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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ability To Pay, John A. E. Pottow May 2011

Ability To Pay, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers

The landmark Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 transforms the landscape of consumer credit in the United States. Many of the changes have been high-profile and accordingly attracted considerable media and scholarly attention, most notably the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But when the dust settled, one profoundly transformative innovation that did not garner the same outrage as CFPA did get into the law: imposing upon lenders a duty to assure borrowers’ ability to repay. Ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay is not an entirely unprecedented legal concept, to be sure, but its wholesale embrace by Dodd-Frank represents a …


Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King Mar 2011

Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King

Faculty Scholarship

Empirical studies of contracts have become more common over the past decade, but the range of questions addressed by these studies is narrow, inspired primarily by economic theories that focus on the role of contracts in mitigating ex post opportunism. We contend that these economic theories do not adequately explain many commonly observed features of contracts, and we offer four organizational theories to supplement-and in some instances, perhaps, challenge-the dominant economic accounts. The purpose of this Article is threefold: first, to describe how theoretical perspectives on contracting have motivated empirical work on contracts; second, to highlight the dominant role of …


A Moral Contractual Approach To Labor Law Reform: A Template For Using Ethical Principles To Regulate Behavior Where Law Failed To Do So Effectively, Zev J. Eigen, David S. Sherwyn Jan 2011

A Moral Contractual Approach To Labor Law Reform: A Template For Using Ethical Principles To Regulate Behavior Where Law Failed To Do So Effectively, Zev J. Eigen, David S. Sherwyn

Faculty Working Papers

If laws cease to work as they should or as intended, legislators and scholars propose new laws to replace or amend them. This paper posits an alternative—offering regulated parties the opportunity to contractually bind themselves to behave ethically. The perfect test-case for this proposal is labor law, because (1) labor law has not been amended for decades, (2) proposals to amend it have failed for political reasons, and are focused on union election win rates, and less on the election process itself, (3) it is an area of law already statutorily regulating parties' reciprocal contractual obligations, and (4) moral means …


Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French Jan 2011

Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French

Journal Articles

An issue in the area of insurance law that has been litigated frequently in recent years is whether construction defects are “occurrences” under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) insurance policies. The courts have been divided in deciding the issue and in their approaches to analyzing the issue. This article addresses how the issue should be analyzed and concludes that construction defects are “occurrences”. The relevant rules of insurance policy interpretation dictate that construction defects are “occurrences”. Policy language should be interpreted in such a way as to fulfill the reasonable expectations of the policyholder when the policy is construed as a …


The “Non-Cumulation Clause”: An “Other Insurance” Clause By Another Name, Chris French Jan 2011

The “Non-Cumulation Clause”: An “Other Insurance” Clause By Another Name, Chris French

Journal Articles

How long-tail liability claims such as asbestos bodily injury claims and environmental property damage claims are allocated among multiple triggered policy years can result in the shifting of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from one party to another. In recent years, insurers have argued that clauses commonly titled, “Prior Insurance and Non-Cumulation of Liability” (referred to herein as “Non-Cumulation Clauses”), which are found in commercial liability policies, should be applied to reduce or eliminate their coverage responsibilities for long-tail liability claims by shifting their coverage responsibilities to insurers that issued policies in earlier policy years. The insurers’ argument …


Narrative And The Origins Of Law, Allison Anna Tait, Luke P. Norris Jan 2011

Narrative And The Origins Of Law, Allison Anna Tait, Luke P. Norris

Law Faculty Publications

In order to understand these distinct narratives of legal origin through the tools of narratology, we will proceed in several steps. First, we will define more precisely the set of social contract theories that we consider. We will discuss our decision to narrow the focus down to two social contract theorists in particular, one contemporary and one classical, John Rawls and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These two theorists seem worlds apart in many respects—yet the tools of narratology will enable us to see their shared enterprise. Second, the tools of narratology will help us to identify and discuss the component parts that …


Techniques To Teach Substance And Skill In Contract Drafting: In-Office Meetings And Analytical Memos, Lyman P. Q. Johnson Jan 2011

Techniques To Teach Substance And Skill In Contract Drafting: In-Office Meetings And Analytical Memos, Lyman P. Q. Johnson

Scholarly Articles

This short article is based on a talk at Emory Law School on Transactional Lawyering. One overall pedagogical aim of a transactional course (or any business contract drafting course) is to link skills training with insistence on in-depth substantive learning about law and business. In this way, skills training – although acknowledged to be practical – also can be recognized as intellectually demanding, a point not always appreciated by proponents of more traditional law teaching. Two techniques for making the connection – in-office meetings and detailed “companion” analytical memos – are described.


Managing Moral Risk: The Case Of Contract, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2011

Managing Moral Risk: The Case Of Contract, Aditi Bagchi

All Faculty Scholarship

The concept of moral luck describes how the moral character of our actions seems to depend on factors outside our control. Implications of moral luck have been extensively explored in criminal law and tort law, but there is no literature on moral luck in contract law. I show that contract is an especially illuminating domain for the study of moral luck because it highlights that moral luck is not just a dark cloud over morality and the law to bemoan or ignore. We anticipate moral luck, i.e., we manage our moral risk, when we take into account the possibility that …


Teaching Gender As A Core Value In The Firstyear Contracts Class, Kerri Lynn Stone Jan 2011

Teaching Gender As A Core Value In The Firstyear Contracts Class, Kerri Lynn Stone

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Dispute On The Horizon: Contracting For Effective Dispute Resolution In International Business Transactions A U.S. Perspective, William P. Johnson Jan 2011

The Dispute On The Horizon: Contracting For Effective Dispute Resolution In International Business Transactions A U.S. Perspective, William P. Johnson

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a view, from a U.S. perspective but for a non-U.S. readership, on the significant aspects of planning for dispute resolution in the context of cross-border business transactions involving U.S. and non-U.S. parties. Specifically, this Article identifies the issues that parties who are located in Brazil or in other jurisdictions throughout the Americas should consider at the time of drafting, negotiating, and finalizing business contracts with U.S. counterparties, as well as business contracts that are entered into in connection with other cross-border arrangements that could involve U.S. law even when there is no U.S. counterparty, to prepare for …


Fingerprints Of Equitable Estoppel And Promissory Estoppel On The Statute Of Frauds In Contact Law, Stephen J. Leacock Jan 2011

Fingerprints Of Equitable Estoppel And Promissory Estoppel On The Statute Of Frauds In Contact Law, Stephen J. Leacock

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Website Design As Contract, Woodrow Hartzog Jan 2011

Website Design As Contract, Woodrow Hartzog

Faculty Scholarship

Few website users actually read or rely upon terms of use or privacy policies. Yet users regularly take advantage of and rely upon website design features like privacy settings. To reconcile the disparity between boilerplate legalese and website design, this article develops a theory of website design as contract. The ability to choose privacy settings, un-tag photos, and delete information is part of the negotiation between websites and users regarding their privacy. Yet courts invariably recognize only the boilerplate terms when analyzing online agreements. In this article, I propose that if significant website features are incorporated into the terms of …