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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Relative Costs Of Incorporating Trade Usage Into Domestic Versus International Sales Contracts: Comments On Clayton Gillette, Institutional Design And International Usages Under The Cisg, Avery W. Katz Jan 2004

The Relative Costs Of Incorporating Trade Usage Into Domestic Versus International Sales Contracts: Comments On Clayton Gillette, Institutional Design And International Usages Under The Cisg, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Clayton Gillette's paper on the use of trade usage in reported disputes arising under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ("CISG") presents a challenge to recent scholarly critiques of modern contractual interpretation. As Gillette explains, much recent writing by economically influenced US scholars in contracts and commercial law has argued in favor of more formalistic methods of interpretation, and against the overwhelming trend of the last half of the twentieth century: a trend toward a more contextual interpretative approach that takes into account a variety of evidence, including the business purpose of the ...


Self-Enforcing International Agreements And The Limits Of Coercion, Robert E. Scott, Paul B. Stephan Jan 2004

Self-Enforcing International Agreements And The Limits Of Coercion, Robert E. Scott, Paul B. Stephan

Faculty Scholarship

International law provides an ideal context for studying the effects of freedom from coercion on cooperative behavior. Framers of international agreements, no less than the authors of private contracts, can choose between self enforcement and coercive third-party mechanisms to induce compliance with the commitments they make. Studies of individual contracting provide some evidence that coercive sanctions may crowd out self enforcement, implying that too great a propensity by external actors to intervene in the contractual relationship may produce welfare losses. We explore the possibility that too much coercive third-party enforcement similarly can reduce the value of international agreements.

We argue ...


Self-Enforcing International Agreements And The Limits Of Coercion, Robert E. Scott, Paul B. Stephan Jan 2004

Self-Enforcing International Agreements And The Limits Of Coercion, Robert E. Scott, Paul B. Stephan

Faculty Scholarship

International law provides an ideal context for studying the effects of freedom from coercion on cooperative behavior. To be sure, almost all academic discussions on the subject begin by asking whether international law constitutes "law." But the category of all "international law" is too big and heterogeneous to permit useful analysis. Whether to regard, say, the rules governing the conduct of war or international humanitarian law as "law" presents radically different issues than analyzing the legal character of the Treaty of Rome (the constitutive instrument of the European Community), or the Warsaw Convention (the instrument governing contracts for the carriage ...


The Option Element In Contracting, Avery W. Katz Jan 2004

The Option Element In Contracting, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Most contractual arrangements are either structured as options or include options as important elements. As a result, many of the major doctrines of contract law effectively operate to create or to set the terms of such options. For instance, it has long been recognized that a contract that is enforceable only through monetary liability operates in practice as an option, because as a legal matter the promisor retains the power either to perform or to breach and pay damages. Similarly, the doctrine of promissory estoppel, which attaches liability to precontractual statements in cases where they are reasonably relied upon, effectively ...


Derivatives And The Bankruptcy Code: Why The Special Treatment?, Franklin R. Edwards, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2004

Derivatives And The Bankruptcy Code: Why The Special Treatment?, Franklin R. Edwards, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

The collapse of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) in Fall 1998 and the Federal Reserve Bank's subsequent efforts to orchestrate a bailout raise important questions about the structure of the Bankruptcy Code. The Code contains numerous provisions affording special treatment to financial derivatives contracts, the most important of which exempts these contracts from the "automatic stay" and permits counterparties to terminate derivatives contracts with a debtor in bankruptcy and seize underlying collateral. No other counterparty or creditor of the debtor has such freedom; to the contrary, the automatic stay prohibits them from undertaking any act that threatens the debtor ...


The Economics Of Form And Substance In Contract Interpretation, Avery W. Katz Jan 2004

The Economics Of Form And Substance In Contract Interpretation, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

For over a century, legal commentators have debated the relative merits of formal and substantive approaches to the interpretation of contracts; in recent years, the debate has increasingly been conducted in the language of the economic approach to contract law. While this new wave of scholarship has been relatively successful in relating the traditional debates over formalism to specific transactional and institutional problems such as imperfect information, it has been less productive in terms of generating useful legal or policy recommendations. This Essay proposes a different approach: one that focuses on private rather than public legal decisionmakers as its primary ...


The Relative Costs Of Incorporating Trade Usage Into Domestic Versus International Sales Contracts, Avery W. Katz Jan 2004

The Relative Costs Of Incorporating Trade Usage Into Domestic Versus International Sales Contracts, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

This Comment expands upon Clayton Gillette's defense of Article 8(2) of the Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), which directs tribunals to incorporate international trade usage into private contracts governed by the Convention, unless the parties agree otherwise. The Comment attempts to offer a more robust and systematic account of when substantive interpretative doctrines such as trade usage might be desirable, as well as why such doctrines appear to be especially useful in the transnational setting of the CISG. It argues that Gillette's account is incomplete because he does not provide an explanation of why ...


Embedded Options In The Case Against Compensation In Contract Law, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis Jan 2004

Embedded Options In The Case Against Compensation In Contract Law, Robert E. Scott, George G. Triantis

Faculty Scholarship

Although compensation is the governing principle in contract law remedies, it has tenuous historical, economic, and empirical support. A promisor's right to breach and pay damages is only a subset of a larger family of termination rights that do not purport to compensate the promisee for losses suffered when the promisor walks away from the contemplated exchange. These termination rights can be characterized as embedded options that serve important risk management functions. We show that sellers often sell insurance to their buyers in the form of these embedded call options, and that termination fees, including damages, are in essence ...


Contracts – Only With Consent, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2004

Contracts – Only With Consent, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

My friend and former colleague Omri Ben-Shahar has established a reputation for providing nuanced and well-grounded applications of economic analysis to important problems of contract law. In recent years, he has undertaken the ambitious task of exploring a significant topic at the boundary of contract law: liability for problems that arise out of efforts to form a contract. The essay to which I reply, Contracts Without Consent: Exploring a New Basis for Contractual Liability, is his second work on that topic, following his 2001 article with Lucian Bebchuk entitled Precontractual Reliance. Collectively, these pieces provide a comprehensive analysis of the ...


The Efficient Design Of Option Contracts: Principles And Applications, Avery W. Katz Jan 2004

The Efficient Design Of Option Contracts: Principles And Applications, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

The law of contracts has often treated options quite differently from other contractual transactions; for example, the characterization of a transaction as an option contract calls forth specially required formalities, but on the other hand often has the effect of releasing parties from doctrinal limitations on their contractual freedom, such as the duty to mitigate damages or the rule that holds excessively high liquidated damages void as penalties. Such differential treatment is challenging to explain from a functional viewpoint, in part because all contracts resemble options to the extent they are enforceable in terms of monetary damages, and in part ...


Marriage, Cohabitation, And Collective Responsibility For Dependency, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2004

Marriage, Cohabitation, And Collective Responsibility For Dependency, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Recently, the privileged legal status of marriage has become the subject of political and academic controversy. Some feminist critics argue that marriage, the source of women's subordination, is outmoded as a family form and that its privileged status should be abolished. Others argue that informal cohabitation unions should be subject to the same legal treatment as marriage. Representative of this approach is a recent A.L.I. proposal that creates a domestic partnership status for cohabiting couples. On the other side of the debate, most defenders of marriage tend to be religious and social conservatives who favor traditional marriage ...


Partnoy's Complaint: A Response, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2004

Partnoy's Complaint: A Response, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

My article attempts to strike a balance and find a middle ground between the polar positions of those who favor strict liability (of whom Professor Partnoy is probably the most notable) and recent critics who believe it would produce market failure. Necessarily, those who take a middle position are exposed to fire from both sides. Although I admire Professor Partnoy's originality and incisive style, I do not believe that the market could easily survive his reforms and suspect that he has undervalued the hidden costs of strict liability. Deterrence is needed – but there can be too much of a ...