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Full-Text Articles in Law

New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2022

New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

A review of 82 modern New York cases reveals an unexpected frequency of authority requiring contractual definiteness as to what may reasonably appear to be minor terms.
Illustrative are cases holding inadequately definite ordinary ways preliminary agreements may express compensation on a percentage of net basis. Other unexpected authority (i) is less willing than expected to allow subsequent actions to provide sufficient definiteness to initially indefinite agreements and (ii) denies the enforceability of confidentiality provisions and a right of first refusal.
The survey includes some unexpected support for contracts specifying a plausibly material portion of the consideration with inadequate definiteness ...


Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule Jan 2019

Online Dispute Resolution For Smart Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule

Faculty Publications

Smart contracts built in the blockchain are quietly revolutionizing traditional transactions despite their questionable status under current law. At the same time, disputes regarding smart contracts are inevitable, and par-ties will need means for dealing with smart contract issues. This Article tackles this challenge, and proposes that parties turn to online dispute resolution (“ODR”) to efficiently and fairly resolve smart contract disputes. Furthermore, the Article acknowledges the benefits and challenges of current blockchain ODR start-ups, and proposes specific ideas for how designers could address those challenges and incorporate ODR to provide just resolutions that will not stymie efficiencies of smart ...


Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2016

Remedy Realities In Business-To-Consumer Contracting, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Professor Jean Braucher greatly contributed to the exploration of consumer and contract law by questioning how the law operates in the real world and highlighting the importance of “law in action.” In recognition of that contribution, this Article focuses on law in action with respect to consumers’ quest to obtain remedies regarding their business-to-consumers (“B2C”) contracts. Currently, consumers often have no practical recourse with respect to B2C purchase problems due to the complexity, cost, and inconvenience of the processes for obtaining remedies. Accordingly, stated legal rights become meaningless for individuals living in the real world. This Article, therefore, explores access ...


Frictions And The Persistence Of Inferior Contract Terms, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2015

Frictions And The Persistence Of Inferior Contract Terms, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

A rudimentary conceptualization of the development of ancillary contract terms would assert competition will result in terms that are joint-wealth-maximizing for merchants and customers. Building on developments in modeling frictions in markets, this article presents simple models of frictions in multi-period contracting as to ancillary contract terms. The modeling illustrates that, for plausible parameter estimates of frictions, combinations of switching costs and investigation costs may allow collectively inferior contract terms to persist in consumer transactions. The results are in harmony with recent evidence illustrating the infrequency with which consumers actually read contract terms. The modeling identifies circumstances where this opportunistic ...


Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz Apr 2013

Sex Matters: Considering Gender In Consumer Contracts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

We hear about the so-called “War on Women” and persisting salary gaps between men and women in the popular media, but contracts scholars and policymakers rarely discuss gender. Instead, dominant voices in the contracts field often reflect classical and economics-driven theories built on assumptions of gender neutral and economically rational actors. Furthermore, many mistakenly assume that market competition and antidiscrimination legislation address any improper biases in contracting. This Article therefore aims to shed light on gender’s importance by distilling data from my own e-survey of Colorado consumers along with others’ research regarding gender differences in contract outcomes, interests and ...


Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes Oct 2012

Side Letters, Incorporation By Reference And Construction Of Contractual Relationships Memorialized In Multiple Writings, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

This article will examine the legal principles applicable to contractual relationships memorialized in multiple writings.


Bad Faith At Middle Age: Comments On The Principle Without A Name (Yet), Insurance Law, Contract Law, Specialness, Distinctiveness, And Difference, Robert H. Jerry Ii Oct 2012

Bad Faith At Middle Age: Comments On The Principle Without A Name (Yet), Insurance Law, Contract Law, Specialness, Distinctiveness, And Difference, Robert H. Jerry Ii

Faculty Publications

In this article, Robert Jerry expounds on Professor Abraham's article on insurer liability for bad faith by pointing out that the concept of institutional bad faith is not a new phenomenon, but rather, one that is as old as the insurance industry itself Jerry focuses on Abraham's depiction of the "specialness" and "distinctiveness" of insurance, while exploring additional instances of "rotten to the core" systemic bad faith dating as far back as the nineteenth-century. Much like Abraham did in his article on bad faith, Jerry uses these examples of systemic bad faith to further his assertion that the ...


Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Building Bridges To Consumer Remedies In International Econflicts, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Consumer purchases over the Internet (“ePurchases”) are on the rise, thereby causing an increase in conflicts regarding these purchases (“eConflicts”). Furthermore, these conflicts are increasingly international as consumers purchase goods over the Internet not knowing or caring where the seller is physically located. The problem is that if the purchase goes awry, consumers are often left without recourse due to the futility of pursing international litigation and the textured law and policy regarding enforcement of private dispute resolution procedures, namely arbitration. The United States strictly enforces arbitration contracts in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) relationships, while other countries have refused or limited enforcement ...


Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz Jan 2012

Access To Consumer Remedies In The Squeaky Wheel System, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This article explores the “Squeaky Wheel System” (“SWS”) in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contexts, referring to merchants’ reservation of purchase remedies and other contract benefits for only the relatively few “squeaky wheel” consumers who have the requisite information and resources to persistently seek assistance. The article uncovers how this system fosters contractual discrimination and hinders consumers’ awareness and access with respect to contract remedies. It also adds empirical insights from my recent e-survey, and offers suggestions for using the internet to empower consumers of all economic and status levels with efficient and accessible means for learning about their purchase rights and asserting ...


Efficient Contracting Between Foreign Investors And Host States: Evidence From Stabilization Clauses, Sam F. Halabi Apr 2011

Efficient Contracting Between Foreign Investors And Host States: Evidence From Stabilization Clauses, Sam F. Halabi

Faculty Publications

Bilateral investment treaties are agreements between sovereign states that give broad protections to investors and investments made within the jurisdiction of the other state. The prevailing view in the academy and practice is that developing countries sign bilateral investment treaties in order to reassure investors from developed states that their investments will be safe from changes in domestic law. Without these “credible commitments,” investors would be deterred from making investments, depriving developing countries of foreign capital. This Article disputes that view by demonstrating that foreign investors and host states effectively contract around the risk of changes in the law. This ...


Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales Of Consumer Contracting Culture, Amy J. Schmitz Apr 2010

Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales Of Consumer Contracting Culture, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Do you ask for contract or purchase terms prior to completing your everyday purchases? Do you first read the pizza box before paying the pizza delivery guy or gal? Typical consumers do not ask for or read their contracts prepurchase, and companies have become accustomed to burying purchase terms in product packaging or Internet links. These postpurchase, rolling, or “pizza-box” contracts have therefore become the norm in the consumer marketplace, and courts generally enforce them as legitimate contracts. This Article discusses varying theoretical perspectives on enforcement of these pizza-box contracts, and explores the available empirical data bearing on the legitimacy ...


Embracing Unconscionability’S Safety Net Function, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2008

Embracing Unconscionability’S Safety Net Function, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Despite courts' and commentators' denial of morality and focus on efficiency in contract law, fairness and flexibility have remained the bedrocks of the unconscionability doctrine. This Article therefore departs from the popular formalist critiques of unconscionability that urge for the doctrine's demise or constraint based on claims that its flexibility and lack of clear definition threaten efficiency in contract law. Contrary to this formalist trend, this Article proposes that unconscionability is necessarily flexible and contextual in order to serve its historical and philosophical function of protecting core human values. Unconscionability is not frivolous gloss on classical contract law. Instead ...


Confronting Adr Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum With Good Faith, Amy J. Schmitz Jul 2008

Confronting Adr Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum With Good Faith, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This Article explores the intricate problem, or conundrum, of enforcing "Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR') agreements" that require mediation or other non-binding dispute resolution procedures. Although public policy supports ADR, courts' inadequate analysis of ADR agreements is threatening their vitality. Instead of properly considering the flexible nature of these agreements, courts assume formalist contract or no-contract conclusions similar to those they impose on what Professor Charles Knapp has termed "contracts to bargain." ADR agreements and other contracts to bargain pose enforcement problems because they require parties' cooperation without specifying what cooperation means or how to enforce such flexible duties. This Article ...


Services As Capital Contributions: Understanding Kovacik V. Reed, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2008

Services As Capital Contributions: Understanding Kovacik V. Reed, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

This essay examines the capital accounting of Kovacik v. Reed, leading authority addressing allocation of losses between a partner who contributed only property and another who contributed only services. Kovacik posits that such parties having agreed to share profits equally have implicitly agreed their contributions were of equal value. This essay shows that such an agreement would not produce the result Kovacik reaches. The Kovacik result is instead produced by the following implausible implicit agreement between the parties: The value of the services provided by the services partner to be treated as a capital contribution equals the amount the partnership ...


Consideration Of 'Contracting Culture' In Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2007

Consideration Of 'Contracting Culture' In Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

The Federal Arbitration Act mandates strict and uniform enforcement of standardized pre-dispute arbitration provisions. This may not be proper, however, in light of the importance of context with respect to these provisions. This Article therefore seeks to remind courts of the importance of exchange context by proposing a "contracting culture" continuum for enforcing these arbitration provisions that acknowledges the impacts of these provisions in a particular communal context. "Contracting culture" encompasses economic and non-economic relational factors that impact dispute resolution agreements, but go beyond common conceptions of "culture" focused on ethnicity, nationality, or religion. It also explores beyond the primary ...


Dangers Of Deference To Form Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz Jul 2007

Dangers Of Deference To Form Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This Article is part of my larger project exploring what I call "contracting culture," which borrows from legal realism and relational contract theory by considering contextual factors such as negotiators' relations, understandings, and values. As part of this project, I am pursuing various threads, including empirical studies of how contracting realities impact arbitration. In this Article, however, I focus on how these realities in business to consumer contracts combine with the Federal Arbitration Act and formulaic contract law to foster dangerous deference to form arbitration provisions. The Article then invites procedural reforms and offers suggestions for regulations aimed to temper ...


Myths, Miscues, And Misconceptions: No-Aid Separationism And The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck Jan 1999

Myths, Miscues, And Misconceptions: No-Aid Separationism And The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck

Faculty Publications

In neutrality theory the recipients of vouchers, grants, and purchase-of-service contracts are eligible to participate as providers in government social service programs without regard to their religious character. Indeed, religious beliefs and practices are prohibited bases for screening out those who want to be welfare program providers. Notable examples of congressional social service legislation conforming to the rule of religious neutrality are the ‘charitable choice‘ feature imbedded in the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and the Community Services Block Grant Act of 1998, as well as the provision allowing issuance of child care vouchers to indigent parents in the Child ...


Wrong Side Of The Mountain: A Comment On Bad Faith's Unnatural History, Robert H. Jerry Ii Jan 1994

Wrong Side Of The Mountain: A Comment On Bad Faith's Unnatural History, Robert H. Jerry Ii

Faculty Publications

In this Comment, I will argue that courts have ignored bad faith's contractual heritage and have undervalued contract law's ability to respond to insurer misconduct. To draw upon Professor Powers's thoughtful analysis, I believe that courts invoked the tort paradigm before it was clear that the contract paradigm was inadequate. For lack of data, I will stop short of recommending where we should go from here, but I will suggest that our behavior in the face of bad faith liability in tort may have changed no less than the environment and that the perceived relative calm in ...


The Differing Treatment Of Efficiency And Competition In Antitrust And Tortious Interference Law, Gary Myers Jan 1993

The Differing Treatment Of Efficiency And Competition In Antitrust And Tortious Interference Law, Gary Myers

Faculty Publications

During the last twenty years, there has been a revolution in antitrust law. As a result of extensive scholarly and judicial analysis, a new learning has developed concerning the content, role, and effect of antitrust doctrines. This trend has focused primarily on the primacy of consumer welfare and economic efficiency. Most commentators now assume that these two interrelated goals are the principal, if not exclusive, concerns of antitrust law. The United States Supreme Court has responded to these new approaches by modifying or altering antitrust law in a long series of cases. Similarly, the new learning has affected the focus ...