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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Cutting Pension Rights For Public Workers: Don't Look To The Courts For Help, Ronald H. Rosenberg Jan 2019

Cutting Pension Rights For Public Workers: Don't Look To The Courts For Help, Ronald H. Rosenberg

Faculty Publications

Every day we rely on public employees to provide us with a broad range of services necessary to daily life. These workers include public school teachers, fire and police, emergency medical technicians, park rangers, nurses just to name a few. As public employees, these people work for local and state government and they are compensated by us for their services through the taxes we pay. In general, these are modestly paid workers who also receive pensions when they retire after many years of work. Following the financial crisis of 2008-2009, government retirement trust funds significantly lost value and their long-term ...


The Best And Worst Of Contracts Decisions: An Anthology, Nathan B. Oman, Daniel Barnhizer, Scott J. Burnham, Charles R. Calleros, Larry T. Garvin, Nadelle Grossman, F. E. Guerra-Pujol, Jeffrey L. Harrison, Hila Keren, Michael P. Malloy, Daniel P. O'Gorman, Deborah Post, Val Ricks, Rachel Arnow-Richman, Richard R. Carlson, Mark P. Gergen, Kenney Hegland, Nancy S. Kim, Jean Fleming Powers, Cheryl B. Preston Jul 2018

The Best And Worst Of Contracts Decisions: An Anthology, Nathan B. Oman, Daniel Barnhizer, Scott J. Burnham, Charles R. Calleros, Larry T. Garvin, Nadelle Grossman, F. E. Guerra-Pujol, Jeffrey L. Harrison, Hila Keren, Michael P. Malloy, Daniel P. O'Gorman, Deborah Post, Val Ricks, Rachel Arnow-Richman, Richard R. Carlson, Mark P. Gergen, Kenney Hegland, Nancy S. Kim, Jean Fleming Powers, Cheryl B. Preston

Faculty Publications

Five hundred years ago, the common law of contract was without substance. It was form-procedure. Plaintiffs picked a form of action, and common law judges made sure someone besides themselves answered all the hard questions; the parties, a jury, or a ritual determined the winner and the remedy. Judges ran a switch on a conflicts-resolution railway. Thomas More, when Chancellor of England (1529-33), urged judges to lay tracks and control the trains. The problem, he said, was that the judges, "by the verdict of the jury[,] cast off all quarrels from themselves." The judges soon assumed greater authority, taking responsibility ...


Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate And Other Puzzles, Nathan B. Oman Oct 2017

Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate And Other Puzzles, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

Our theoretical approaches to contract law have dramatically over-estimated the importance of voluntary consent. The central thesis of this article is that voluntary consent plays at best a secondary role in the normative justification of contract law. Rather, contract law should be seen as part of an evolutionary process of finding solutions to problems of social organization in markets. Like natural evolution, this process depends on variation and feedback. Unlike natural evolution, both the variation and the feedback mechanisms are products of human invention. On this theory, consent serves two roles in contract law. First, consent makes freedom of contract ...


Why Flexibility Matters: Inequality And Contract Pluralism, Jeremiah A. Ho Jan 2017

Why Flexibility Matters: Inequality And Contract Pluralism, Jeremiah A. Ho

Faculty Publications

In the decade since the Great Recession, various contract scholars have observed that one reason the financial crisis was so “great” was due in part to contract law—or, more precisely, the failures of contract law for not curbing the risky lending practices in the American housing market. However, there is another reason why contracts made that recession so great: contracts furthered inequality. In recent years, when economic inequality has become a dominant national conversation topic, we can see development of that inequality in the Great Recession. And indeed, contract law was complicit. While contractual flexibility and innovation were available ...


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 ...


The Will As An Implied Unilateral Arbitration Contract, E. Gary Spitko Jan 2016

The Will As An Implied Unilateral Arbitration Contract, E. Gary Spitko

Faculty Publications

A consensus has begun to develop in the case law, the academic commentary, and the statutory reform movement that a testator’s provision in her will mandating arbitration of any challenge to the will should not be enforceable against a beneficiary who has not agreed to the arbitration provision, at least where the will contestant, by her contest, seeks to increase her inheritance outside the will. Grounding this consensus is the widespread understanding that a will is not a contract. This Article seeks to challenge both the understanding that the will is not a contract and the opposition to enforcement ...


The Need For A Law Of Church And Market, Nathan B. Oman Apr 2015

The Need For A Law Of Church And Market, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

This Essay uses Helfand and Richman’s fine article to raise the question of the law of church and market. In Part I, I argue that the question of religion’s proper relationship to the market is more than simply another aspect of the church-state debates. Rather, it is a topic deserving explicit reflection in its own right. In Part II, I argue that Helfand and Richman demonstrate the danger of creating the law of church and market by accident. Courts and legislators do this when they resolve questions religious commerce poses by applying legal theories developed without any thought ...


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 ...


Catalyzing Fans, Howard Wasserman, Dan Markel, Michael Mccann Jan 2015

Catalyzing Fans, Howard Wasserman, Dan Markel, Michael Mccann

Faculty Publications

This paper proposes the development of Fan Action Committees (“FACs”), which, like their political counterpart ("PACs"), could mobilize and empower fans to play a larger role in the decision-making associated with which “production teams” the talent will work.

We outline two institutional options: FACs could directly compensate talent by crowdfunding, or they could make donations to charities favored by talent. We then discuss both obstacles and objections from a variety of policy and legal perspectives ranging from competitive balance to distributive justice. Finally, we consider possible extensions of the FAC model as well as offer some ruminations on why FACs ...


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 ...


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 ...


Markets As A Moral Foundation For Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman Nov 2012

Markets As A Moral Foundation For Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


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.


Promise And Private Law, Nathan B. Oman Jul 2012

Promise And Private Law, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

This essay was part of a symposium on the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of Charles Fried's Contract as Promise and revisits Fried's theory in light of two developments in the private-law scholarship: the rise of corrective justice and civil-recourse theories. The structural features that motivate these theories-the bilateralism of damages and the private standing of plaintiffs-are both elements of the law of contracts that Contract as Promise sets out to explain. I begin with the issue of bilateralism. Remedies--in particular the defense of expectation damages--occupy much of Fried's attention in Contract as Promise, and he insists ...


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 ...


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.


They Can Do What!? Limitations On The Use Of Change-Of-Terms Clauses, Peter A. Alces, Michael M. Greenfield Jul 2010

They Can Do What!? Limitations On The Use Of Change-Of-Terms Clauses, Peter A. Alces, Michael M. Greenfield

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


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 ...


A Pragmatic Defense Of Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman Nov 2009

A Pragmatic Defense Of Contract Law, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Is It Time For The Restatement Of Contracts, Fourth?, Peter A. Alces, Christopher Byrne Apr 2009

Is It Time For The Restatement Of Contracts, Fourth?, Peter A. Alces, Christopher Byrne

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Carrying A Good Joke Too Far, Peter A. Alces, Jason M. Hopkins Jan 2008

Carrying A Good Joke Too Far, Peter A. Alces, Jason M. Hopkins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Unintelligent Design In Contract, Peter A. Alces Jan 2008

Unintelligent Design In Contract, Peter A. Alces

Faculty Publications

Scholars have expended considerable energy in the effort to "discover" a normative theory of Contract. This Article surveys that effort and concludes that something fundamental about Contract has been missed and has frustrated the search from the outset. Succinctly, Contract doctrine resists the neat formulation theory requires. Theorists' perspectives on Contract may be generalized as attempts to impute either deontology or consequentialism to the Contract law. Focusing largely on deontological constructions of Contract, this Article demonstrates the inconsistencies among the extant heuristics-promise, reliance, and transfer-and more importantly, the failure of any of those constructions to provide a coherent explanation of ...


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 ...


The Failure Of Economic Interpretations Of The Law Of Contact Damages, Nathan B. Oman Jul 2007

The Failure Of Economic Interpretations Of The Law Of Contact Damages, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

The law of contracts is complex but remarkably stable. What we lack is a widely accepted interpretation of that law as embodying a coherent set of normative choices. Some scholars have suggested that either economic efficiency or personal autonomy provide unifying principles of contract law. These two approaches, however, seem incommensurable, which suggests that we must reject at least one of them in order to have a coherent theory. This Article dissents from this view and has a simple thesis: Economic accounts of the current doctrine governing contract damages have failed, but efficiency arguments remain key to any adequate theory ...


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 ...


Guerilla Terms, Peter A. Alces Jan 2007

Guerilla Terms, Peter A. Alces

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Williston As Conservative-Pragmatist, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2007

Williston As Conservative-Pragmatist, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

In her pathbreaking article, "Restatement and Reform: A New Perspective on the Origins of the American Law Institute, Professor N.E.H. Hull rejects the conventional wisdom about the conservative, even reactionary, character of the First Restatements. The truth, she argues, is more subtle. The Restatements, and the larger ALI project of which they were a part, reflect the "'progressive-pragmatic"' worldview of the law professors most responsible for their creation. These professors were reformers. They rejected the formalism of earlier generations; for them, law was not a conceptual system but a practical tool for promoting beneficial social goals. They tempered ...