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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2007

Contracts

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2007

Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Marital names shape our ideas about marriage, about our children, and about our selves. For about a hundred years, American states required married women to take their husbands' names in order to engage in basic civic activities such as voting. While the law no longer requires women to change their names, it still shapes people's decisions about marital names in both formal and informal ways.

For example, the formal legal default rule in most places is that both spouses keep their premarital names. This rule is minoritarian for women, which means it imposes a range of social costs on ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2007

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars for decades have noted the possibility that standard-form contracts disadvantage consumers. For many years, that literature focused on the idea that sellers with market power draft contracts that are disadvantageous to consumers. Law and economics scholars, however, have been skeptical about that hypothesis, pointing out that a strategy of inefficient terms rarely would be the optimal technique for exploiting market power. In recent years, however, the debate has shifted as new product distribution channels have changed the technology of contracting. Now, even firms without market power can exploit the cognitive failures of their customers through "shrouding" of terms and ...


Lawyers Asleep At The Wheel? The Gm-Fisher Body Contract, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2007

Lawyers Asleep At The Wheel? The Gm-Fisher Body Contract, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the analysis of vertical integration by contract versus ownership one event has dominated the discussion – General Motors' merger with Fisher Body in 1926. The debates have all been premised on the assumption that the ten-year contract between the parties signed in 1919 was a legally enforceable agreement. However, it was not. Because Fisher's promise was illusory the contract lacked consideration. This note suggests that GM's counsel must have known this. It raises a significant question in transactional engineering: what is the function of an agreement that is not legally enforceable.


Cleaning Up Lake River, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2007

Cleaning Up Lake River, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

A casebook favorite for exploring the liquidated damage-penalty clause distinction is Lake River v. Carborundum in which Judge Posner found a minimum quantity clause to be an unenforceable penalty clause. In this paper I argue that the case was framed improperly. Had the litigators recognized that the contract afforded one party an option, the result should have been different. The contract was for the provision of a service – setting aside capacity – which was valuable to the buyer and costly to provide for the seller. The primary purpose of the minimum quantity clause was the pricing of that service. The case ...


Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2007

Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Explanatory economic analysis of the common law has long been subject to deep philosophical skepticism for two reasons. First, common law decisions appear to be cast in the language of deontic morality, not the consequentialist language of efficiency. For this reason, philosophers have claimed that explanatory economic analysis cannot satisfy the transparency criterion, which holds that a legal theory's explanation must provide a plausible account of the relationship between the reasoning it claims judges actually use to decide cases and the express reasoning judges provide in their opinions. Philosophers have doubted that the economic analysis has a plausible account ...