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Full-Text Articles in Law

Cartoon Contracts And The Proactive Visualization Of Law, Michael D. Murray Jun 2021

Cartoon Contracts And The Proactive Visualization Of Law, Michael D. Murray

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Contracts have always relied on text first, foremost, and usually exclusively. Yet, this approach leaves many users of contracts in the dark as to the actual meaning of the transactional documents and instruments they enter into. The average contract routinely uses language that only lawyers, law-trained readers, and highly literate persons can truly understand. There is a movement in the law in the United States and many other nations called the visualization of law movement that attempts to bridge these gaps in contractual communication by using highly visual instruments. In appropriate circumstances, even cartoons and comic book forms of sequential ...


Independent Craft Breweries Struggle Under Distribution Laws That Create A Power Imbalance In Favor Of Wholesalers, Daniel Croxall May 2021

Independent Craft Breweries Struggle Under Distribution Laws That Create A Power Imbalance In Favor Of Wholesalers, Daniel Croxall

William & Mary Business Law Review

Independent craft breweries are facing historic challenges under the COVID-19 pandemic. To make matters worse, many states prohibit a brewery from terminating a distribution contract with a wholesaler absent statutorily defined “good cause,” which typically means fraud, bankruptcy, or other illegal conduct. In this context, lagging sales or poor distribution performance are not grounds for a brewery to terminate a distribution contract. This means that it is nearly impossible, legally or financially, for an independent craft brewery to terminate a distribution contract with an unsatisfactory wholesaler. In essence, states have statutorily tipped the balance of power in favor of distributors ...


Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev Feb 2021

Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We offer the first large scale descriptive study of residential leases, based on a dataset of ~170,000 residential leases filed in support of over ~200,000 Philadelphia eviction proceedings from 2005 through 2019. These leases are highly likely to contain unenforceable terms, and their pro-landlord tilt has increased sharply over time. Matching leases with individual tenant characteristics, we show that unlawful terms are surprisingly likely to be associated with more expensive leaseholds in richer, whiter parts of the city. This result is linked to landlords' growing adoption of shared forms, originally created by non-profit landlord associations, and more recently ...


The Contract Interpretation Policy Debate: A Primer, Joshua M. Silverstein Feb 2021

The Contract Interpretation Policy Debate: A Primer, Joshua M. Silverstein

Faculty Scholarship

Contract interpretation is one of the most significant areas of commercial law. As a result, there is an extensive academic and judicial debate over the optimal method for construing agreements. Throughout this exchange, scholars and courts have advanced a wide array of conceptual, theoretical, and empirical arguments in support of the two primary schools of interpretation— textualism and contextualism—as well as various hybrid positions. This Essay is intended to serve as a primer on those arguments.


Arthur Linton Corbin, Gregory Klass Jan 2021

Arthur Linton Corbin, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This chapter on Arthur Linton Corbin will appear in the forthcoming collection, Scholars of Contract Law. The chapter provides a brief summary of Corbin’s life, then discusses five topics: Corbin’s Socratic approach to the classroom and his introduction of the caselaw method at Yale; Corbin’s analytic approach, which was inspired by Hohfeld and is illustrated by Corbin’s definitions of “contract” and “consideration”; Corbin’s evolutionary theory of the common law, his understanding of the relationship between law and social mores, and his insistence that legal rules always be treated as mere “working rules”; Corbin’s occasional ...


Not Pictured: Minnesota’S Disfavor Toward Forfeitures—Capistrant V. Lifetouch Nat’L Sch. Studios, Inc., 916 N.W.2d 23 (Minn. 2018)., Madalyn Elmquist Jan 2021

Not Pictured: Minnesota’S Disfavor Toward Forfeitures—Capistrant V. Lifetouch Nat’L Sch. Studios, Inc., 916 N.W.2d 23 (Minn. 2018)., Madalyn Elmquist

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Contractual Evolution, Matthew Jennejohn, Julian Nyarko, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Contractual Evolution, Matthew Jennejohn, Julian Nyarko, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom portrays contracts as static distillations of parties’ shared intent at some discrete point in time. In reality, however, contract terms evolve in response to their environments, including new laws, legal interpretations, and economic shocks. While several legal scholars have offered stylized accounts of this evolutionary process, we still lack a coherent, general theory that broadly captures the dynamics of real-world contracting practice. This paper advances such a theory, in which the evolution of contract terms is a byproduct of several key features, including efficiency concerns, information, and sequential learning by attorneys who negotiate several deals over time. Each ...


The New Decade Of Construction Contracts: Technological And Climate Considerations For Owners, Designers, And Builders, Geoffrey F. Palachuk Dec 2020

The New Decade Of Construction Contracts: Technological And Climate Considerations For Owners, Designers, And Builders, Geoffrey F. Palachuk

Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

In the next decade, the construction industry faces two intertwined risks: implementation of new technologies and the impacts of climate change. Those overlapping risks will present both practical and legal issues for design professionals, developers, builders, legislators, and the public at large. Although the average participant in the construction industry may not think twice about the emergence or adoption of new technologies, or the effect of climate change on the completed project, those issues present nuanced legal implications. Construction projects and their contracts must adapt. While companies seek to implement new technologies, provide sustainable products, optimize project systems, and maximize ...


Super-Statutory Contracting, Kristelia A. García Dec 2020

Super-Statutory Contracting, Kristelia A. García

Washington Law Review

The conventional wisdom is that property rules induce more—and more efficient—contracting, and that when faced with rigid property rules, intellectual property owners will contract into more flexible liability rules. A series of recent, private copyright deals show some intellectual property owners doing just the opposite: faced with statutory liability rules, they are contracting for more protection than that dictated by law, something this Article calls “super-statutory contracting”—either by opting for a stronger, more tailored liability rule, or by contracting into property rule protection. Through a series of deal analyses, this Article explores this counterintuitive phenomenon, and updates ...


The Judicial Admissions Exception To The Statute Of Frauds: A Curiously Gradual Adoption, Wayne Barnes Dec 2020

The Judicial Admissions Exception To The Statute Of Frauds: A Curiously Gradual Adoption, Wayne Barnes

Faculty Scholarship

The statute of frauds requires certain categories of contracts to be evidenced by a signed writing. The original purpose of the statute of frauds, indeed its titular purpose, is the prevention of the fraudulent assertion of a non-existent oral contract. Although a signed writing is the formal way in which to satisfy the statute of frauds, courts have long recognized various exceptions to the writing requirement which will be held to satisfy the statute absent a writing. The effect of such exceptions is that they constitute an alternative form of evidence for the presence of a contract. One such exception ...


Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment approval processes are the gateway through which governments set the agenda for their country’s investment environment. Yet too often these processes fail to incorporate meaningful requirements regarding participation in decision-making by Indigenous and other affected communities, increasing the risk of under-performing and conflict-ridden investments.

Enabling meaningful participation by rights holders and obtaining and maintaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout different investment approval processes can help governments to fulfill their legal obligations, mitigate financial and political risk, and, ultimately, attract more sustainable land-based investments.

Featuring concrete guidance and drawing on case studies from Kenya, Liberia, Mexico ...


When Standards Collide With Intellectual Property: Teaching About Standard Setting Organizations, Technology, And Microsoft V. Motorola, Cynthia L. Dahl Jun 2020

When Standards Collide With Intellectual Property: Teaching About Standard Setting Organizations, Technology, And Microsoft V. Motorola, Cynthia L. Dahl

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Technology lawyers, intellectual property (IP) lawyers, or even any corporate lawyer with technology clients must understand standard essential patents (SEPs) and how their licensing works to effectively counsel their clients. Whether the client’s technology is adopted into a voluntary standard or not may be the most important factor in determining whether the company succeeds or is left behind in the market. Yet even though understanding SEPs is critical to a technology or IP practice, voluntary standards and specifically SEPs are generally not taught in law school.

This article aims to address this deficiency and create more practice-ready law school ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Jun 2020

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based and natural resource investments, such as agricultural, extractive industry, forestry, or renewable energy projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This practice will usually risk violating requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly concerning when the investor-state contract gives the investor company rights to lands or resources over which local communities have legitimate claims.

This article explores how consultation ...


Contracting Away The First Amendment?: When Courts Should Intervene In Nondisclosure Agreements, Abigail Stephens May 2020

Contracting Away The First Amendment?: When Courts Should Intervene In Nondisclosure Agreements, Abigail Stephens

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Contract Lore As Heuristic Starting Points, Colin P. Marks May 2020

Contract Lore As Heuristic Starting Points, Colin P. Marks

Faculty Articles

What Professor Hillman labels as lore are better thought of as a series of heuristic starting points. I do not label them heuristics in and of themselves as they do not represent shortcuts to the ultimate answer. But, as I explain, all of the areas that Professor Hillman identifies as lore are actually quite nuanced, sometimes filled with exceptions; other times, they simply represent the first step in a long inquiry. Heuristics as a teaching device has been recognized in law and other disciplines as an effective tool in not only conveying information, but also prodding the student to conduct ...


Reframing Housing: Incorporating Public Law Principles Into Private Law, Kristen Barnes Jan 2020

Reframing Housing: Incorporating Public Law Principles Into Private Law, Kristen Barnes

College of Law - Faculty Scholarship

A new public-private law paradigm is developing with respect to the relationship of the state to private contracts. The paradigm melds private law concepts like unconscionability, good faith, and fair dealing with the public human rights principles of dignity and vulnerability. I trace this paradigm shift in the context of the housing law of Spain, where several rich cultural and legal resources have inspired a new sensibility with regard to residential mortgage loan contracts, rental agreements, and the overall duties and obligations of governments to address the citizenry's housing needs. Although this reorientation reflects decisions from the European Court ...


Lying And Cheating, Or Self-Help And Civil-Disobedience?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2020

Lying And Cheating, Or Self-Help And Civil-Disobedience?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

May poor sellers lie to rich buyers? This article argues that, under limited circumstances, sellers may indeed have a license to lie about their goods. Where sellers are losers under unjust background institutions and they reasonably believe that buyers have more than they would under just institutions, lies that result in de minimum transfers can be regarded as a kind of self-help. More generally, what we owe each other in our interpersonal interactions depends on the institutional backdrop. Consumer contract law, including its enforcement regimes, should recognize the social and political contingency of sellers’ obligations to buyers. In other contexts ...


"You're Fired!": The Common Law Should Respond With The Refashioned Tort Of Abusive Discharge, William R. Corbett Jan 2020

"You're Fired!": The Common Law Should Respond With The Refashioned Tort Of Abusive Discharge, William R. Corbett

Journal Articles

An at will prerogative without limits could be suffered only in an anarchy, and there not for long--it certainly cannot be suffered in a society such as ours without weakening the bond of counter balancing rights and obligations that holds such societies together. Thus, while there may be a right to terminate a contract at will for no reason, or for an arbitrary or irrational reason, there can be no right to terminate such a contract for an unlawful reason or purpose that contravenes public policy. A different interpretation would encourage and sanction lawlessness, which law by its very nature ...


Stay In The Fight With Civility And Professionalism, David Spratt Jan 2020

Stay In The Fight With Civility And Professionalism, David Spratt

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

No abstract provided.


Delaware As Deal Arbiter, Christina M. Sautter Jan 2020

Delaware As Deal Arbiter, Christina M. Sautter

Journal Articles

Most would agree that the Delaware courts are the leading jurists in the resolution of corporate conflicts, particularly in the Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) context. Arguably a greater role that Delaware plays is that of a norm setter, both with respect to the expectations of management conduct in the M&A process and with respect to deal terms, particularly deal protection devices. Like in any relationship, there is a "give and take" between practitioners and Delaware. That is, practitioners are "on the front lines," often innovating with respect to new deal structures and deal terms. After some time, Delaware has ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Cordes Jan 2020

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Cordes

Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low- and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based and natural resource investments, such as agricultural, extractive industry, forestry, or renewable energy projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This practice will usually risk violating requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly concerning when the investor-state contract gives the investor company rights to lands or resources over which local communities have legitimate claims.

This article explores how ...


Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman Jan 2020

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Deals accomplished through software persistently residing on computer networks—sometimes called smart contracts, but better termed transactional scripts—embody a potentially revolutionary contracting innovation. Ours is the first precise account in the legal literature of how such scripts are created, and when they produce errors of legal significance.

Scripts’ most celebrated use case is for transactions operating exclusively on public, permissionless, blockchains: such exchanges eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries and seem to permit parties to commit ex ante to automated performance. But public transactional scripts are costly both to develop and execute, with significant fees imposed for data storage ...


De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz Jan 2020

De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz

Maryland Law Review

No abstract provided.


Contractual Incapacity And The Americans With Disabilities Act, Sean M. Scott Jan 2020

Contractual Incapacity And The Americans With Disabilities Act, Sean M. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The doctrine of contractual incapacity allows people with mental disabilities to avoid their contractual liability. Its underlying premise is that the law has an obligation to protect people with such disabilities both from themselves and from unscrupulous people who would take advantage of them; mental incapacity provides this protection by rendering certain contracts unenforceable. The Disability Rights Movement ("DRM"), however, has challenged such protective legal doctrines, as they rest on outmoded concepts about people with mental disabilities.

This essay argues that the mental incapacity doctrine undermines the goals of the DRM and the legislative goals of the Americans with Disabilities ...


Criminal Usury And Its Impact On New York Business Transactions, Christopher Basile Jan 2020

Criminal Usury And Its Impact On New York Business Transactions, Christopher Basile

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Interpreting Contracts In A Regulatory State, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2020

Interpreting Contracts In A Regulatory State, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

Some scholars would limit courts to the text of written agreements when interpreting contracts on the theory that parties meant what they said, and said what they meant. Other scholars would have courts take into account the factual context surrounding contract formation. Both sides of this debate assume that contract interpretation is largely limited to reconstructing contracting parties’ intentions.

This assumption is mistaken. Since the overturning of Lochner v New York, contracting parties no longer have exclusive authority over contracts. State authority to regulate contract came at the expense of unbridled private authority. A more limited conception of contracting parties ...


Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2020

Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

The success of the New York Convention has made arbitration a preferred means of dispute resolution for international commercial transactions. Success in arbitration often depends on the extent to which a party may, in advance, ensure that assets or evidence is secured in advance, or that the other party is required to take steps to secure the status quo. This makes the availability of provisional measures granted by either arbitral tribunals or by courts important to the arbitration process. In this chapter I consider the existing legal framework for such provisional measures in aid of arbitration. I give particular attention ...


The Myth Of Optimal Expectation Damages, Theresa Arnold, Amanda Dixon, Madison Sherrill, Mitu Gulati Jan 2020

The Myth Of Optimal Expectation Damages, Theresa Arnold, Amanda Dixon, Madison Sherrill, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

A much-debated question in contract law scholarship is what the optimal measure of damages for breach should be. The casebook answer-drawing from the theory of efficient breach-is expectation damages. This standard answer, which was a major contribution of the law and economics field, has come under attack by theoreticians within that field itself. To shed an empirical perspective on the question, we look at data on the types of damages provisions parties contract/or themselves in international debt contracts. Specifically, we examine issuer call provisions, which are economically equivalent to damages for prepayment, yet not viewed as legally problematic in ...


Contracts: An Eight-Factor Test For Quantum Meruit Compensation For A Dismissed Contingency Fee Counsel—Faricy Law Firm, P.A. V. Api, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust, 912 N.W.2d 652 (Minn. 2018), Mitch Ohiwa Jan 2020

Contracts: An Eight-Factor Test For Quantum Meruit Compensation For A Dismissed Contingency Fee Counsel—Faricy Law Firm, P.A. V. Api, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust, 912 N.W.2d 652 (Minn. 2018), Mitch Ohiwa

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2020

Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

When should specific performance be available for breach of contract? This question has engaged generations of legal economists and philosophers, historians and comparativists. Yet none of these disciplines have provided a persuasive answer. This Article provides a normatively-attractive and conceptually-coherent account. Respect for the autonomy of the promisor’s future self explains why expectation damages are, and should be, the ordinary remedy for contract breach. Also, this same normative commitment to the contracting parties’ autonomy best justifies the “uniqueness exception,” where specific performance is typically awarded, and the personal services exclusion, where it is not. For the most part, the ...