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Full-Text Articles in Law

Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan Jan 2019

Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter restates choice theory, which advances a liberal approach to contract law. First, we refine the concept of autonomy for contract. Then we address range, limit, and floor, three principles that together justify contract law in a liberal society. The first concerns the state’s obligation to be proactive in facilitating the availability of a multiplicity of contract types. The second refers to the respect contract law owes to the autonomy of a party’s future self, that is, to the ability to re-write the story of one’s life. The final principle concerns relational justice, the baseline for ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Aug 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


The Lost Volume Seller In English Law, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2018

The Lost Volume Seller In English Law, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

If a buyer breaches a contract but the market price has remained unchanged, English courts and the treatises have treated the seller as a “lost volume seller.” The seller, it is argued, could have had two sales, not one, so it lost the profit on the second sale. This paper recognizes that the buyer has an option to terminate and that the contract prices that option. The implicit option price of the lost volume remedy results in an absurd contract, setting the option price high when it should be low and vice versa. The default rule ought to be the ...


The Choice Theory Of Contracts (Introduction), Hanoch Dagan, Michael Heller Jan 2017

The Choice Theory Of Contracts (Introduction), Hanoch Dagan, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

This concise landmark in law and jurisprudence offers the first coherent, liberal account of contract law. "The Choice Theory of Contracts" answers the field's most pressing questions: What is the “freedom” in “freedom of contract”? What core values animate contract law and how do those values interrelate? How must the state act when it shapes contract law? Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller show exactly why and how freedom matters to contract. They start with the most appealing tenets of modern liberalism and end with their implications for contract law. This readable, engaging book gives contract scholars, teachers, and students ...


The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2016

The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The common law developed over centuries a small set of default rules that courts have used to fill gaps in otherwise incomplete contracts between commercial parties. These rules can be applied almost independently of context: the market damages rule, for example, requires a court only to know the difference between market and contract prices. When parties in various sectors of the economy write sales contracts but leave terms blank, courts fill in the blanks with their own rules. As a consequence, a judicial rule that many parties accept must be “transcontextual”: parties in varied commercial contexts accept the courts’ rule ...


Variation In Boilerplate: Rational Design Or Random Mutation?, Stephen J. Choi, G. Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott Jan 2016

Variation In Boilerplate: Rational Design Or Random Mutation?, Stephen J. Choi, G. Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Standard contract doctrine presumes that sophisticated parties choose their terminology carefully because they want courts or counterparts to understand what they intended. The implication of this “Rational Design” model of rational behavior is that courts should pay careful attention to the precise phrasing of contracts. Using a study of the sovereign bond market, we examine the Rational Design model as applied to standard-form contracting. In NML v. Argentina, federal courts in New York attached importance to the precise phrasing of the boilerplate contracts at issue. The industry promptly condemned the decision for a supposedly erroneous interpretation of a variant of ...


The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2016

The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The common law developed over centuries a small set of default rules that courts have used to fill gaps in otherwise incomplete contracts between commercial parties. These rules can be applied almost independently of context: the market damages rule, for example, requires a court only to know the difference between market and contract prices. When parties in various sectors of the economy write sales contracts but leave terms blank, courts fill in the blanks with their own rules. As a consequence, a judicial rule that many parties accept must be “transcontextual”: parties in varied commercial contexts accept the courts’ rule ...


After The Golden Victory: Still Lost At Sea, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2016

After The Golden Victory: Still Lost At Sea, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In The Golden Victory the House of Lords held that when determining damages for a repudiatory breach, in a conflict between the compensatory principle and finality, the former trumped. The decision was recently ratified by the Supreme Court in Bunge SA v. Nidera BV. The claim in this paper is that this was a mistake; properly conceived, there is no conflict. The contract should be viewed as an asset and compensation would entail determining the decline in value of that asset at the time of the breach. The value of the contract at that moment would reflect the possible effects ...


The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2016

The Common Law Of Contract And The Default Rule Project, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The common law developed over centuries a small set of default rules that courts have used to fill gaps in otherwise incomplete contracts between commercial parties. These rules can be applied almost independently of context: the market damages rule, for example, requires a court only to know the difference between market and contract prices. When parties in various sectors of the economy write sales contracts but leave terms blank, courts fill in the blanks with their own rules. As a consequence, a judicial rule that many parties accept must be "transcontextual": parties in varied commercial contexts accept the courts' rule ...


Contract Design And The Shading Problem, Robert E. Scott Jan 2015

Contract Design And The Shading Problem, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Despite recent advances in our understanding of contracting behavior, economic contract theory has yet to identify the principal causes and effects of contract breach. In this Essay, I argue that opportunism is a primary explanation for why commercial parties deliberately breach their contracts. I develop a novel variation on opportunism that I identify as “shading;” a behavior that more accurately describes the vexing problems courts face in rooting out strategic behavior in contract litigation. I provide some empirical support for the claim that shading behavior is both pervasive in litigation over contract breach and extremely difficult for generalist courts to ...


Contract, Uncertainty And Innovation, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Contract, Uncertainty And Innovation, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract today increasingly links entrepreneurial innovations to the efforts and finance necessary to transform ideas into value. In this Chapter, we describe the match between a form of contract that "braids" formal and informal contractual elements in novel ways and the process by which innovation is pursued. It is hardly surprising that these innovative forms of contract have emerged first in markets, and that the common law, and the theory of contract, then play catch-up. Between the time contracting practice adapts to the demands of innovation and the time contract doctrine adapts to the demands of practice, law acts as ...


The Correspondence Of Contract And Promise, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2009

The Correspondence Of Contract And Promise, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Correspondence accounts of the relationship between contract and promise hold either that contract law is justified to the extent it enforces a corresponding moral responsibility for a promise or unjustified to the extent it undermines promissory morality by refusing to enforce a corresponding moral responsibility for a promise. In this Article, I claim that contract scholars have mistakenly presumed that they can assess the correspondence between contract and promise without first providing a theory of self-imposed moral responsibility that explains and justifies the promise principle. I argue that any plausible theory of self-imposed moral responsibility is inconsistent with a strong ...


The Correspondence Of Contract And Promise, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2009

The Correspondence Of Contract And Promise, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Correspondence accounts of the relationship between contract and promise hold either that contract law is justified to the extent it enforces a corresponding moral responsibility for a promise or unjustified to the extent it undermines promissory morality by refusing to enforce a corresponding moral responsibility for a promise. In this Article, I claim that contract scholars have mistakenly presumed that they can assess the correspondence between contract and promise without first providing a theory of self-imposed moral responsibility that explains and justifies the promise principle. I argue that any plausible theory of self-imposed moral responsibility is inconsistent with a strong ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2008

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay explores the enforceability and presence of pro-seller contract terms in internet retail contracts. Analyzing case law on internet contract enforceability and a survey of 500 firms'websites, it demonstrates that even the enforceability of many internet contracts is questionable. It then presents new data that suggest that the prevalence of pro-seller contract terms is far less than usually assumed. It suggests that the benefit of making these terms enforceable is outweighed by the loss of user friendliness required for the necessary interface changes. Finally, it uses fresh statistical analyses to determine what relationship, if any, exists between enforceability ...


From Langdell To Law And Economics: Two Conceptions Of Stare Decisis In Contract Law And Theory, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2008

From Langdell To Law And Economics: Two Conceptions Of Stare Decisis In Contract Law And Theory, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

In his classic monograph, The Death of Contract, Grant Gilmore argued that Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Samuel Williston trumped up the legal credentials for their classical bargain theory of contract law. Gilmore's analysis has been subjected to extensive criticism, but its specific, sustained, and fundamental charge that the bargain theory was based on a fraudulent misrepresentation of precedential authority has never been questioned. In this Essay, I argue that Gilmore's case against the classical theorists rests on the suppressed premise that the precedential authority of cases resides in the express judicial reasoning used to decide ...


From Langdell To Law And Economics: Two Conceptions Of Stare Decisis In Contract Law, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2008

From Langdell To Law And Economics: Two Conceptions Of Stare Decisis In Contract Law, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

In his classic monograph, The Death of Contract, Grant Gilmore argued that Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Samuel Williston trumped up the legal credentials for their classical bargain theory of contract law. Gilmore's analysis has been subjected to extensive criticism, but its specific, sustained, and fundamental charge that the bargain theory was based on a fraudulent misrepresentation of precedential authority has never been questioned. In this Essay, I argue that Gilmore's case against the classical theorists rests on the suppressed premise that the precedential authority of cases resides in the express judicial reasoning used to decide ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2007

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars for decades have noted the possibility that standard-form contracts disadvantage consumers. For many years, that literature focused on the idea that sellers with market power draft contracts that are disadvantageous to consumers. Law and economics scholars, however, have been skeptical about that hypothesis, pointing out that a strategy of inefficient terms rarely would be the optimal technique for exploiting market power. In recent years, however, the debate has shifted as new product distribution channels have changed the technology of contracting. Now, even firms without market power can exploit the cognitive failures of their customers through "shrouding" of terms and ...