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Columbia Law School

Contracts

2014

Contract ABD innovation

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Text And Context: Contract Interpretation As Contract Design, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2014

Text And Context: Contract Interpretation As Contract Design, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract interpretation remains the most important source of commercial litigation and the most contentious area of contemporary contract doctrine and scholarship. Two polar positions have competed for dominance in contract interpretation. In a textualist regime, generalist courts cannot consider context; in a contextualist regime, they must. Underlying this dispute are contrary assumptions about the prototypical contract each interpretive style addresses. For modern textualists, contracts are bespoke, between legally sophisticated parties who embed as much or as little of the contractual context as they wish in an integrated writing and prefer to protect their choices against judicial interference by an interpretive ...