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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Are Agreements Enforceable? Giving Consideration To Professor Barnett's Consent Theory Of Contract, James Maxeiner Jan 2006

When Are Agreements Enforceable? Giving Consideration To Professor Barnett's Consent Theory Of Contract, James Maxeiner

All Faculty Scholarship

This address considers five points: (1) the place of theory in American contract law; (2) the basic elements of Professor Barnett's theory are; (3) how these elements are similar to Continental law; (4) what it says about the American legal world that Barnett's theory has been discussed without reference to Continental systems; and, finally, (5) why I believe the American model is not a good one for a future European Civil Code but also hope that such a Code will become law.


Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David Gamage, Allon Kedem Jan 2006

Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David Gamage, Allon Kedem

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Under the traditional consideration doctrine, a promise is only legally enforceable if it is made in exchange for something of value. This doctrine lies at the heart of contract law, yet it lacks a sound theoretical justification a fact that has confounded generations of scholars and created a mess of case law.

This article argues that the failure of traditional justifications for the doctrine comes from two mistaken assumptions. First, previous scholars have assumed that anyone can back a promise with nominal consideration if they wish to do so. We show how social norms against commodification limit the availability of ...