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Full-Text Articles in Law

New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2022

New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

A review of 82 modern New York cases reveals an unexpected frequency of authority requiring contractual definiteness as to what may reasonably appear to be minor terms.
Illustrative are cases holding inadequately definite ordinary ways preliminary agreements may express compensation on a percentage of net basis. Other unexpected authority (i) is less willing than expected to allow subsequent actions to provide sufficient definiteness to initially indefinite agreements and (ii) denies the enforceability of confidentiality provisions and a right of first refusal.
The survey includes some unexpected support for contracts specifying a plausibly material portion of the consideration with inadequate definiteness …


Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule Jan 2019

Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule

Faculty Publications

Smart contracts built in the blockchain are quietly revolutionizing traditional transactions despite their questionable status under current law. At the same time, disputes regarding smart contracts are inevitable, and par-ties will need means for dealing with smart contract issues. This Article tackles this challenge, and proposes that parties turn to online dispute resolution (“ODR”) to efficiently and fairly resolve smart contract disputes. Furthermore, the Article acknowledges the benefits and challenges of current blockchain ODR start-ups, and proposes specific ideas for how designers could address those challenges and incorporate ODR to provide just resolutions that will not stymie efficiencies of smart …


Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2016

Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Professor Jean Braucher greatly contributed to the exploration of consumer and contract law by questioning how the law operates in the real world and highlighting the importance of “law in action.” In recognition of that contribution, this Article focuses on law in action with respect to consumers’ quest to obtain remedies regarding their business-to-consumers (“B2C”) contracts. Currently, consumers often have no practical recourse with respect to B2C purchase problems due to the complexity, cost, and inconvenience of the processes for obtaining remedies. Accordingly, stated legal rights become meaningless for individuals living in the real world. This Article, therefore, explores access …


Be Careful What You Do Not Ask For: Contracts With The Federal Government For Which Purely Nonmonetary Relief Exists In The Event Of Breach Must Provide For Monetary Damages To Make Them Available To Non-Breaching Private Parties, Matthew W. Cecil Jul 2015

Be Careful What You Do Not Ask For: Contracts With The Federal Government For Which Purely Nonmonetary Relief Exists In The Event Of Breach Must Provide For Monetary Damages To Make Them Available To Non-Breaching Private Parties, Matthew W. Cecil

Journal of Dispute Resolution

By further limiting access to one of the only forums in which private parties may seek monetary damages over $10,000 from the federal government, the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Higbie v. United States1 has ensured non-breaching private parties will not be wholly compensated for their injuries and has undermined the court’s own interest in bolstering mediation.


Sovereign Debt And The Three And A Half Minute Transaction: What Sticky Boilerplate Reveals About Contract Law And Practice, Andrea Boyack Oct 2013

Sovereign Debt And The Three And A Half Minute Transaction: What Sticky Boilerplate Reveals About Contract Law And Practice, Andrea Boyack

Faculty Publications

The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: Boilerplate and the Limits of Contractual Design, by Mitu Gulati and Robert E. Scott, is a cautionary tale about modern legal practice where the protagonist is the standard sovereign debt contract. The book discloses an undeniable flaw in sovereign bond boilerplate (the widely used pari passu clause) that, in spite of expensive, sophisticated lawyering, perpetuates a risky disconnect between party intent and contract terms. The fact that boilerplate terms persist even in elite sovereign-lending practices suggests that the problem of over-reliance on standard form language is ubiquitous.When contract terms diverge from client risk …


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 behaviors. …


Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes Oct 2012

Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

This article will examine the legal principles applicable to contractual relationships memorialized in multiple writings.


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 …


Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Consumer purchases over the Internet (“ePurchases”) are on the rise, thereby causing an increase in conflicts regarding these purchases (“eConflicts”). Furthermore, these conflicts are increasingly international as consumers purchase goods over the Internet not knowing or caring where the seller is physically located. The problem is that if the purchase goes awry, consumers are often left without recourse due to the futility of pursing international litigation and the textured law and policy regarding enforcement of private dispute resolution procedures, namely arbitration. The United States strictly enforces arbitration contracts in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) relationships, while other countries have refused or limited enforcement …


Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales Of Consumer Contracting Culture, Amy J. Schmitz Apr 2010

Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales Of Consumer Contracting Culture, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Do you ask for contract or purchase terms prior to completing your everyday purchases? Do you first read the pizza box before paying the pizza delivery guy or gal? Typical consumers do not ask for or read their contracts prepurchase, and companies have become accustomed to burying purchase terms in product packaging or Internet links. These postpurchase, rolling, or “pizza-box” contracts have therefore become the norm in the consumer marketplace, and courts generally enforce them as legitimate contracts. This Article discusses varying theoretical perspectives on enforcement of these pizza-box contracts, and explores the available empirical data bearing on the legitimacy …


Confronting Adr Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum With Good Faith, Amy J. Schmitz Jul 2008

Confronting Adr Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum With Good Faith, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This Article explores the intricate problem, or conundrum, of enforcing "Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR') agreements" that require mediation or other non-binding dispute resolution procedures. Although public policy supports ADR, courts' inadequate analysis of ADR agreements is threatening their vitality. Instead of properly considering the flexible nature of these agreements, courts assume formalist contract or no-contract conclusions similar to those they impose on what Professor Charles Knapp has termed "contracts to bargain." ADR agreements and other contracts to bargain pose enforcement problems because they require parties' cooperation without specifying what cooperation means or how to enforce such flexible duties. This Article …


Dangers Of Deference To Form Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz Jul 2007

Dangers Of Deference To Form Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This Article is part of my larger project exploring what I call "contracting culture," which borrows from legal realism and relational contract theory by considering contextual factors such as negotiators' relations, understandings, and values. As part of this project, I am pursuing various threads, including empirical studies of how contracting realities impact arbitration. In this Article, however, I focus on how these realities in business to consumer contracts combine with the Federal Arbitration Act and formulaic contract law to foster dangerous deference to form arbitration provisions. The Article then invites procedural reforms and offers suggestions for regulations aimed to temper …


Myths, Miscues, And Misconceptions: No-Aid Separationism And The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck Jan 1999

Myths, Miscues, And Misconceptions: No-Aid Separationism And The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck

Faculty Publications

In neutrality theory the recipients of vouchers, grants, and purchase-of-service contracts are eligible to participate as providers in government social service programs without regard to their religious character. Indeed, religious beliefs and practices are prohibited bases for screening out those who want to be welfare program providers. Notable examples of congressional social service legislation conforming to the rule of religious neutrality are the ‘charitable choice‘ feature imbedded in the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and the Community Services Block Grant Act of 1998, as well as the provision allowing issuance of child care vouchers to indigent parents in the Child …


Wrong Side Of The Mountain: A Comment On Bad Faith's Unnatural History, Robert H. Jerry Ii Jan 1994

Wrong Side Of The Mountain: A Comment On Bad Faith's Unnatural History, Robert H. Jerry Ii

Faculty Publications

In this Comment, I will argue that courts have ignored bad faith's contractual heritage and have undervalued contract law's ability to respond to insurer misconduct. To draw upon Professor Powers's thoughtful analysis, I believe that courts invoked the tort paradigm before it was clear that the contract paradigm was inadequate. For lack of data, I will stop short of recommending where we should go from here, but I will suggest that our behavior in the face of bad faith liability in tort may have changed no less than the environment and that the perceived relative calm in the tort's current …


Ultra Vires Transactions, James L. Parks Oct 1922

Ultra Vires Transactions, James L. Parks

University of Missouri Bulletin Law Series

It used to be commonly said that if a private corporation made a contract which the legislature, creating it, expressly or impliedly prohibited it to make, all courts would be bound to treat such agreement as "illegal and therefore wholly void." This statement probably accurately expresses the orthodox attitude of courts with respect to ultra vires contracts. In some cases the same proposition, stands today, but often it has been unsatisfactory in its application, and for this reason has been relaxed in many instances to a considerable degree. The problem of giving relief upon or enforcing ultra vires agreements of …


Equitable Servitudes In Missouri, George L. Clark Dec 1917

Equitable Servitudes In Missouri, George L. Clark

University of Missouri Bulletin Law Series

Before the decision in Tulk v. Moxhay, a contract not to use land in a particular manner was treated by equity courts in the same way as were other negative contracts; if the plaintiff was so injured in the enjoyment of his own land that damages at law did not furnish an adequate remedy, equity would specifically enforce the contract by granting an injunction against the promisor. The right thus to control the use of the property in the hands of the promisor can hardly be classified as other than a property right, but since it was enforcible only against …