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Full-Text Articles in Law

Taxonomy For Justifying Legal Intervention In An Imperfect World: What To Do When Parties Have Not Achieved Bargains Or Have Drafted Incomplete Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky Feb 2006

Taxonomy For Justifying Legal Intervention In An Imperfect World: What To Do When Parties Have Not Achieved Bargains Or Have Drafted Incomplete Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This paper addresses the fundamental methodological issue of when courts should intervene in incomplete contracts by interpreting them, filling in gaps and imposing liability on parties who have not yet reached a bargain. It addresses whether such intervention poses a threat to the parties' freedom from contract, the subject of the Wisconsin Symposium on Freedom from Contract. It uses an instrumental approach to determine the circumstances in which courts can outperform parties in improving welfare by intervention. It assesses the two dominant strands of scholarship for addressing the legal intervention question. One strand emphasizes the costs of parties achieving complete ...


Illegal Contacts And Efficient Deterrence: A Study In Modern Contract Theory, Juliet P. Kostritsky Feb 2006

Illegal Contacts And Efficient Deterrence: A Study In Modern Contract Theory, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article offers a unified theory that explains why courts, despite the compelling argument for deterrence, should not apply the no-effect rule of illegal contracts uniformly and why they should vary the type of relief according to the factual setting. It posits that a graduated relief structure will maximize efficient deterrence. An efficient deterrence scheme will preserve limited personal, judicial and societal resources without burdening legitimate transactions.


Waiver Or Modification: That Is The Question, Michael G. Hillinger Jan 2006

Waiver Or Modification: That Is The Question, Michael G. Hillinger

Faculty Publications

The elusive distinction between waiver and contract modification has reared its head in Massachusetts. What's the difference? A party who "waives" a contract term can retract the waiver in the absence of the other party's detrimental reliance, whereas a party cannot unilaterally retract a contract modification. Stating the legal consequences that flow from each event is easy. Figuring out which event has occurred is not.


Judicial Incorporation Of Trade Usages: A Functional Solution To The Opportunism Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2006

Judicial Incorporation Of Trade Usages: A Functional Solution To The Opportunism Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Article 2 of the UCC directed courts to look to business norms as a primary means of interpreting contracts. Recently the new formalists have attacked this strategy of norm incorporation as a misguided one that will lead inevitably to significant error costs. Accordingly, they have embraced plain meaning as the preferred interpretive strategy. This article argues that the strategy of rejecting trade usages unless they are part of the express contract is too rigid. The rejection is premised on an overly narrow cost/benefit analysis that fails to account for the functional role that such usages may play in curbing ...


Formalism In American Contract Law: Classical And Contemporary, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2006

Formalism In American Contract Law: Classical And Contemporary, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

It is a universally acknowledged truth that we live in a formalist era—at least when it comes to American contract law. Much more than the jurisprudence of a generation ago, today's cutting-edge work in American contract scholarship values the formalist virtues of bright-line rules, objective interpretation, and party autonomy. Policing bargains for substantive fairness seems more and more an outdated notion. Courts, it is thought, should refrain from interfering with market exchanges. Private arbitration has displaced courts in the context of many traditional contract disputes. Even adhesion contracts find their defenders, much to the chagrin of communitarian scholars ...