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A Paradigm Shift In Comparative Institutional Governance: The Role Of Contract In Business Relationships And Cost/Benefit Analysis, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2021

A Paradigm Shift In Comparative Institutional Governance: The Role Of Contract In Business Relationships And Cost/Benefit Analysis, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Stewart Macaulay’s research on the ways that Wisconsin manufacturers transact debunked the centrality of contract law by revealing a disinclination to consult contract documents or invoke legal sanctions. This research revolutionized contracts scholarship, highlighting that a contract, instead of being viewed as an inevitable necessity of exchange, should be viewed as one of many institutions that might be available to parties as a solution to problems and a method for facilitating exchange. Macaulay’s research further revealed that the cost of legal sanctions, the importance of maintaining business relationships, and the desire for informal solutions actually push parties to ...


Why Choose Ltas? An Empirical Study Of Ohio Manufacturer’S Contractual Choices Through A Bargaining Lens, Juliet P. Kostritsky, Jessica Ice Jan 2020

Why Choose Ltas? An Empirical Study Of Ohio Manufacturer’S Contractual Choices Through A Bargaining Lens, Juliet P. Kostritsky, Jessica Ice

Faculty Publications

This paper contributes to recent scholarship regarding Long Term Agreements (LTAs) by providing empirical evidence that suppliers are more likely to undertake the costs of an LTA if the transaction requires significant capital expenditures or the potential for large sunk costs. Through a survey of a random group of 63 Ohio supplier/manufacturers, the paper explores why supplier/manufacturers with a full range of contractual and non-contractual solutions might choose one set of arrangements over others. It then seeks to link its findings to a broader theory of how parties bargain to solve durable problems under conditions of uncertainty, sunk ...


Statutes And The Common Law Of Contracts: A Shared Methodology, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2020

Statutes And The Common Law Of Contracts: A Shared Methodology, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This chapter explores the intersection between, or the impact of, statutes on contract law, and compares the relative importance of, and intersections between, statutory and common law in contract.


A Bargaining Dynamic Transaction Cost Approach To Understanding Framework Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2018

A Bargaining Dynamic Transaction Cost Approach To Understanding Framework Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article takes a different approach. It draws on the literature of these scholars but suggests that another way to understand the arrangements parties enter into in a variety of settings to purchase or sell goods or to innovate on a product or drug can best be understood in terms of a bargaining dynamic that looks at how the private interests of the parties are turned into joint interests in the agreement reached. It is a mistake to talk about the form of a contract without first understanding the bargaining needs and positions of the parties and how those needs ...


What We Buy When We "Buy Now", Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle Jan 2017

What We Buy When We "Buy Now", Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle

Faculty Publications

Retailers such as Apple and Amazon market digital media to consumers using the familiar language of product ownership, including phrases like “buy now,” “own,” and “purchase.” Consumers may understandably associate such language with strong personal property rights. But the license agreements and terms of use associated with these transactions tell a different story. They explain that ebooks, mp3 albums, digital movies, games, and software are not sold, but merely licensed. The terms limit consumers' ability to resell, lend, transfer, and even retain possession of the digital media they acquire. Moreover, unlike physical media products, access to digital media is contingent ...


The Paradox Of The Right To Contract: Noncompete Agreements As Thirteenth Amendment Violations, Ayesha B. Hardaway Jan 2016

The Paradox Of The Right To Contract: Noncompete Agreements As Thirteenth Amendment Violations, Ayesha B. Hardaway

Faculty Publications

There is a growing trend across the nation for employers to require low-level, unskilled workers to execute noncompete agreements as a condition of being hired to work as an at-will employee. The application of noncompete agreements in low-wage positions occupied by unskilled workers is outside of the original scope and purpose of such agreements. These individuals lack both bargaining power and protection from being terminated without cause. Moreover, upon termination of their employment, the executed noncompete agreement can legally prevent these workers from securing employment with another company.

The enforcement of noncompete agreements in these circumstances may require low-level, unskilled ...


Context Matters - What Lawyers About Choice Of Law In Merger Agreements, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2015

Context Matters - What Lawyers About Choice Of Law In Merger Agreements, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Finding out the truth about a matter can proceed in many different ways. Neoclassical law and economists would construct models built on certain assumptions. The empiricists and contextualists would collect data about the matter in the inductive not deductive sense.

The choice of law in merger agreements presents an opportunity to study a contractual provision in the context of merger deals to see what we can learn from studying the choices in detail.

There are a variety of ways to approach these provisions in merger agreements. Can we learn anything about how choices are made in the drafting of these ...


Private Ordering In The Market For Professional Services, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2014

Private Ordering In The Market For Professional Services, Cassandra Burke Robertson

Faculty Publications

Freedom of contract is significantly restricted in the market for professional services. Under the so-called “corporate practice doctrine,” professionals such as doctors and lawyers are prohibited from practicing within corporate entities, and laypeople are likewise prohibited from investing in professional service firms. Defenders of this prohibition argue that it can be justified as a means of protecting professional independence and thereby increasing the quality of care. In fact, however, the available evidence suggests that investment restrictions are counterproductive to their stated goal. In practice, these restrictions raise costs and reduce access without measurably improving the quality of service at all ...


The Promise Principle And Contract Interpretation: A Suggested Approach For Maximizing Value, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2012

The Promise Principle And Contract Interpretation: A Suggested Approach For Maximizing Value, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

The promise principle and its roots in a certain type of morality of individual obligation, which play the central role in Charles Fried’s vision of Contract law, have importantly contributed to rescuing Contract law from absorption into Tort law and from the imposition of externally imposed standards that are collective in origin. It makes a mammoth contribution to alerting us to the tyranny of interference with individual self-determination. However, this essay questions whether a promise centered system derived from a moral philosophy of promising (without an observable and testable foundation in reality) and geared to internal individual obligation and ...


Uncertainty, Reliance, Preliminary Negotiations And The Hold Up Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2008

Uncertainty, Reliance, Preliminary Negotiations And The Hold Up Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Recently, two scholars, Alan Schwartz and Robert Scott, have cast doubt on the conventional view that courts would find liability and award reliance damages in precontractual cases that resembled the famous Hoffman v. Red Owl case. They have argued that courts deny recovery for reliance in cases involving precontractual preliminary negotiation but regularly grant reliance recovery following a preliminary agreement. They identify a pattern or sequence in which success is likely and then provide an analytical framework to justify liability. When parties reach a preliminary agreement that also includes an agreement that they both invest simultaneously and one party strategically ...


Plain Meaning Vs. Broad Interpretation: How The Risk Of Opportunism Defeats A Unitary Default Rule For Interpretation, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2007

Plain Meaning Vs. Broad Interpretation: How The Risk Of Opportunism Defeats A Unitary Default Rule For Interpretation, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

The problem of contract interpretation presents courts with significant questions about the nature and methodology of judicial intervention into privately arranged affairs. The court often assumes an active role in interpreting the words of a written contract in part because words have more than one meaning or because a contract is incomplete. When a court chooses amongst variable meanings, or interprets contracts to craft limitations on parties' behavior when express limits do not exist, its choice must be then justified using a framework explored in this essay.

Traditionally, commentators have advocated one of two general approaches to supply the methodology ...


Taxonomy For Justifying Legal Intervention In An Imperfect World: What To Do When Parties Have Not Achieved Bargains Or Have Drafted Incomplete Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky Feb 2006

Taxonomy For Justifying Legal Intervention In An Imperfect World: What To Do When Parties Have Not Achieved Bargains Or Have Drafted Incomplete Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This paper addresses the fundamental methodological issue of when courts should intervene in incomplete contracts by interpreting them, filling in gaps and imposing liability on parties who have not yet reached a bargain. It addresses whether such intervention poses a threat to the parties' freedom from contract, the subject of the Wisconsin Symposium on Freedom from Contract. It uses an instrumental approach to determine the circumstances in which courts can outperform parties in improving welfare by intervention. It assesses the two dominant strands of scholarship for addressing the legal intervention question. One strand emphasizes the costs of parties achieving complete ...


Illegal Contacts And Efficient Deterrence: A Study In Modern Contract Theory, Juliet P. Kostritsky Feb 2006

Illegal Contacts And Efficient Deterrence: A Study In Modern Contract Theory, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article offers a unified theory that explains why courts, despite the compelling argument for deterrence, should not apply the no-effect rule of illegal contracts uniformly and why they should vary the type of relief according to the factual setting. It posits that a graduated relief structure will maximize efficient deterrence. An efficient deterrence scheme will preserve limited personal, judicial and societal resources without burdening legitimate transactions.


Judicial Incorporation Of Trade Usages: A Functional Solution To The Opportunism Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2006

Judicial Incorporation Of Trade Usages: A Functional Solution To The Opportunism Problem, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Article 2 of the UCC directed courts to look to business norms as a primary means of interpreting contracts. Recently the new formalists have attacked this strategy of norm incorporation as a misguided one that will lead inevitably to significant error costs. Accordingly, they have embraced plain meaning as the preferred interpretive strategy. This article argues that the strategy of rejecting trade usages unless they are part of the express contract is too rigid. The rejection is premised on an overly narrow cost/benefit analysis that fails to account for the functional role that such usages may play in curbing ...


Symposium - Incomplete Contracts: Judicial Responses, Transactional Planning, And Litigation Strategies - Introduction, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2005

Symposium - Incomplete Contracts: Judicial Responses, Transactional Planning, And Litigation Strategies - Introduction, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This introduction introduces three articles in a Symposium by Richard Craswell, Avery Katz, Robert Scott and George Triantis on the topic of incomplete contracts. The Symposium appears in 56 CASE WES. L. REV. 135 (2005).

The recognition that parties will often fail to achieve completely contingent contracts that provide for an optimal outcome in any future state of the world raises the important question of what role courts could or should play in such contracts.

Scholars working in the law-and-economics tradition have suggested that courts should use a hypothetical bargain approach to incompleteness, filling in terms that are optimal (efficient ...


The Rise And Fall Of Promissory Estoppel Or Is Promissory Estoppel Really As Unsuccessful As Scholars Say It Is: A New Look At The Data, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2002

The Rise And Fall Of Promissory Estoppel Or Is Promissory Estoppel Really As Unsuccessful As Scholars Say It Is: A New Look At The Data, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This article makes important contributions to the field of empirical promissory estoppel scholarship. First it challenges recent empirical scholarship (by Professors Robert Hillman and Sidney De Long in the 1998 and 1997 Columbia and Wisconsin law reviews). Their scholarship had challenged the view of the vast majority of American Contracts scholarship by proclaiming promissory estoppel to be an unimportant doctrine based on low win rates of tried cases. My article challenges this new orthodoxy based on a comprehensive five year survey of cases. It concludes that it is too soon to announce the death of promissory estoppel and that promissory ...


Aids Caps, Contraceptive Coverage, And The Law: An Analysis Of The Federal Anti-Discrimination Statutes’ Applicability To Health Insurance, Sharona Hoffman Jan 2002

Aids Caps, Contraceptive Coverage, And The Law: An Analysis Of The Federal Anti-Discrimination Statutes’ Applicability To Health Insurance, Sharona Hoffman

Faculty Publications

Traditionally, health insurers have enjoyed the freedom to determine their own terms of coverage, to decide to what extent, if any, patients should be reimbursed for different kinds of treatment, and to establish premium prices. Health insurers typically deny coverage for speech therapy, eye glasses, hearing aids, most foot care, and treatment for infertility. Many insurance providers also exclude or severely limit coverage for mental health, dental care, AIDS, diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, epilepsy, and alcoholism or drug abuse. Therefore, while some Americans enjoy full coverage for all their health needs, others who have insurance and suffer from serious or ...


When Should Contract Law Supply A Liability Rule Or Term?: Framing A Principle Of Unification For Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2000

When Should Contract Law Supply A Liability Rule Or Term?: Framing A Principle Of Unification For Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

To demonstrate the need for a unified instrumental framework for deciding gaps and implying liability rules, Part II of this Article will first describe the competing visions of the role of law in contract gap-filling. Although each vision has expanded the ways in which we think about contracts and has offered more realistic models of bargaining, each still fails to offer a unified framework for deciding how courts should decide *1290 incomplete contracts. Part III of the Article outlines the methodological framework for unifying judicial approaches to law-supplied terms or rules. The framework will incorporate a: (1) realistic model of ...


“Why Infer”? What The New Institutional Economics Has To Say About Law-Supplied Default Rules, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1998

“Why Infer”? What The New Institutional Economics Has To Say About Law-Supplied Default Rules, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

A central question of contract law remains: when should the law supply a term not expressly agreed to? Many scholars have addressed that question, yet the justification for law-supplied terms often remains unconvincing. Because many proposals to supply terms do not incorporate a comparative framework for assessing the costs and benefits of legal interventions, they are incompletely justified. This Article proposes that a comparative net benefit approach (developed in institutional economics to explain private arrangements) be adapted and expanded to resolve the fundamental issues of legal intervention. The Article uses that framework to critique the hypothetical bargain and Ayres/Gertner ...


Reshaping The Precontractual Liability Debate: Beyond Short-Run Economics, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1997

Reshaping The Precontractual Liability Debate: Beyond Short-Run Economics, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This article responds to three recent treatments of precontractual bargaining by Professors Richard Craswell and Avery Katz and Mr. Wouter vils: Richard Craswell, Offer, Acceptance, and Efficient Reliance, 48 STAN. L. REv. 481 (1996); Avery Katz, When Should An Offer Stick? The Economics of Promissory Estoppel in Preliminary Negotiations, 105 YALE L.. 1249 (1996); and Wouter Wils, Who Should Bear the Costs of Failed Negotiations? A Functional Inquiry Into Precontractual Liability, 4 JOURNAL DES EcONOMsMs Er DES ETUDES HUMAINES 93 (1993).


Mandatory Arbitration: Alternative Dispute Resolution Or Coercive Dispute Suppression?, Sharona Hoffman Jan 1996

Mandatory Arbitration: Alternative Dispute Resolution Or Coercive Dispute Suppression?, Sharona Hoffman

Faculty Publications

The enforceability of mandatory arbitration policies contained in employment contracts between employees and their direct employers remains an open question, even after the Supreme Court's 1991 decision in Gilmer v. Interstate Johnson Lane Corp. While Gilmer gave effect to a mandatory arbitration clause in a contract between a securities broker and his licensing exchange, the Court noted that the contract at issue was not an ordinary employment contract between employer and employee. The Court declined to decide whether arbitration agreements in ordinary employment contracts are per se enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act or whether these provisions are exempt ...


Looking For Default Rule Legitimacy In All The Wrong Places: A Critique Of The Authority Of Contract Model And The Coordination Principle Proposed By Professor Burto, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1993

Looking For Default Rule Legitimacy In All The Wrong Places: A Critique Of The Authority Of Contract Model And The Coordination Principle Proposed By Professor Burto, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

A central question of contract law remains: when should the law supply a term not expressly agreed to? Many scholars have addressed that question, yet the justification for law- supplied terms often remains unconvincing. Because many proposals to supply terms do not incorporate a comparative frameworkfor assessing the costs and benefits of legal interventions, they are incompletely justifled. This Article proposes that a comparative net benefit approach (developed in institutional economics to explain private arrangements) be adapted and expanded to resolve fundamental issues of legal intervention. This Article uses that framework to critique the (1) hypothetical bargain and (2) Ayres ...


Bargaining With Uncertainty, Moral Hazard And Sunk Costs: A Default Rule For Precontractual Negotiations, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1993

Bargaining With Uncertainty, Moral Hazard And Sunk Costs: A Default Rule For Precontractual Negotiations, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Drawing from a model of bargaining behavior based on transaction cost economics, relational theories of contract,23 Williamsonian models of contracting behavior, and other economic insights, this Article argues that achieving the optimal solution for the complexities of bargaining relationships demands the adoption of a new legal default rule. This new default rule should have two aspects: First, the law should substantively recognize an implicit bargain, even in the absence of explicitly reciprocal communications. Second, the law should impose an obligation to perform that incorporates the terms of the parties' unexpressed, implicit bargain.


Stepping Out Of The Morass Of Duress Cases: A Suggested Policy Guide, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1989

Stepping Out Of The Morass Of Duress Cases: A Suggested Policy Guide, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Traditional coercion theories and elements are simply inadequate as an exclusive focus of analysis in duress cases. This Article does not propose a new theory of duress. Instead, it suggests a refinement of doctrine in which the courts candidly articulate certain key policy goals and develop elements based on them. These policy goals include efficiency, disclosure of unexpected risks, judicial capability, reliance, and economic incentives. If decisionmakers adopted the policy analyses suggested here, the predictability of judicial decisionmaking would be enhanced and a supplemental analysis would be available when the doctrinal elements become difficult to apply. Moreover, this approach would ...


A New Theory Of Assent-Based Liability Emerging Under The Guise Of Promissory Estoppel: An Explanation And Defense, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 1987

A New Theory Of Assent-Based Liability Emerging Under The Guise Of Promissory Estoppel: An Explanation And Defense, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article will demonstrate that these apparently divergent approaches (bargain and promissory estoppel) share unifying elemental criteria that situate them all squarely within an assent-based theory of enforceability. This Article differs from scholarship that depicts promissory estoppel as having a different conceptual or theoretical basis for enforcement. This Article posits that promissory estoppel, together with other orthodox doctrines, are merely substitute doctrinal methods for showing the assent required for an enforceable consensual exchange.