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Columbia Law School

2003

Contracts

Contract law

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The Economics Of Form And Substance In Contract Interpretation, Avery W. Katz Jan 2003

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

Faculty Scholarship

For the past 100 years or so the historical trend in the law of contracts has been to water down formal interpretive doctrines in favor of a more all-things-considered analysis of what the parties may have meant or what justice might require in the individual case. This trend away from formal and toward substantive interpretation of contracts has been alternately celebrated and criticized for over a century; and in recent years, a number of economically influenced scholars, in translating some of the classic arguments into economic language, have helped to clarify some of the traditional commentators' concerns. While this new ...