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Full-Text Articles in Law

Moral Diversity And Efficient Breach, Matthew A. Seligman Mar 2019

Moral Diversity And Efficient Breach, Matthew A. Seligman

Michigan Law Review

Most people think it is morally wrong to breach a contract. But sophisticated commercial parties, like large corporations, have no objection to breaching contracts and paying the price in damages when doing so is in their self-interest. The literature has ignored the profound legal, economic, and normative implications of that asymmetry between individuals’ and firms’ approaches to breach. To individuals, a contract is a promise that cannot be broken regardless of the financial stakes. For example, millions of homeowners refused to breach their mortgage contracts in the aftermath of the housing crisis even though doing so could have saved them ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito Oct 2016

Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Commercial law in the United States is designed to facilitate private transactions, and thus to enforce the presumed intent of the parties, who generally are free to negotiate the terms they choose. But these contracts inevitably have gaps, both because the parties cannot anticipate every situation that might arise from their relationship, and because negotiation is not costless. When courts are faced with these gaps in a litigation context, they supply default terms to fill them. These defaults usually are set to reflect what courts believe similar parties would have agreed to if they had addressed the issue. These “majoritarian ...


Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr Apr 2016

Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr

Articles

In recent years, scholars and policymakers have devoted considerable attention to the potential consequences of employment noncompetition agreements and to whether legislatures ought to reform the laws that govern the enforcement of these controversial contractual provisions. Unfortunately, much of this interest—and the content of proposed reforms—derives from anecdotal tales of burdensome noncompetes among low-wage workers and from scholarship that is either limited to slivers of the population (across all studies, less than 1%) or relies on strong assumptions about the incidence of noncompetition agreements. Better understanding of the use of noncompetes and effective noncompetition law reform requires a ...


Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann Jun 2015

Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann

Kenneth Ayotte

The large, modern business corporation is frequently organized as a complex cluster of hundreds of corporate subsidiaries under the common control of a single corporate parent. Our Article provides new theory and supportive evidence to help explain this structure. We focus, in particular on the advantages of subsidiary entities in providing the option to transfer some or all of the firm's contractual rights and obligations in the future. The theory not only sheds light on corporate subsidiaries but also illuminates a basic function of all types of legal entities, from partnerships to nonprofit corporations. We show that when, as ...


Demand For Breach, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Apr 2014

Demand For Breach, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

These studies elicit behavioral evidence for how people weigh monetary and non-monetary incentives in efficient breach. Study 1 is an experimental game designed to capture the salient features of the efficient breach decision. Subjects in a behavioral lab were offered different amounts of money to break the deal they had made with a partner. 18.6% of participants indicated willingness to break a deal for any amount of profit, 27.9% were unwilling to breach for the highest payout, and the remaining subjects identified a break-point in between. Study 2 is an online questionnaire asking subjects to take the perspectives ...


Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz Apr 2013

Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

We hear about the so-called “War on Women” and persisting salary gaps between men and women in the popular media, but contracts scholars and policymakers rarely discuss gender. Instead, dominant voices in the contracts field often reflect classical and economics-driven theories built on assumptions of gender neutral and economically rational actors. Furthermore, many mistakenly assume that market competition and antidiscrimination legislation address any improper biases in contracting. This Article therefore aims to shed light on gender’s importance by distilling data from my own e-survey of Colorado consumers along with others’ research regarding gender differences in contract outcomes, interests and ...


Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann Mar 2013

Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann

Michigan Law Review

The large, modern business corporation is frequently organized as a complex cluster of hundreds of corporate subsidiaries under the common control of a single corporate parent. Our Article provides new theory and supportive evidence to help explain this structure. We focus, in particular on the advantages of subsidiary entities in providing the option to transfer some or all of the firm's contractual rights and obligations in the future. The theory not only sheds light on corporate subsidiaries but also illuminates a basic function of all types of legal entities, from partnerships to nonprofit corporations. We show that when, as ...


Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This article explores the “Squeaky Wheel System” (“SWS”) in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contexts, referring to merchants’ reservation of purchase remedies and other contract benefits for only the relatively few “squeaky wheel” consumers who have the requisite information and resources to persistently seek assistance. The article uncovers how this system fosters contractual discrimination and hinders consumers’ awareness and access with respect to contract remedies. It also adds empirical insights from my recent e-survey, and offers suggestions for using the internet to empower consumers of all economic and status levels with efficient and accessible means for learning about their purchase rights and asserting ...


Home Mortgage Problems Through The Lens Of Bankruptcy, Melissa B. Jacoby Dec 2008

Home Mortgage Problems Through The Lens Of Bankruptcy, Melissa B. Jacoby

Melissa B. Jacoby

Based on a lecture at a predatory lending conference at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, this brief paper discusses the 2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project and how the empirical study of bankruptcy law informs our understanding of the intersection of mortgages and homeownership with financial distress, and whether bankruptcy can provide meaningful redress.


Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal Jul 2008

Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this Article, written for this symposium issue on "Empirical Studies of Mandatory Arbitration," I examine the available empirical evidence on these two questions. I take "mandatory arbitration" to refer to pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer and employment (and maybe franchise) contracts. Accordingly, I limit my consideration of the empirical evidence to those types of contracts. I do not discuss empirical studies of international arbitrations, which almost always arise out of agreements between commercial entities. Nor do I discuss empirical studies of court-annexed arbitrations, which may not derive from party agreement and do not ordinarily proceed to a binding award.


Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White Jan 1982

Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White

Articles

Diligent first year law students study contract law with a passion previously reserved for romantic objects and religious idols. Their professors lead them in extensive and difficult intellectual explorations of the wilds of contract law. There are careful analyses of why damage recovery X will stimulate performance Y, why recovery A is appropriate to encourage the aggrieved party to return to the market, and so on and so forth. Lurking behind this year long analysis are several inarticulate hypotheses: that they make rational evaluations of the threat of legal sanctions; that they respond in other varied and subtle ways to ...


Residential Tenants And Their Leases: An Empirical Study, Warren Mueller Dec 1970

Residential Tenants And Their Leases: An Empirical Study, Warren Mueller

Michigan Law Review

Of particular interest is the application of this theory to residential leases, a classic example of the standard long-form contract. An abundance of traditional legal research and commentary has been devoted to the problem of disparity of bargaining power between the parties to a standard-form residential lease. The commentators have consistently called for reform measures to combat this problem. In order to adopt sensible and effective reform measures, however, it is first necessary to obtain factual data with which to test and clarify the reformers' underlying assumptions. Such data is virtually nonexistent, since, prior to the study described in this ...