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Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right To Contract As A Civil Right, Robin West Jul 2014

Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right To Contract As A Civil Right, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The "right to contract," whether originating in the Constitution, common law, or natural law, has been long and widely felt to be in tension with our civil rights, broadly conceived. The individual himself, we generally believe, and only the individual, should decide the scope and terms of his affirmative, voluntary, and other-regarding undertakings. When he does so through contract, the individual and only the individual should determine the terms under which he will perform those duties. The civil rights laws of the nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries, and the various rights they create interfere with these natural freedoms.

So ...


Common Capital: A Thought Experiment In Cross-Border Resolution, Anna Gelpern May 2014

Common Capital: A Thought Experiment In Cross-Border Resolution, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Cross-border bank resolution efforts focus on burden-sharing between bank owners, private creditors and the public. There is little talk of burden-sharing among governments, despite the rich history of governments trying to stick one another with the cost of financial conglomerate failures. There is an unspoken fear that acknowledging the need to allocate losses among governments would undermine post-crisis pledges of No More Bailouts. This symposium essay argues for making government stakes in private financial firms more transparent, and for using the contingent public share as a key to loss allocation among governments in cross-border banking crises.


Efficient Breach, Gregory Klass Apr 2014

Efficient Breach, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The theory of efficient breach is the best known, and the most controversial, product of nearly half a century of economic analysis of contract law. In its simplest form, which is the one that dominates the legal imagination, the theory argues that expectation damages are good because they allow, even encourage, a party to breach when performance becomes inefficient, thereby increasing social welfare. Many noneconomists assume the theory is well supported by principles of neoclassical economics. Thus critics commonly focus on the theory’s moral failings, or on problems with the neoclassical approach more generally. But today no economic thinker ...


Introduction To Philosophical Foundations Of Contract Law, Gregory Klass Mar 2014

Introduction To Philosophical Foundations Of Contract Law, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Introduction to Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (Gregory Klass, George Letsas & Prince Saprai eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming) describes the field of contract theory and locates the essays in the volume within that field. The volume includes chapters from Aditi Bagchi, Randy Barnett, Lisa Bernstein, Mindy Chen-Wishart, Charles Fried, Avery Katz, Dori Kimel, Gregory Klass, George Letsas and Prince Saprai, Daniel Markovits, Liam Murphy, David Owens, J.E. Penner, Margaret Jane Radin, Joseph Raz, Stephen Smith, and Charlie Webb.


The Rise And Fall Of Unconscionability As The 'Law Of The Poor', Anne Fleming Jan 2014

The Rise And Fall Of Unconscionability As The 'Law Of The Poor', Anne Fleming

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What happened to unconscionability? Here’s one version of the story: The doctrine of unconscionability experienced a brief resurgence in the mid-1960s at the hands of naive, left-liberal, activist judges, who used it to rewrite private consumer contracts according to their own sense of justice. These folks meant well, no doubt, much like present-day consumer protection crusaders who seek to ensure the “fairness” of financial products and services. But courts’ refusal to enforce terms they deemed "unconscionable” served only to increase the cost of doing business with low-income households. Judges ended up hurting the very people they were trying to ...