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Puerto Rico And The Netherworld Of Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Robert K. Rasmussen, Mitu Gulati 2017 University of Southern California

Puerto Rico And The Netherworld Of Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Robert K. Rasmussen, Mitu Gulati

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Puerto Rico has incurred debt well beyond its ability to repay. It attempted to address its fiscal woes through legislation allowing the restructuring of some its debt. The Supreme Court put a stop to this effort, holding that Congress in the Bankruptcy Code barred the Commonwealth from enacting its own restructuring regime. Yet all agreed that the Bankruptcy Code did not provide anything in its place. While Congress quickly enacted PROMESA in an attempt to address the Puerto Rico’s fiscal ills, we explore in this paper whether Congress has the power to bar Puerto Rico from enacting a restructuring ...


Private Ordering And Notice Failure In The Context Of Termination, Alfred C. Yen 2017 Boston College Law School

Private Ordering And Notice Failure In The Context Of Termination, Alfred C. Yen

Alfred C. Yen

No abstract provided.


Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch 2017 University of Pennsylvania Law School

Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship

Boards and shareholders are increasing using charter and bylaw provisions to customize their corporate governance. Recent examples include forum selection bylaws, majority voting bylaws and advance notice bylaws. Relying on the contractual conception of the corporation, Delaware courts have accorded substantial deference to board-adopted bylaw provisions, even those that limit shareholder rights.

This Article challenges the rationale for deference under the contractual approach. With respect to corporate bylaws, the Article demonstrates that shareholder power to adopt and amend the bylaws is, under Delaware law, more limited than the board’s power to do so. As a result, shareholders cannot effectively ...


In Pursuit Of Good & Gold: Data Observations Of Employee Ownership & Impact Investment, Christopher Geczy, Jessica S. Jeffers, David K. Musto, Anne M. Tucker 2017 University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

In Pursuit Of Good & Gold: Data Observations Of Employee Ownership & Impact Investment, Christopher Geczy, Jessica S. Jeffers, David K. Musto, Anne M. Tucker

Anne Tucker

A startup's path to self-sustaining profitability is risky and hard, and most do not make it. Venture capital (VC) investors try to improve these odds with contractual terms that focus and sharpen employees' incentives to pursue gold. If the employees and investors expect the startup to balance the goal of profitability with another goal - the goal of good - the risks are likely to both grow and multiply. They grow to the extent that profits are threatened, and they multiply to the extent that balancing competing goals adds a dimension to the incentive problem. In this Article, we explore contracting ...


Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King 2017 Northwestern University

Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King

D. Gordon Smith

Empirical studies of contracts have become more common over the past decade, but the range of questions addressed by these studies is narrow, inspired primarily by economic theories that focus on the role of contracts in mitigating ex post opportunism. We contend that these economic theories do not adequately explain many commonly observed features of contracts, and we offer four organizational theories to supplement-and in some instances, perhaps, challenge-the dominant economic accounts. The purpose of this Article is threefold: first, to describe how theoretical perspectives on contracting have motivated empirical work on contracts; second, to highlight the dominant role of ...


The Behavioral Paradox Of Boilerplate, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan 2017 University of Pennsylvania Law School

The Behavioral Paradox Of Boilerplate, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship

Although assent is the doctrinal and theoretical hallmark of contract, its relevance for form contracts has been drastically undermined by the overwhelming evidence that no one reads standard terms. Until now, most political and academic discussions of this phenomenon have acknowledged the truth of universally unread contracts, but have assumed that even unread terms are at best potentially helpful, and at worst harmless. This Article makes the empirical case that unread terms are not a neutral part of American commerce; instead, the mere fact of fine print inhibits reasonable challenges to unfair deals. The experimental study reported here tests the ...


Reason And Reasonableness: The Necessary Diversity Of The Common Law, Frederic G. Sourgens 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Reason And Reasonableness: The Necessary Diversity Of The Common Law, Frederic G. Sourgens

Maine Law Review

This Article addresses the central concept of “reasonableness” in the common law and constitutional jurisprudence. On the basis of three examples, the common law of torts, the common law of contracts, and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, the Article notes that different areas of the law follow fundamentally inconsistent utilitarian, pragmatic, and formalist reasonableness paradigms. The significance of this diversity of reasonableness paradigms remains largely under-theorized. This Article submits that the diversity of reasonableness paradigms is a necessary feature of the common law. It theorizes that the utilitarian, pragmatic and formalistic paradigms are structural elements driving the common law norm-generation process. This ...


The Deformation Of Contract In The Information Society, Margaret Jane Radin 2017 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

The Deformation Of Contract In The Information Society, Margaret Jane Radin

Law & Economics Working Papers

The HLA Hart Memorial Lecture delivered at Oxford on May 24, 2016. The Lecture considers how the advent and growth of the information society is posing challenges for the traditional theories of contract, and for the duties of the State with regard to contractual ordering. In particular, the Lecture considers the lack of ‘fit’ between certain prevalent uses of contract and the underlying justification for contract enforcement.


Contract Exposition And Formalism, Gregory Klass 2017 Georgetown University Law Center

Contract Exposition And Formalism, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Formalism in contract law has had many defenders and many critics. What courts need, however, is an account of when formalist approaches work and when they do not. This article addresses that need by developing a general theory of the rules of contract interpretation and construction—contract “exposition.” The theory distinguishes inter alia two forms of formalism. Formalities effect legal change by virtue of their form alone, and thereby obviate interpretation. Examples from contract law include “as is”, the seal and boilerplate terms. Formalities work when parties intend their legal effects, that is, when they perform juristic acts. Plain meaning ...


El Haz Y El Envés Del Ix Pleno Casatorio Civil, Fort Ninamancco Córdova 2017 Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

El Haz Y El Envés Del Ix Pleno Casatorio Civil, Fort Ninamancco Córdova

Fort Ninamancco Cordova

No abstract provided.


The New Era Of Doing Business With Iran: Iran’S International Commercial Transactions And Global Security, John Changiz Vafai 2017 Archival Magazine

The New Era Of Doing Business With Iran: Iran’S International Commercial Transactions And Global Security, John Changiz Vafai

Pace International Law Review

On January 17, 2016, in a statement following his signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, President Obama addressed that country’s people, stating that “yours is a great civilization, with a vibrant culture that has so much to contribute to the world – in commerce, and in science and the arts.” While the former U.S. President’s evaluation of the Iranian people’s greatness is indisputable, there are questions concerning doing business with Iran which transcend conventional legal issues and commercial problems.

Given the juxtaposition of Iran’s duopolistic government structure and ideologically oriented decision-making ...


International Commodity Agreements, Kenneth Klein 2017 University of Georgia School of Law

International Commodity Agreements, Kenneth Klein

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


You Can't Fire Me: The Problems With Wrongful Dismissal Damages In Canada, Chenyang Li 2017 The University of Western Ontario

You Can't Fire Me: The Problems With Wrongful Dismissal Damages In Canada, Chenyang Li

Western Journal of Legal Studies

The assessment of wrongful dismissal damages in Canadian law has long been governed by the principles established in Bardal v Globe & Mail Ltd. Although this model of analysis has been met with near universal approval in every decision-making forum in Canada, the principles underlying Bardal warrant further discussion. This work focuses on the contractual core of employment disputes and analyzes the interpretive framework for common law claims for wrongful dismissal. It will show that the traditional law of private remedies has been distorted in the context of wrongful dismissal as a result of the wholesale adoption of the Bardal Factors ...


An Empirical Study Of Law Journal Copyright Practices, 16 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 207 (2017), Brian Frye, Christopher Ryan, Franklin Runge 2017 John Marshall Law School

An Empirical Study Of Law Journal Copyright Practices, 16 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 207 (2017), Brian Frye, Christopher Ryan, Franklin Runge

The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law

This article presents an empirical study of the copyright practices of American law journals in relation to copyright ownership and fair use, based on a 24-question survey. It concludes that many American law journals have adopted copyright policies that are inconsistent with the expectations of legal scholars and the scope of copyright protection. Specifically, many law journals have adopted copyright policies that effectively preclude open-access publishing, and unnecessarily limit the fair use of copyrighted works. In addition, it appears that some law journals may not understand their own copyright policies. This article proposes the creation of a Code of Copyright ...


In Pursuit Of Good & Gold: Data Observations Of Employee Ownership & Impact Investment, Christopher Geczy, Jessica S. Jeffers, David K. Musto, Anne M. Tucker 2017 University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

In Pursuit Of Good & Gold: Data Observations Of Employee Ownership & Impact Investment, Christopher Geczy, Jessica S. Jeffers, David K. Musto, Anne M. Tucker

Faculty Publications By Year

A startup's path to self-sustaining profitability is risky and hard, and most do not make it. Venture capital (VC) investors try to improve these odds with contractual terms that focus and sharpen employees' incentives to pursue gold. If the employees and investors expect the startup to balance the goal of profitability with another goal - the goal of good - the risks are likely to both grow and multiply. They grow to the extent that profits are threatened, and they multiply to the extent that balancing competing goals adds a dimension to the incentive problem. In this Article, we explore contracting ...


Interpretation And Construction In Contract Law, Gregory Klass 2017 Georgetown University Law Center

Interpretation And Construction In Contract Law, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In their technical senses, “interpretation” refers to the search for a legal text’s meaning, “construction” to the determination of its legal effect. Although scholars have long recognized the difference between the two activities, today many do not attend to it, and the relationship between them remains understudied. An adequate account of the interpretation-construction distinction begins with the concepts’ history, and the eventual recognition that interpretation and construction are complementary activities. This lays the groundwork for investigating the interaction between them. Interpretation always precedes construction in the process of legal exposition. But because contract law recognizes multiple types of meaning ...


Differing Perceptions? Market Practice And The Evolution Of Foreign Sovereign Immunity, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati 2017 Duke Law School

Differing Perceptions? Market Practice And The Evolution Of Foreign Sovereign Immunity, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The 20th century witnessed a transformative, “tectonic” shift in international law, from “absolute” to “restrictive” theories of sovereign immunity. As conventionally understood, however, this dramatic transformation represented only a shift in the default rule. Under absolute immunity, national courts could not hear lawsuits and enforce judgments against a foreign sovereign without its consent. Under restrictive immunity, foreign sovereigns were presumptively not immune when they engaged in commercial acts. We demonstrate that market practices undermine this conventional understanding. Using an extensive, two-century data set of contracts between foreign governments and private creditors, we show that contracting parties have long treated absolute ...


Contractual Arbitrage, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott 2017 Duke Law School

Contractual Arbitrage, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contracts are inevitably incomplete. And standard-form or boilerplate commercial contracts are especially likely to be incomplete because they are approximations; they are not tailored to the needs of particular deals. Not only do these contracts contain gaps but, in an attempt to reduce incompleteness, they often contain clauses with vague or ambiguous terms. Terms with indeterminate meaning present opportunities for strategic behavior well after a contract has been concluded. This linguistic uncertainty in standard form commercial contracts creates an opportunity for “contractual arbitrage”: parties may argue, ex post, that the uncertainties in expression mean something that the contracting parties, ex ...


The Pdvsa Pricing Puzzle, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati 2017 Duke Law School

The Pdvsa Pricing Puzzle, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Market reports in the summer of 2016 suggest that Venezuela is on the brink of default on upwards of $65 billion in debt. That debt comprises of bonds issued directly by the sovereign and those issued by the state-owned oil company PDVSA. Based on the bond contracts and other legal factors, it is not clear which of these two categories of bonds would fare better in the event of a restructuring. However, market observers are convinced — and we agree — that legal and contractual differences would likely impact the payouts on the bonds if Venezuela defaults. Using a comparison of recent ...


Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati 2017 Duke Law School

Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The academic literature on sovereign debt largely assumes that law has little role to play. Indeed, the primary question addressed by the literature is why sovereigns repay at all given the irrelevance of legal enforcement. But if law, and specifically contract law, does not matter, how to explain the fact that sovereign loans involve detailed contracts, expensive lawyers, and frequent litigation? This Essay makes the case that contract design matters even in a world where sovereign borrowers are hard (but not impossible) to sue. We identify a number of gaps in the research that warrant further investigation.


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