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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Short History Of The Interpretation-Construction Distinction, Gregory Klass Jun 2024

A Short History Of The Interpretation-Construction Distinction, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This document collects for ease of access and citation three of my posts on the New Private Law Blog, which chart the conceptual history of the interpretation-construction distinction. The posts begin with Francis Lieber’s 1939 introduction of the concepts, then describes Samual Williston’s 1920 account of the distinction in the first edition of Williston on Contracts, and concludes with Arthur Linton Corbin’s 1951 reconceptualization in the first edition of Corbin on Contracts. The posts identify two different conceptions of the distinction. Under the first (Lieber and Williston), construction supplements interpretation. Under the second (Corbin), the two activities complement one …


The Sources And Consequences Of Disputes Over Contractual Meaning, Randy D. Gordon Jun 2024

The Sources And Consequences Of Disputes Over Contractual Meaning, Randy D. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

With some frequency, parties agree to the particular words used in a contract they sign, only to later disagree as to the meaning of those words and their legal effect. That is, they each assent to something, but that “something” is something different for each of them. In this Article, I first categorize and trace the sources of recurring points of disagreement as a matter of language and linguistics. Then, I look at the consequences of a dispute that leads a fact finder to conclude that the parties genuinely did not agree to the same thing, which is to say …


Contracting For Social Change, Adam N. Eckart May 2024

Contracting For Social Change, Adam N. Eckart

University of Miami Business Law Review

Throughout history, social change has often been shaped by high profile legislation and through high-stakes litigation. But social change can also be spurred on through private contract, including through the agreements businesses and individuals make with each other every day. Transactional attorneys can promote social change through drafting techniques and choices, including narrative and storytelling techniques, and can use such drafting techniques in order to 1) write better and more complete agreements that are more consistent with business-led social activism already taking place, and 2) influence society by forcing counterparties to evolve on social issues, change industry practice, or foster …


Dentistry And The Law: Taking Records When Leaving A Practice, Dan Schulte Jd May 2024

Dentistry And The Law: Taking Records When Leaving A Practice, Dan Schulte Jd

The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association

MDA Legal Counsel Dan Schulte advises on departing partner issues: without contracts, disputes arise regarding records, patient ownership, and practice buyout. Employment and shareholder agreements ensure orderly transitions and protect practice interests. Patient records legally belong to the practice, and transferring them without consent violates laws. Patients can request records, but fees apply. Schulte stresses the importance of agreements to avoid costly disputes and ensure continuity of care.


Downstreaming, Rachel Landy Apr 2024

Downstreaming, Rachel Landy

Articles

Spotify and its competitors all offer the same product at the same price. Why? Scholars have argued that relationships can be designed in a way that naturally promotes innovation. By “braiding” certain formal contracting practices with informal enforcement norms, parties develop a frame-work that supports trust and positive, long-term collaboration. This Article takes on this consensus and shows that not all braiding is good. Using the multibillion-dollar subscription music streaming business as an illustration, it demonstrates just how industry forces can, and do, overcome braiding’s positive slant. In that industry, the major record labels (Universal, Warner, and Sony) weaponize braiding …


The Commodification Of Children And The Poor, And The Theory Of Stategraft, Daniel L. Hatcher Apr 2024

The Commodification Of Children And The Poor, And The Theory Of Stategraft, Daniel L. Hatcher

All Faculty Scholarship

Across the country, human service agencies, juvenile and family courts, prosecutors, probation departments, police officers, sheriffs, and detention and treatment facilities are churning impoverished children and adults through revenue operations with starkly disproportionate racial impact. Rather than being true to their intended missions of improving welfare and providing equal justice for vulnerable populations, the institutions are mining them with extractive practices that are harmful, unlawful, unconstitutional, and unethical. This Essay considers such commodification schemes under the lens of Professor Bernadette Atuahene’s excellent and important theory of stategraft. The examples discussed provide support for Atuahene’s theory, and this Essay simultaneously urges …


Covid, Contracts, And Colleges, John K. Setear Feb 2024

Covid, Contracts, And Colleges, John K. Setear

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes Feb 2024

Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes

Pepperdine Law Review

There have been at least two dominant forces at work in the realm of consumer contracting over the past several decades. One has been the rise and domination of the standard form contract (whereby merchants contract with consumers via the use of standardized, boilerplate terms and conditions that consumers do not read or understand). The second force has been the rise of e-commerce and the purchase of goods and services via websites and other online platforms, and the use of “wrap” formation methodology (whereby merchants obtain consumer assent to the online terms and conditions via the consumer’s informal click, scroll, …


Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes Feb 2024

Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes

Faculty Scholarship

There have been at least two dominant forces at work in the realm of consumer contracting over the past several decades. One has been the rise and domination of the standard form contract (whereby merchants contract with consumers via the use of standardized, boilerplate terms and conditions that consumers do not read or understand). The second force has been the rise of e-commerce and the purchase of goods and services via websites and other online platforms, and the use of “wrap” formation methodology (whereby merchants obtain consumer assent to the online terms and conditions via the consumer’s informal click, scroll, …


Beyond Discrimination: Market Humiliation And Private Law, Hila Keren Jan 2024

Beyond Discrimination: Market Humiliation And Private Law, Hila Keren

University of Colorado Law Review

Market humiliation is a corrosive relational process to which the law repeatedly fails to respond due to the law’s heavy reliance on the discrimination paradigm. In this process, providers of market resources, from housing and work to goods and services, use their powers to reject or mistreat other market users due to their identities. They thus cause users severe harm and deprive them of dignified participation in the marketplace. The problem has recently reached a peak. The discussion in 303 Creative v. Elenis indicates that the Supreme Court might legitimize market humiliation by granting private providers broad free speech exemptions …


Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro Jan 2024

Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro

Scholarship@WashULaw

For nearly two centuries, the law has allowed servitudes that “run with” real property while consistently refusing to permit servitudes attached to personal property. That is, owners of land can establish new, specific requirements for the property that bind all future owners—but owners of chattels cannot. In recent decades, however, firms have increasingly begun relying on contract provisions that purport to bind future owners of chattels. These developments began in the context of software licensing, but they have started to migrate to chattels not encumbered by software. Courts encountering these provisions have mostly missed their significance, focusing instead on questions …


Preparing Future Lawyers To Draft Contracts And Communicate With Clients In The Era Of Generative Ai, Kristen Wolff Jan 2024

Preparing Future Lawyers To Draft Contracts And Communicate With Clients In The Era Of Generative Ai, Kristen Wolff

Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law

No abstract provided.


Ok, Computer: Harnessing Ai In Contracts To Change How Our Students Will Practice And How We Will Teach, Mark E. Need Jan 2024

Ok, Computer: Harnessing Ai In Contracts To Change How Our Students Will Practice And How We Will Teach, Mark E. Need

Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law

No abstract provided.


Balancing Predictability With Flexibility In Contract Negotiation And Drafting, Tahirih V. Lee Jan 2024

Balancing Predictability With Flexibility In Contract Negotiation And Drafting, Tahirih V. Lee

Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law

No abstract provided.


The Future Of Unfair Terms Regulation In Commercial Contracts, Marcus Moore Jan 2024

The Future Of Unfair Terms Regulation In Commercial Contracts, Marcus Moore

All Faculty Publications

What is the future of unfair contract terms regulation? To date, regimes of unfair terms regulation have shared several key operational features, but have diverged on the question of the scope of regulation: some regimes focus on consumer contracts or exemption clauses, while other regimes include all commercial standard form contracts. Both domestic and transnational commerce would be well served by broader harmonisation of unfair terms regulation. But divergence on the basic question of the scope of regulation has hindered such harmonisation. Some important recent developments suggest a possible trend towards regulation of a scope which includes all standard form …


After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge Dec 2023

After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge

Faculty Scholarship

Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies spawned by the innovation of blockchain programming have exploded in prominence, both in gains of massive market value and in dramatic market losses, the latter most notably seen in connection with the failure of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange in November 2022. After years of investment and speculation, however, something crucial has faded: the original use case for Bitcoin as a system of payment. Can cryptocurrency-as-a-payment-system be saved, or are day traders and speculators the actual cryptocurrency future? This article suggests that cryptocurrency has been hobbled by a lack of foundational commercial and consumer-protection law that …


Expecting Specific Performance, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David Hoffman, Emily Campbell Nov 2023

Expecting Specific Performance, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David Hoffman, Emily Campbell

Articles

Using a series of surveys and experiments, we find that ordinary people think that courts will give them exactly what they bargained for after breach of contract; in other words, specific performance is the expected contractual remedy. This expectation is widespread even for the diverse array of deals where the legal remedy is traditionally limited to money damages. But for a significant fraction of people, the focus on equity seems to be a naïve belief that is open to updating. In the studies reported here, individuals were less likely to anticipate specific performance when they were briefly introduced to the …


Defeating The Empire Of Forms, David Hoffman Nov 2023

Defeating The Empire Of Forms, David Hoffman

Articles

For generations, contract scholars have waged a faint-hearted campaign against form contracts. It’s widely believed that adhesive forms are unread and chock full of terms that courts will not, or should not, enforce. Most think that the market for contract terms is broken, for both employees and consumer adherents. And yet forms are so embedded in our economy that it’s hard to imagine modern commercial life without them. Scholars thus push calibrated, careful solutions that walk a deeply rutted path. Notwithstanding hundreds of proposals calling for their retrenchment, the empire of forms has continued to advance into new areas of …


Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Nov 2023

Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Exit Engineering, Rachel Landy Oct 2023

Exit Engineering, Rachel Landy

Articles

How do business lawyers create value? For nearly forty years, scholars have conceptualized the business lawyer as a “transaction cost engineer” who helps contracting parties efficiently break negotiation stalemates to create more valuable deals. This theory provides meaningful insights about sophisticated corporate law practice, where outside lawyers parachute in to make one-off deals happen. However, it fails to explain the behavior of startup lawyers, who develop long-term relationships with their clients and counsel them on seemingly routine matters, well before a major transaction materializes. These lawyers are not just transaction cost engineers, they are exit engineers.This Article offers a novel …


Using The Common Law Of Contracts To Police Abusive Terms In Hospital Admissions Agreements: Balancing Freedom Of Contract With Fairness, George A. Nation Iii Oct 2023

Using The Common Law Of Contracts To Police Abusive Terms In Hospital Admissions Agreements: Balancing Freedom Of Contract With Fairness, George A. Nation Iii

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Standard hospital admissions contracts (“HACs”) often contain provisions that are shockingly unfair, but are easily overlooked or misunderstood by patients. Hospitals rely on the common law of contracts, especially the doctrine of freedom of contract, to claim that these provisions should be enforced. Many courts have accepted the freedom of contract argument and enforced some or all of these provisions.

This Article suggests that courts are in error to enforce these harsh provisions against patients. This Article focuses on four harsh provisions commonly found in HACs. First is the payment provision which is opaque, misleading, and designed to allow hospitals …


Stopping Runs In The Digital Era, Luís C. Calderón Gómez Jul 2023

Stopping Runs In The Digital Era, Luís C. Calderón Gómez

Articles

Bank runs, and the financial crises they catalyze and amplify, are incredibly costly-to individuals, families, society, and the economy writ large. Banking regulation has, for the most part, protected us from traditional bank runs for the last ninety years. However, as we saw in the devastating 2008 financial crisis, bank runs can still occur in lightly regulated or opaque segments of the financial sector.

The recent crypto market downturn dramatically forewarned regulators of the potential and significant risks that novel assets could pose to our financial system's stability. In particular, a novel, systemically important asset (stablecoins) revealed its vulnerability to …


We Are Never Getting Back Together: A Statutory Framework For Reconciling Artist/Label Relationships, Harrison Simons Jun 2023

We Are Never Getting Back Together: A Statutory Framework For Reconciling Artist/Label Relationships, Harrison Simons

Washington Law Review Online

Taylor Swift could tell you a thing or two about record label drama. Artists like Swift who want to break into the big leagues and top the charts must rely on record labels’ deep pockets and institutional knowledge to do so. But artists, especially young ones, are often asked to sign deals with labels that leave them with little control over their careers. For many, the risk is worth the reward. However, many others come to regret their decision, with careers that languish or sputter out in label purgatory. Anyone with an ear for the music industry knows that artist-label …


Standards And The Law, Cary Coglianese Apr 2023

Standards And The Law, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

The world of standards and the world of laws are often seen as separate, but they are more closely intertwined than many professionals working with laws or standards realize. Although standards are typically considered to be voluntary and non-binding, they can intersect with and affect the law in numerous ways. They can serve as benchmarks for determine liability in tort or contract. They can facilitate domestic and international transactions. They can prompt negotiations over the licensing of patents. They can govern the development of forensic evidence admissible in criminal courts. And standards can even become binding law themselves when they …


Employer Tuition Assistance: Current Approaches And The Application Of The Implied Covenant Of Good Faith And Fair Dealing, Jordan T. Krieger Apr 2023

Employer Tuition Assistance: Current Approaches And The Application Of The Implied Covenant Of Good Faith And Fair Dealing, Jordan T. Krieger

Northwestern University Law Review

American corporations are increasingly expanding tuition reimbursement programs, potentially improving access to higher education for American workers. Yet, despite their increasing availability, only 2% of employees, as a percentage of those interested in pursuing further education, are utilizing these reimbursement programs. For those employees who do make use of these reimbursement programs, they may face unexpected challenges to accessing judicial remedies if a dispute arises.

This Note takes an interdisciplinary approach to first explore employee risks and employer incentives under tuition reimbursement programs. On the employee side, a worker risks premature termination by expressing an interest in tuition reimbursement because …


Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law Review

The private law of torts, property, and contracts will and should play an important role in resolving disputes regarding how private individuals and entities respond to and manage the harms of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation (known in climate change policy dialogue as “adaptation”). While adaptation is commonly presented as a problem needing legislative solutions, this Article presents a novel and overdue case for private law to take climate adaptation seriously.

To date, the role of private law is a significant blind spot in scholarly discussions of climate adaptation. Litigation invoking common-law doctrines in climate adaption disputes …


Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The private law of torts, property, and contracts will and should play an important role in resolving disputes regarding how private individuals and entities respond to and manage the harms of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation (known in climate change policy dialogue as “adaptation”). While adaptation is commonly presented as a problem needing legislative solutions, this Article presents a novel and overdue case for private law to take climate adaptation seriously.

To date, the role of private law is a significant blind spot in scholarly discussions of climate adaptation. Litigation invoking common-law doctrines in climate adaption disputes …


Fixing Standard-Form Contracts, Shirly Levy Mar 2023

Fixing Standard-Form Contracts, Shirly Levy

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Consumers are at a disadvantage when it comes to standard-form contracts – information gaps, weak bargaining power, and behavioral biases are all at work against them. Moreover, in the digital age, many consumers do not even attempt to read the lengthy contracts they instantaneously approve. Manipulation by sophisticated commercial parties is therefore guaranteed.

The literature offers various ways to alleviate this problem, including nudges and carefully crafted contractual default rules, but the question remains - how can the content of a consumer contract that no one reads be improved? This article draws lessons from the financial market, where shareholders and …


Choice Of Law And Time, Part Ii: Choice Of Law Clauses And Changing Law, Jeffrey L. Rensberger Mar 2023

Choice Of Law And Time, Part Ii: Choice Of Law Clauses And Changing Law, Jeffrey L. Rensberger

Georgia State University Law Review

Modern choice of law analysis usually honors the parties’ contractual choice of governing law. But what happens when the law selected by the parties changes between the time of their contracting and the time of litigation? Or what if the law of the state whose law would otherwise apply changes so that its policy is now offended by the choice of law clause although its policy was not violated when the parties contracted? These questions raise the often-overlooked temporal aspect of choice of law analysis. Should courts regard the law to be applied as fixed to the time of the …


What’S In The Contract?: Rockefeller, The Hague Service Convention, And Serving Process Abroad, Thomas G. Vanderbeek Mar 2023

What’S In The Contract?: Rockefeller, The Hague Service Convention, And Serving Process Abroad, Thomas G. Vanderbeek

Vanderbilt Law Review

Today’s global economy relies on transnational commerce. The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“Hague Service Convention”), implemented in 1965, encouraged transnational commerce by establishing a streamlined mechanism for serving foreign parties with process. More reliable international service methods helped ensure parties that they could resolve disputes with foreign parties through the courts. The Hague Service Convention thus created a bridge between civil and common law procedures on service while reducing some of the risks of engaging in business with foreign parties.

At the same time, the Hague Service Convention frequently …