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Full-Text Articles in Law

In Memoriam: Professor Richard E. Speidel; 1933-2008, James J. White Jan 2009

In Memoriam: Professor Richard E. Speidel; 1933-2008, James J. White

Articles

I first met Dick Speidel in 1968 when he, Bob Summers, and I started work on the first edition of our Commercial Transactions casebook. Work on the several editions of that casebook was the excuse for many wonderful, bibulous meetings in Charlottesville, Ithaca, and Ann Arbor. Those meetings were filled with exuberant debate in which Dick always favored the underdog. Only grudgingly did Bob and I succumb to Dick's insistence that we include a new topic called "consumer law"; I am certain that we forced Dick to swallow many formalist cases and rightwing notes, but he was too charitable ...


Warranties In The Box, James J. White Jan 2009

Warranties In The Box, James J. White

Articles

Thousands of times each day, a buyer opens a box that contains a new computer or other electronic device. There he finds written material including an express "Limited Warranty." Sometimes the box has come by FedEx directly from the manufacturer; other times the buyer has carried it home from a retail merchant. Despite the fact that it is standard practice for the manufacturer to include a limited written express warranty on the sale of such products,' and despite the fact that both the manufacturer and the buyer believe that warranty to be legally enforceable, the law on its enforceability is ...


Contracting Under Amended 2-207 (Freedom From Contract Symposium), James J. White Jan 2004

Contracting Under Amended 2-207 (Freedom From Contract Symposium), James J. White

Articles

Amended Section 2-207 of the Uniform Commercial Code1 (the Code) states new contract rules. I call these "contract rules" to avoid the labels of contract formation and contract interpretation. These new rules cure many of the problems presented by current Section 2-2072 and remind courts that the purpose of Section 2-207 is to interpret a contract that has been made, not to see if a contract exists. One is tempted to label current Section 2-207 as a contract formation provision-and to some extent that would be right-but most of this Section's work has been in contract interpretation, not in ...


Reverberations From The Collision Of Tort And Warranty (Products Liability Law Symposium In Memory Of Professor Gary T. Schwartz), James J. White Jan 2002

Reverberations From The Collision Of Tort And Warranty (Products Liability Law Symposium In Memory Of Professor Gary T. Schwartz), James J. White

Articles

In his famous Stanford Law Review article, When Worlds Collide,' Professor Marc Franklin foretold the troubles for American law in the impending collision of the tort of strict liability with the warranty of merchantability.2 We daily suffer the reverberations from that collision as courts struggle with the proper application of strict tort liability and breach of warranty in products liability cases. Lawyers who have not studied Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) are surprised to learn that virtually every buyer who has a strict tort claim for an injury caused by a defective product also ...


Default Rules In Sales And The Myth Of Contracting Out, James J. White Jan 2002

Default Rules In Sales And The Myth Of Contracting Out, James J. White

Articles

In this article, I trace the dispute in the courts and before the ALI and NCCUSL over the proper contract formation and interpretation default rules. In Part II, I consider the Gateway litigation. In Part III, I deal with UCITA and the revision to Article 2. In Part IV, I consider the merits of the competing default rules.


Good Faith And The Cooperative Antagonist (Symposium On Revised Article 1 And Proposed Revised Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 2001

Good Faith And The Cooperative Antagonist (Symposium On Revised Article 1 And Proposed Revised Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

One of Karl Llewellyn's most noted achievements in the Uniform Commercial Code was to impose the duty of good faith on every obligation under the Uniform Commercial Code.1 Some (I am one) have privately thought that imposition of this unmeasurable, undefinable duty was Llewellyn's cruelest trick, but no court, nor any academic writer, has ever been so bold or so gauche as to suggest that good faith should not attend the obligations of parties under the UCC. Notwithstanding this silent indorsement of the duty of good faith, the courts2 and commentators3 have had difficulty in determining what ...


Autistic Contracts (Symposium), James J. White Jan 2000

Autistic Contracts (Symposium), James J. White

Articles

In this paper I address the question whether the law should affirm the offeror's inference and should bind the offeree to the terms proposed by the offeror even in circumstances where the offeree may not intend to accept those terms and where an objective observer might not draw the inference of agreement from the offeree's act. Modem practice and current proposals concerning contract formation in Revised Article 2 and in the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (nee Article 2B) press these issues on us more forcefully than old practices and different law did. 1 But contractual autism is ...


Freeing The Tortious Soul Of Express Warranty Law, James J. White Jan 1998

Freeing The Tortious Soul Of Express Warranty Law, James J. White

Articles

I suspect that most American lawyers and law students regard express warranty as neither more nor less than a term in a contract, a term that is subject to conventional contract rules on formation, interpretation, and remedy. Assume, for example, that a buyer sends a purchase order to a seller and the purchase order specifies the delivery of 300 tons of "prime Thomas cold rolled steel." The acknowledgment also describes the goods to be sold as "prime Thomas cold rolled steel." Every American lawyer would agree that there is a contract to deliver such steel and furthermore would conclude that ...


Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 1997

Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

The current draft of section 2-206 in Revised Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") entitled "Consumer Contract: Standard Form"1 presents a unique and threatening challenge to the drafters of consumer form contracts. In earlier drafts, one part of the section applied to both to commercial contracts and consumer contracts. It required that "one manifest assent" to any form contract, commercial or consumer, in order for it to be binding.2 Bowing to commercial opposition in the most recent version, the drafters have omitted all reference to commercial contracts. As the section stands, it applies only to consumer ...


The Decline Of The Contract Market Damage Model, James J. White Jan 1988

The Decline Of The Contract Market Damage Model, James J. White

Articles

In law school every American lawyer learns that the conventional measure of damages for breach of a sales contract is the difference between the contract price and the market price. Even before these rules were embodied in the Uniform Sales Act and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), they were a staple of Anglo-American common law. They remain the rules with which a court would determine damage liability not only for the sale of goods, but also for the sale of real estate and securities.


Promise Fulfilled And Principle Betrayed, James J. White Jan 1988

Promise Fulfilled And Principle Betrayed, James J. White

Articles

My responsibility in this paper is to address three questions. (1) How has the legal realist body of thought affected contract law and its application? (2) How will contract law and its application be affected in the future by realist thinking? (3) If the realist viewpoint were fully accepted, what kind of system would result and how would contract law be affected? Because my focus is upon a principal legislative monument to realism, Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code (the "U.C.C."), and upon its drafter, Karl Llewellyn, I will not answer any of the three questions explicitly ...


Eight Cases And Section 251, James J. White Jan 1982

Eight Cases And Section 251, James J. White

Articles

[A] continuing sense of reliance and security that the promised performance will be forthcoming. . . is an important feature of the bargain-so states Comment 1 to section 2-609 of the Uniform Commercial Code. At common law, one party to a contract might suffer considerable and justifiable anxiety about the other party's willingness or ability to perform and yet have no legal basis for cancelling the contract or for procuring additional assurances from the other party. Section 251 of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts is designed to provide a remedy for one party's reasonable fears that the other party to ...


Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White Jan 1982

Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White

Articles

Diligent first year law students study contract law with a passion previously reserved for romantic objects and religious idols. Their professors lead them in extensive and difficult intellectual explorations of the wilds of contract law. There are careful analyses of why damage recovery X will stimulate performance Y, why recovery A is appropriate to encourage the aggrieved party to return to the market, and so on and so forth. Lurking behind this year long analysis are several inarticulate hypotheses: that they make rational evaluations of the threat of legal sanctions; that they respond in other varied and subtle ways to ...


Allocation Of Scarce Goods Under Section 2-615 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Comparison Of Some Rival Models, James J. White Jan 1979

Allocation Of Scarce Goods Under Section 2-615 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Comparison Of Some Rival Models, James J. White

Articles

Section 2-615 of the Uniform Commercial Code authorizes a contract seller to allocate goods in short supply when full performance has become commercially impracticable. Most of the cases under and commentary on that section have focused on the issue of commercial impracticability. The allocation aspects of the section have attracted much more modest attention in the cases and in the scholarly journals. The purpose of this article is to examine critically the allocation rule set out in section 2-615(b). That subsection authorizes a seller, upon a finding of commercial impracticability, to allocate "in any manner which is fair and ...


Evaluating Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Preliminary Empirical Expedition, James J. White May 1977

Evaluating Article 2 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Preliminary Empirical Expedition, James J. White

Articles

A proponent of commercial law codification, Mr. Eaton was one of the first American lawyers to perceive that mere codification of the law did not necessarily produce certainty and lack of discord in the law of commercial transactions. Indeed, in the same article Eaton reveals that of the 1,091 cases that had arisen under the Negotiable Instruments Law, only 704 cited the Act and in the other 387 "the Negotiable Instruments Law [was] ignored by the courts in the decisions, and (so far as the reports show) by the counsel in these cases...." Unlike Bentham, Carter, and Field, each ...