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Contracts

University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law

Contract law

2013

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Mandating Precontractual Disclosure, Eric H. Franklin Jan 2013

Mandating Precontractual Disclosure, Eric H. Franklin

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Parties negotiating an arm's-length contract are generally not required to disclose facts to one another. Although this default rule is supported by both centuries of common law and freedom of contract principles, courts and legislatures treat certain transactions differently. This is particularly true in circumstances in which the default rule results in an unacceptable harm suffered by a broad group of persons. In such cases, lawmakers have acted to impose precontractual disclosure obligations. These decisions and statutes are largely reactive: A harm is identified in a certain transaction's precontractual period and disclosure is mandated to rectify the harm. These reactive …