available to both parties. The worst fault of this formula was its plausibility. Equality is equity, and perfect equality between the parties to a contract is not attained unless remedies are ...


Gratuitous Partial Assignments, Edwin D. Dickinson Jan 1921

Gratuitous Partial Assignments, Edwin D. Dickinson

Articles

Is it possible to make an effective and irrevocable assignment by way of gift of part of a chose in action? There are no obvious reasons why it should not be possible. Gifts of a great variety of valuable rights are favored and protected by the law. Why not a gift of part of a chose in action? An answer deduced from the decided cases is not in all respects as certain and satisfactory as one might anticipate. Perhaps it is not too much to say that the answer is problematical. The problem invites interest, not only because it appears ...


Is The Assignee Of A Contract Liable For The Non-Performance Of Delegated Duties?, Grover C. Grismore Feb 1920

Is The Assignee Of A Contract Liable For The Non-Performance Of Delegated Duties?, Grover C. Grismore

Articles

IT is an oft recurring statement that "rights arising out of a contract cannot be transferred if they are coupled with liabilities." It is such obscure statements as this which give rise to and perpetuate error, and an examination of the cases will show that this one has been responsible for no little confusion in regard to the matter of assignment in the law of Contract. Our courts, under the pressure of a well filled docket, are prone to seize upon a broad generalization of this kind without examining its true meaning or defining its proper limitations. It is high ...


Effect Of An Agreement By One Person To Supply Another's 'Requirements' Of A Given Commodity, Grover C. Grismore Jan 1920

Effect Of An Agreement By One Person To Supply Another's 'Requirements' Of A Given Commodity, Grover C. Grismore

Articles

The cases show that the kind of agreement indicated by the heading of this note has become an established part of business usage. In normal times such an agreement is likely to be carried out to the entire satisfaction of both parties, without question, but, in a period of changing business conditions and abnormal price flctuations such as we have witnessed during the last few years, nice questions of interpretation are likely to arise, as is well illustrated by the recent case of Oscar Schlegel Mfg. Co. v. Peter Coopers Glue Factory, (1920) 179 N. Y. S. 271.


The 'Right' To Break A Contract, Willard T. Barbour Jan 1917

The 'Right' To Break A Contract, Willard T. Barbour

Articles

It is common knowledge that the fully developed common law affords no means to compel the performance of a contract according to its terms. Does it follow from this that there is no legal obligation to perform a contract, or if obligation there be, that it is alternative: to perform or pay damages? A note in the XIV MICH. L. REV. 480 appears to give an affirmative answer to this question and at least one court (Frye v. Hubbell, 74 N. H. 358, at p. 374) has taken the same view. Probably the most forcible exposition of this position is ...


The 'Right' To Break A Contract, Willard T. Barbour Jan 1917

The 'Right' To Break A Contract, Willard T. Barbour

Articles

It is common knowledge that the fully developed common law affords no means to compel the performance of a contract according to its terms. Does it follow from this that there is no legal obligation to perform a contract, or if obligation there be, that it is alternative: to perform or pay damages? A note in the XIV MICH. L. REV. 480 appears to give an affirmative answer to this question and at least one court (Frye v. Hubbell, 74 N. H. 358, at p. 374) has taken the same view. Probably the most forcible exposition of this position is ...


Performance Of Legal Obligation As A Consideration For A Promise, John B. Waite Jan 1916

Performance Of Legal Obligation As A Consideration For A Promise, John B. Waite

Articles

At a time when the true reasonableness of the common law and its responsiveness to the actualities of life are under criticism, it is interesting to find several cases, within the past year, affirming the old rule that performance of a legal duty is not consideration for a promise. In Vance v. Ellison, (V. Va.) 85 S. E. 776, suit was brought to enjoin the enforcement of a deed of trust executed by plaintiff to defendant, to secure payment of $1000 promised for legal services. It was admitted that when the deed was executed the defendant was already bound by ...


Quasi-Contractual Obligations Of Municipal Corporations, Jerome C. Knowlton Jan 1911

Quasi-Contractual Obligations Of Municipal Corporations, Jerome C. Knowlton

Articles

We have constructive fraud, constructive trusts, constructive notice, and why not constructive contract, a contractual obligation existing in contemplation of law, in the absence of any agreement express or implied from facts? With this apology we shall use the term quasi contract as covering an obligation created by law and enforceable by an action ex contractu. We are not for the present interested in the circumstances which may give rise to this obligation as between individuals; nor as between an individual and a private corporation, or quasi public corporation, so-called, as a railroad or other public utility. In these cases ...