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Full-Text Articles in Law

Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule Jan 2019

Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule

Faculty Publications

Smart contracts built in the blockchain are quietly revolutionizing traditional transactions despite their questionable status under current law. At the same time, disputes regarding smart contracts are inevitable, and par-ties will need means for dealing with smart contract issues. This Article tackles this challenge, and proposes that parties turn to online dispute resolution (“ODR”) to efficiently and fairly resolve smart contract disputes. Furthermore, the Article acknowledges the benefits and challenges of current blockchain ODR start-ups, and proposes specific ideas for how designers could address those challenges and incorporate ODR to provide just resolutions that will not stymie efficiencies of smart ...


Plea Agreements As Constitutional Contracts, Colin Miller Dec 2018

Plea Agreements As Constitutional Contracts, Colin Miller

Faculty Publications

In his dissenting opinion in Ricketts v. Adamson, Justice Brennan proposed the idea of plea agreements as constitutional contracts and lamented the fact that the Supreme Court had yet to set up rules of construction for resolving plea deal disputes. Since Adamson, courts have given lip service to Justice Brennan’s dissent and applied his reasoning in piecemeal fashion. No court or scholar, however, has attempted to define the extent to which a plea agreement is a constitutional contract or develop rules of construction to apply in plea deal disputes. This gap is concerning given that ninety-five percent of criminal ...


Markets And Morals: The Limits Of Doux Commerce, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2018

Markets And Morals: The Limits Of Doux Commerce, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

In this essay for a symposium on Professor Nathan Oman's new book, The Dignity of Commerce, I do three things. First, I describe what I take to be the central message of the book, namely, that markets promote liberal values of tolerance, pluralism, and cooperation among rival, even hostile groups. Second, I show how Oman's argument draws from a line of political and economic thought that dates to the Enlightenment, the so-called "doux commerce" thesis of thinkers like Montesquieu and Adam Smith. Finally, I discuss what I consider the most penetrating criticism of that thesis, Edmund Burke's ...


Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate And Other Puzzles, Nathan B. Oman Oct 2017

Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate And Other Puzzles, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

Our theoretical approaches to contract law have dramatically over-estimated the importance of voluntary consent. The central thesis of this article is that voluntary consent plays at best a secondary role in the normative justification of contract law. Rather, contract law should be seen as part of an evolutionary process of finding solutions to problems of social organization in markets. Like natural evolution, this process depends on variation and feedback. Unlike natural evolution, both the variation and the feedback mechanisms are products of human invention. On this theory, consent serves two roles in contract law. First, consent makes freedom of contract ...


Why Flexibility Matters: Inequality And Contract Pluralism, Jeremiah A. Ho Jan 2017

Why Flexibility Matters: Inequality And Contract Pluralism, Jeremiah A. Ho

Faculty Publications

In the decade since the Great Recession, various contract scholars have observed that one reason the financial crisis was so “great” was due in part to contract law—or, more precisely, the failures of contract law for not curbing the risky lending practices in the American housing market. However, there is another reason why contracts made that recession so great: contracts furthered inequality. In recent years, when economic inequality has become a dominant national conversation topic, we can see development of that inequality in the Great Recession. And indeed, contract law was complicit. While contractual flexibility and innovation were available ...


The Will As An Implied Unilateral Arbitration Contract, E. Gary Spitko Jan 2016

The Will As An Implied Unilateral Arbitration Contract, E. Gary Spitko

Faculty Publications

A consensus has begun to develop in the case law, the academic commentary, and the statutory reform movement that a testator’s provision in her will mandating arbitration of any challenge to the will should not be enforceable against a beneficiary who has not agreed to the arbitration provision, at least where the will contestant, by her contest, seeks to increase her inheritance outside the will. Grounding this consensus is the widespread understanding that a will is not a contract. This Article seeks to challenge both the understanding that the will is not a contract and the opposition to enforcement ...


The Puzzle Of Family Law Pluralism, Erez Aloni Jan 2016

The Puzzle Of Family Law Pluralism, Erez Aloni

Faculty Publications

Family law is succumbing to pluralism. Scholars have celebrated this trend as a desirable outcome of the struggle for marriage equality. And a pluralistic family law seems to offer distinct benefits: more regimes than just marriage, and greater room for choice within each regime (manifest by more types of legally enforceable intrafamilial contracts). This Article exposes counterintuitive facts that lead to a surprising conclusion: the legal changes that scholars tout as increasing pluralism eviscerate the substance of the choices families are permitted to make.

The policies that appear to extend choice within each regime, in fact, mask what I call ...


Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2016

Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Professor Jean Braucher greatly contributed to the exploration of consumer and contract law by questioning how the law operates in the real world and highlighting the importance of “law in action.” In recognition of that contribution, this Article focuses on law in action with respect to consumers’ quest to obtain remedies regarding their business-to-consumers (“B2C”) contracts. Currently, consumers often have no practical recourse with respect to B2C purchase problems due to the complexity, cost, and inconvenience of the processes for obtaining remedies. Accordingly, stated legal rights become meaningless for individuals living in the real world. This Article, therefore, explores access ...


Introducing The 'New Handshake' To Expand Remedies And Revive Responsibility In Ecommerce, Amy J. Schmitz Jul 2015

Introducing The 'New Handshake' To Expand Remedies And Revive Responsibility In Ecommerce, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

There was a time when individuals would meet in person to make purchases and do deals. They would discuss the terms, assess the trustworthiness and character of their contracting partners, and conclude the deal with a handshake. The handshake helped ensure the enforcement of the deal without need for the rule of law or legal power. That handshake was one’s bond — it was a personal trust mark. With the emergence of eCommerce, however, that handshake has nearly disappeared along with the sense of responsibility it inspired. Accordingly, this article discusses how this has impacted consumers’ access to remedies regarding ...


The Need For A Law Of Church And Market, Nathan B. Oman Apr 2015

The Need For A Law Of Church And Market, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

This Essay uses Helfand and Richman’s fine article to raise the question of the law of church and market. In Part I, I argue that the question of religion’s proper relationship to the market is more than simply another aspect of the church-state debates. Rather, it is a topic deserving explicit reflection in its own right. In Part II, I argue that Helfand and Richman demonstrate the danger of creating the law of church and market by accident. Courts and legislators do this when they resolve questions religious commerce poses by applying legal theories developed without any thought ...


Context Matters - What Lawyers About Choice Of Law In Merger Agreements, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2015

Context Matters - What Lawyers About Choice Of Law In Merger Agreements, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Finding out the truth about a matter can proceed in many different ways. Neoclassical law and economists would construct models built on certain assumptions. The empiricists and contextualists would collect data about the matter in the inductive not deductive sense.

The choice of law in merger agreements presents an opportunity to study a contractual provision in the context of merger deals to see what we can learn from studying the choices in detail.

There are a variety of ways to approach these provisions in merger agreements. Can we learn anything about how choices are made in the drafting of these ...


Catalyzing Fans, Howard Wasserman, Dan Markel, Michael Mccann Jan 2015

Catalyzing Fans, Howard Wasserman, Dan Markel, Michael Mccann

Faculty Publications

This paper proposes the development of Fan Action Committees (“FACs”), which, like their political counterpart ("PACs"), could mobilize and empower fans to play a larger role in the decision-making associated with which “production teams” the talent will work.

We outline two institutional options: FACs could directly compensate talent by crowdfunding, or they could make donations to charities favored by talent. We then discuss both obstacles and objections from a variety of policy and legal perspectives ranging from competitive balance to distributive justice. Finally, we consider possible extensions of the FAC model as well as offer some ruminations on why FACs ...


'Sophisticated Robots': Balancing Liability, Regulation, And Innovation, F. Patrick Hubbard Sep 2014

'Sophisticated Robots': Balancing Liability, Regulation, And Innovation, F. Patrick Hubbard

Faculty Publications

Our lives are being transformed by large mobile “sophisticated robots” with increasingly higher levels of autonomy, intelligence, and interconnectivity among themselves. For example, driverless automobiles are likely to become commercially available within a decade. Many people who suffer physical injuries from these robots will seek legal redress for their injury, and regulatory schemes are likely to impose requirements to reduce the number and severity of injuries.

This Article addresses the issue of whether the current liability and regulatory systems provide a fair, efficient method for balancing the concern for physical safety against the need to incentivize the innovation necessary to ...


Private Ordering In The Market For Professional Services, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2014

Private Ordering In The Market For Professional Services, Cassandra Burke Robertson

Faculty Publications

Freedom of contract is significantly restricted in the market for professional services. Under the so-called “corporate practice doctrine,” professionals such as doctors and lawyers are prohibited from practicing within corporate entities, and laypeople are likewise prohibited from investing in professional service firms. Defenders of this prohibition argue that it can be justified as a means of protecting professional independence and thereby increasing the quality of care. In fact, however, the available evidence suggests that investment restrictions are counterproductive to their stated goal. In practice, these restrictions raise costs and reduce access without measurably improving the quality of service at all ...


Indiana Jones: Contracts Originalist, W. Mark C. Weidemaier Jan 2014

Indiana Jones: Contracts Originalist, W. Mark C. Weidemaier

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Secret Consumer Scores And Segmentations: Separating Consumer 'Haves' From 'Have-Nots', Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2014

Secret Consumer Scores And Segmentations: Separating Consumer 'Haves' From 'Have-Nots', Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

“Big Data” is big business. Data brokers profit by tracking consumers’ information and behavior both on- and offline and using this collected data to assign consumers evaluative scores and classify consumers into segments. Companies then use these consumer scores and segmentations for marketing and to determine what deals, offers, and remedies they provide to different individuals. These valuations and classifications are based on not only consumers’ financial histories and relevant interests, but also their race, gender, ZIP Code, social status, education, familial ties, and a wide range of additional data. Nonetheless, consumers are largely unaware of these scores and segmentations ...


Females On The Fringe: Considering Gender In Payday Lending Policy, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2014

Females On The Fringe: Considering Gender In Payday Lending Policy, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Payday lending may provide a much-needed safety net for some consumers in need of quick cash for emergencies. However, data suggest that most payday loan borrowers become repeat users caught in a cycle of high-cost debt. Furthermore, empirical evidence indicates consistent overrepresentation of women, including many single mothers, among payday loan borrowers. This takes a toll not only on these women and their families, but also on society as a whole. Indeed, context matters in payday lending debates. It is thus time to think creatively and consider contextualized programs that aim to increase women’s and all consumers’ safe borrowing ...


Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz Apr 2013

Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

We hear about the so-called “War on Women” and persisting salary gaps between men and women in the popular media, but contracts scholars and policymakers rarely discuss gender. Instead, dominant voices in the contracts field often reflect classical and economics-driven theories built on assumptions of gender neutral and economically rational actors. Furthermore, many mistakenly assume that market competition and antidiscrimination legislation address any improper biases in contracting. This Article therefore aims to shed light on gender’s importance by distilling data from my own e-survey of Colorado consumers along with others’ research regarding gender differences in contract outcomes, interests and ...


Ensuring Remedies To Cure Cramming, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2013

Ensuring Remedies To Cure Cramming, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

The unauthorized addition of third party charges to telecommunications bills ("cramming") is a growing problem that has caught the attention of federal regulators and state attorney generals. This Article therefore discusses the problems associated with cramming, and highlights consumers’ uphill battles in seeking remedies with respect to cramming claims. Indeed, it is imperative for policymakers, researchers, consumer advocates, and industry groups to collaborate in developing means for resolving these claims. Accordingly, this Article offers a proposal for resolving cramming disputes in order to advance this collaboration, and inspire development of a functioning online dispute resolution ("ODR") process to handle these ...


American Exceptionalism In Consumer Arbitration, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2013

American Exceptionalism In Consumer Arbitration, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

“American exceptionalism” has been used to reference the United States’ outlier policies in various contexts, including its love for litigation. Despite Americans’ reverence for their “day in court,” their zest for contractual freedom and efficiency has prevailed to result in U.S. courts’ strict enforcement of arbitration provisions in both business-to-business (“B2B”) and business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contracts. This is exceptional because although most of the world joins the United States in generally enforcing B2B arbitration under the New York Convention, many other countries refuse or strictly limit arbitration enforcement in B2C relationships due to concerns regarding power imbalances and public enforcement ...


Markets As A Moral Foundation For Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman Nov 2012

Markets As A Moral Foundation For Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes Oct 2012

Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

This article will examine the legal principles applicable to contractual relationships memorialized in multiple writings.


Promise And Private Law, Nathan B. Oman Jul 2012

Promise And Private Law, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

This essay was part of a symposium on the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of Charles Fried's Contract as Promise and revisits Fried's theory in light of two developments in the private-law scholarship: the rise of corrective justice and civil-recourse theories. The structural features that motivate these theories-the bilateralism of damages and the private standing of plaintiffs-are both elements of the law of contracts that Contract as Promise sets out to explain. I begin with the issue of bilateralism. Remedies--in particular the defense of expectation damages--occupy much of Fried's attention in Contract as Promise, and he insists ...


Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Consumer purchases over the Internet (“ePurchases”) are on the rise, thereby causing an increase in conflicts regarding these purchases (“eConflicts”). Furthermore, these conflicts are increasingly international as consumers purchase goods over the Internet not knowing or caring where the seller is physically located. The problem is that if the purchase goes awry, consumers are often left without recourse due to the futility of pursing international litigation and the textured law and policy regarding enforcement of private dispute resolution procedures, namely arbitration. The United States strictly enforces arbitration contracts in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) relationships, while other countries have refused or limited enforcement ...


Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This article explores the “Squeaky Wheel System” (“SWS”) in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contexts, referring to merchants’ reservation of purchase remedies and other contract benefits for only the relatively few “squeaky wheel” consumers who have the requisite information and resources to persistently seek assistance. The article uncovers how this system fosters contractual discrimination and hinders consumers’ awareness and access with respect to contract remedies. It also adds empirical insights from my recent e-survey, and offers suggestions for using the internet to empower consumers of all economic and status levels with efficient and accessible means for learning about their purchase rights and asserting ...


Arbitration Ambush In A Policy Polemic, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2011

Arbitration Ambush In A Policy Polemic, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Arbitration has been demonized in the media and consumer protection debates, often without empirical support or consideration of its attributes. This has led to renewed efforts to pass the Arbitration Fairness Action, which would bar enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer, employment, and civil rights contexts. It also inspired Dodd-Frank’s preclusion of arbitration clauses in mortgage contracts, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s charge to prohibit or limit enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in consumer financial products and services contracts. Some of this negativity toward arbitration is warranted, especially in the wake of the United Supreme ...


A Collaborative Model Of Offshore Legal Outsourcing, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2011

A Collaborative Model Of Offshore Legal Outsourcing, Cassandra Burke Robertson

Faculty Publications

International outsourcing has come to the legal profession. The ABA and other bar associations have given it their stamp of approval, and an ailing economy has pushed both clients and firms to consider sending more legal work abroad. This article integrates research from the fields of organizational behavior, social psychology, and economic theory to analyze the effectiveness of the legal outsourcing relationship. It identifies organizational pressures in the practice of law that affect how legal work is performed in a transnational context, and it examines how individuals on both sides of the outsourcing process influence the success or failure of ...


Teaching Gender As A Core Value In The Firstyear Contracts Class, Kerri Lynn Stone Jan 2011

Teaching Gender As A Core Value In The Firstyear Contracts Class, Kerri Lynn Stone

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Supergeneric Collateral Descriptions In Financing Statements And Notice Filing, Lissa Lamkin Broome Jan 2011

Supergeneric Collateral Descriptions In Financing Statements And Notice Filing, Lissa Lamkin Broome

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Contracting For State Intervention: The Origins Of Sovereign Debt Arbitration, W. Mark C. Weidemaier Oct 2010

Contracting For State Intervention: The Origins Of Sovereign Debt Arbitration, W. Mark C. Weidemaier

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.