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2006

Contracts

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


Do Juries Add Value?: Evidence From An Empirical Study Of Jury Trial Waiver Clauses In Large Corporate Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Nov 2006

Do Juries Add Value?: Evidence From An Empirical Study Of Jury Trial Waiver Clauses In Large Corporate Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

We study jury trial waivers in a data set of 2,816 contracts contained as exhibits in Form 8-K filings by reporting corporations during 2002. Because these contracts are associated with events deemed material to the financial condition of SEC-reporting firms, they likely are carefully negotiated by sophisticated, well-informed parties and thus provide presumptive evidence about the value associated with the availability of jury trials. Only a small minority of contracts, about 20 percent, waived jury trials. An additional nine percent of contracts had arbitration clauses that effectively preclude jury trials though the reason for arbitration clauses need not specifically ...


The Reemergence Of Restitution: Theory And Practice In The Restatement (Third) Of Restitution, Chaim Saiman Oct 2006

The Reemergence Of Restitution: Theory And Practice In The Restatement (Third) Of Restitution, Chaim Saiman

Working Paper Series

The ALI’s Restatement (Third) of Restitution provides one of the most interesting expressions of contemporary legal conceptualism. This paper explores the theory and practice of post-realist conceptualism through a review and critique of the Restatement. At the theoretical level, the paper develops a typology of different forms of conceptualism, and shows that the Restatement has more in common with the high formalism of the nineteenth century than with contemporary modes of private law discourse. At the level of substantive doctrine, the paper explains why labels in fact make a difference, and assesses which recoveries are more (and less) likely ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


Damages In Lieu Of Performance Because Of Breach Of Contract, John Y. Gotanda Jul 2006

Damages In Lieu Of Performance Because Of Breach Of Contract, John Y. Gotanda

Working Paper Series

In contract disputes between transnational contracting parties, damages are often awarded to compensate a claimant for loss, injury or detriment resulting from a respondent’s failure to perform the agreement. In fact, damages may be the principal means of substituting for performance or they may complement other remedies, such as recision or specific performance.

Damages for breach of contract typically serve to protect one of three interests of a claimant: (1) performance interest (also known as expectation interest); (2) reliance interest; or (3) restitution interest. The primary goal of damages in most jurisdictions is to fulfil a claimant’s performance ...


Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems And Proposed Solutions To “Local Interests”, John A. E. Pottow Jul 2006

Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems And Proposed Solutions To “Local Interests”, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

From just-enacted (2005) chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to the U.K. Enterprise Act of 2002, legislative reforms to international bankruptcy are on the rise. One of the thorniest issues facing scholars and policymakers alike in these efforts is what to do with the nettlesome problem of “local interests.” What exactly are these “local interests,” and what is it that we are we trying to protect? Literature to date has been elusive in pinning this down and has offered, for the most part, only undifferentiated anxiety that an international bankruptcy regime may impinge undesirably upon “local concerns ...


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


The "Branding Effect" Of Contracts, D. Gordon Smith Apr 2006

The "Branding Effect" Of Contracts, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his case study of the MasterCard IPO and its predecessor piece on the Google IPO, Victor Fleischer claims to find evidence of a branding effect of legal infrastructure. The branding effect is not aimed at reducing the potential for opportunism by a counterparty to a contract, but rather at increasing the attractiveness of a product to present and future users or improving the image of a company in the eyes of regulators, judges, and juries. In this essay commenting on Fleischer's work, I endorse the notion that deal structures have branding effects and position Fleischer's work within ...


The Entrepreneur And The Theory Of The Modern Corporation, Charles R.T. O'Kelley Apr 2006

The Entrepreneur And The Theory Of The Modern Corporation, Charles R.T. O'Kelley

Scholarly Works

The foremost description of the classic entrepreneur, immediately prior to the Great Depression and now, was presented by Frank Knight in his seminal work, RISK, UNCERTAINTY, AND PROFIT. In this Article, I will explicate Knight's theory of the entrepreneur and show how it relates to both the Berle-Means Paradigm and the nexus-of-contracts theory of the corporation. My effort here is in part intellectual history and in part the tentative beginnings of a new positive account of the corporation. In the latter regard, this Article takes only the first step in what may prove a quite exhaustive effort to re-plow ...


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.


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 ...


It’S Not About The Money: The Role Of Preferences, Cognitive Biases And Heuristics Among Professional Athletes, Michael Mccann Jan 2006

It’S Not About The Money: The Role Of Preferences, Cognitive Biases And Heuristics Among Professional Athletes, Michael Mccann

Law Faculty Scholarship

Professional athletes are often regarded as selfish, greedy, and out-of-touch with regular people. They hire agents who are vilified for negotiating employment contracts that occasionally yield compensation in excess of national gross domestic products. Professional athletes are thus commonly assumed to most value economic remuneration, rather than the love of the game or some other intangible, romanticized inclination.

Lending credibility to this intuition is the rational actor model, a law and economic precept which presupposes that when individuals are presented with a set of choices, they rationally weigh costs and benefits, and select the course of action that maximizes their ...


Comparative Study Of The Formation Of Electronic Contracts In American Law With References To International Law, Roberto Rosas Jan 2006

Comparative Study Of The Formation Of Electronic Contracts In American Law With References To International Law, Roberto Rosas

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


The Limits Of Limiting Liability In The Battle Of The Forms: U.C.C. Section 2-207 And The “Material Alteration” Inquiry, Colin P. Marks Jan 2006

The Limits Of Limiting Liability In The Battle Of The Forms: U.C.C. Section 2-207 And The “Material Alteration” Inquiry, Colin P. Marks

Faculty Articles

The “surprise or hardship” approach to UCC section 2-207 is the approach courts should use to determine the applicability of liability clauses in the battle of the forms. However, courts use varying approaches to decide whether clauses limiting liability materially alter the contract under UCC section 2-207. Courts have adopted three different approaches: (1) the per se material alternation approach; (2) the per se not material alternation approach; and (3) the “surprise or hardship” approach.

The per se material alteration approach focuses on the surprise or hardship factors found in comment 4 of section 2-207; however, that approach is flawed ...


Toward Praxis, Emily Houh Jan 2006

Toward Praxis, Emily Houh

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Essay, written for a 2005 symposium issue of the U.C. Davis Law Review, responds to an important question posed by the symposium organizers: What is the future of critical race feminism? In this Essay, I use a common law contractual good faith antidiscrimination claim, developed and proposed by me in a series of previously written articles, to help answer that question. While, in the past, my proposed good faith claim aimed principally to operationalize some recurring and foundational insights of critical race theory, such as the race crits' critique of the intentionality requirement in conventional antidiscrimination law, the ...


You Don’T Have To Be Ludwig Wittgenstein’: How Llewellyn’S Concept Of Agreement Should Change The Law Of Open-Quantity Contracts, Henry A. Blair Jan 2006

You Don’T Have To Be Ludwig Wittgenstein’: How Llewellyn’S Concept Of Agreement Should Change The Law Of Open-Quantity Contracts, Henry A. Blair

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Professor Allen Blair examines the preeminent role of exclusivity in open-quantity contracts under the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”). Although the text of the UCC does not mandate that open-quantity contracts be exclusive, the vast majority of courts considering the issue have held that exclusivity is necessary to prevent such contracts from failing for lack of mutuality of obligation. The Article traces the historic development of open-quantity agreements, focusing on pre-Code cases recognizing the commercial utility of such agreements but struggling with how to accommodate them under a classical model of contract formation. It was in this historic ...


Survey Of The Law Of Cyberspace: Electronic Contracting Cases 2005-2006, Juliet M. Moringiello, William L. Reynolds Jan 2006

Survey Of The Law Of Cyberspace: Electronic Contracting Cases 2005-2006, Juliet M. Moringiello, William L. Reynolds

Faculty Scholarship

This article analyzes the judicial decisions involving Internet and other electronic contracts during the period from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. The authors explain that this year's cases show a maturation of the common law of electronic contracts in that the judges are beginning to recognize the realities of electronic communications and to apply traditional contract principles to those communications unless the realities of the technology justifies a different result.


Penalty Defaults In Family Law: The Case Of Child Custody, Margaret F. Brinig Jan 2006

Penalty Defaults In Family Law: The Case Of Child Custody, Margaret F. Brinig

Journal Articles

This paper considers whether an amendment to state divorce laws that strengthens its joint custody preference operates as a traditional default rule, specifying what most divorcing couples would choose or as a penalty default rule the parties will attempt to contract around.

While the Oregon statutes that frame our discussion here, like most state laws, do not state an explicit preference for joint custody, shared custody is certainly encouraged by Section 107.179, which refers cases in which the parties cannot agree on joint custody to mediation and by Section 107.105, which requires the court to consider awarding custody ...


Fiduciary Duties And Unincorporated Business Entities: In Defense Of The "Manifestly Unreasonable" Standard, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2006

Fiduciary Duties And Unincorporated Business Entities: In Defense Of The "Manifestly Unreasonable" Standard, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

This article wades into the debate between contractarians and anti-contractarians over the extent to which statutes on unincorporated business entities should limit the ability of the participants in those entities to contract around fiduciary duties. Statutes enacted in the past several years provide considerable, but not complete, freedom to limit fiduciary duties. Contractarians argue that statutory limitations are inefficient and unnecessary, while anti-contractarians take the view that the statutes provide too much freedom of contract. This article stakes out a middle ground, arguing that the drafters of the statutes got it right and that in the absence of statutory limitations ...


The Disgorgement Interest In Contract Law, Melvin A. Eisenberg Jan 2006

The Disgorgement Interest In Contract Law, Melvin A. Eisenberg

Faculty Scholarship

Restatement Second of Contracts provided that contract law serves to protect one or more of three interests: the expectation interest, the reliance interest, and the restitution interest. There is, however, a fourth interest that contract law should and does protect: the disgorgement interest, which is the promisee's interest in requiring the promisor to disgorge a gain that was made possible by the promisor's breach, but did not consist of a benefit conferred on the promisor by the promisee. It is not clear why Restatement Second excluded the disgorgement interest. Perhaps the drafters believed that this position was compelled ...


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

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Elasticity Of Contract, Martha M. Ertman Jan 2006

The Elasticity Of Contract, Martha M. Ertman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott Jan 2006

Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Hoffman v. Red Owl Stores is one of the storied cases in modern contract law. The conventional wisdom is that Hoffman represents the emergence of a new legal rule imposing promissory estoppel liability for representations made during preliminary negotiations. Yet a review of contemporary case law shows that, in fact, courts require some form of agreement before they will grant recovery for early reliance. Hoffman's main legacy, therefore, has been as a trap for the unwary lawyer (and unhappy client) who unsuccessfully seek recovery for reliance on preliminary negotiations. This article asks how the court in Hoffman was able ...


(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger Jan 2006

(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

For several years now I have begun my first-year contracts course with the 1988 New Jersey Supreme Court case In the Matter of Baby M. In this essay, I want to explain why. I offer the explanation in the spirit of modest proselytizing, recognizing that many of us already have a favored method or manner into the course: some introductory questions we pose before leaping into (or over) the introductions already provided by the editors of the many excellent casebooks available. But I have found that Baby M works extremely well in ways that others may want to consider. It ...


A Case For Civil Marriage, Carol Sanger Jan 2006

A Case For Civil Marriage, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

There has been a frenzy of legislative activity aimed at nailing down the legal definition of marriage to make sure that there will be no more nonsense about same-sex monograms or same-sex marriage applications. In an effort to slow down the frenzy, and to encourage those within the academy to think harder about the on-going problem of what to do about marriage, Professor Edward Stein has posed a straightforward question: Should civil marriage simply be abolished? In this mini-symposium, Professors Edward Zelinsky and Daniel Crane have provided two answers to his question: yes and yes. Although I am a Contract ...


Minor Changes: Emancipating Children In Modern Times, Carol Sanger, Eleanor Willemsen Jan 2006

Minor Changes: Emancipating Children In Modern Times, Carol Sanger, Eleanor Willemsen

Faculty Scholarship

This Article reports on a mechanism for removing children in conflict with their parents: statutory emancipation, the process by which minors attain legal adulthood before reaching the age of majority. Statutorily emancipated minors can sign binding contracts, own property, keep their earnings, and disobey their parents. Although under eighteen, they are considered as being over the age of majority in most of their dealings with parents and third parties. Thus, while emancipated minors can sign contracts and stay out late, their adult status also means that their parents are no longer responsible for the minors' support. To understand why minors ...


Boilerplate And Economic Power In Auto Manufacturing Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar, James J. White Jan 2006

Boilerplate And Economic Power In Auto Manufacturing Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar, James J. White

Articles

This Article is structured as follows. Part I compares the terms and conditions in the purchase orders of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and highlights important differences in the substance of these boilerplate provisions. It argues that these differences cannot be easily reconciled with the prediction that sophisticated parties draft the most efficient boilerplate terms. Part II examines how these forms are drafted, how their terms are negotiated, and how the OEMs guard their terms from erosion. It provides some insight on how tailoring occurs and how the internal organization of a party to a deal affects the terms that ...