Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Contract law

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 172

Full-Text Articles in Law

What Might Contract Theory Be, Gregory Klass Jul 2023

What Might Contract Theory Be, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Few contract theories begin with so comprehensive a discussion of method as does Stephen Smith’s book, Contract Theory. In the first chapter, “What Is Contract Theory,” Smith describes an interpretive approach guided by four goals: fit with the existing law, internal coherence, moral attractiveness, and transparency to legal actors.

This chapter, to appear in the forthcoming Understanding Private Law: Essays in Honour of Stephen A. Smith, does a deep dive into Smith’s description and defense of those goals. Smith pictures the contract theorist as an observer standing outside legal practice, interpreting the law but not participating in it. …


Brief Of Amicus Curiae Gregory Klass In Support Of Plaintiff-Appellee, Gregory Klass Apr 2023

Brief Of Amicus Curiae Gregory Klass In Support Of Plaintiff-Appellee, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This scholar’s amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit argues that tort remedies play an important role in the contract ecosystem, including promoting efficiency in exchanges; that a party who has been defrauded in the formation of a contract is not bound by contractual limitations on tort liability; and that worries about the tortification of contract law are overblown and out of date.


Impossibility And Frustration, Jennifer Nadler Jan 2023

Impossibility And Frustration, Jennifer Nadler

All Papers

No abstract provided.


Artificial Intelligence And Contract Formation: Back To Contract As Bargain?, John Linarelli Jan 2023

Artificial Intelligence And Contract Formation: Back To Contract As Bargain?, John Linarelli

Book Chapters

Some say AI is advancing quickly. ChatGPT, Bard, Bing’s AI, LaMDA, and other recent advances are remarkable, but they are talkers not doers. Advances toward some kind of robust agency for AI is, however, coming. Humans and their law must prepare for it. This chapter addresses this preparation from the standpoint of contract law and contract practices. An AI agent that can participate as a contracting agent, in a philosophical or psychological sense, with humans in the formation of a con-tract will have to have the following properties: (1) AI will need the cognitive functions to act with intention and …


Deconstructing Employment Contract Law, Rachel Arnow-Richman, J.H. Verkerke Jan 2023

Deconstructing Employment Contract Law, Rachel Arnow-Richman, J.H. Verkerke

UF Law Faculty Publications

Employment contract law is an antiquated, ill-fitting, incoherent mess. But no one seems inclined to fix this problem. Employment law scholars, skeptical of employees’ ability to bargain, tend to disregard contract law and advocate for just-cause and other legislative reform. And contracts scholars largely ignore employment cases—viewing them, with some justification, as part of a peculiar, specialized body of law wholly divorced from general contract jurisprudence. As a result of this undesirable employment law exceptionalism, courts lack the tools they need to resolve recurring, real-world disputes.

This article offers a new, comprehensive historical account that exposes the formalistic and anti …


Contract Production In M&A Markets, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Matthew Jennejohn, Robert E. Scott Jan 2023

Contract Production In M&A Markets, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Matthew Jennejohn, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract scholarship has devoted considerable attention to how contract terms are designed to incentivize parties to fulfill their obligations. Less attention has been paid to the production of contracts and the tradeoffs between using boilerplate terms and designing bespoke provisions. In thick markets everyone uses the standard form despite the known drawbacks of boilerplate. But in thinner markets, such as the private deal M&A world, parties trade off costs and benefits of using standard provisions and customizing clauses. This Article reports on a case study of contract production in the M&A markets. We find evidence of an informal information network …


Total Return Meltdown: The Case For Treating Total Return Swaps As Disguised Secured Transactions, Colin P. Marks Jan 2023

Total Return Meltdown: The Case For Treating Total Return Swaps As Disguised Secured Transactions, Colin P. Marks

Faculty Articles

Archegos Capital Management, at its height, had $35 billion in assets. But in the spring of 2021, in part through its use of total return swaps, Archegos sparked a $30 billion dollar sell-off that left many of the world's largest banks footing the bill. Mitsubishi UFJ Group estimated a loss of $300 million; UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, lost $861 million; Morgan Stanley lost $911 million; Japan's Nomura lost $2.85 billion; but the biggest hit came to Credit Suisse Group AG, which lost $5.5 billion. Archegos itself lost $20 billion over two days. The unique characteristics of total return swaps and …


Time’S Up: Against Shortening Statutes Of Limitation By Employment Contract, Meredith R. Miller Jan 2023

Time’S Up: Against Shortening Statutes Of Limitation By Employment Contract, Meredith R. Miller

Scholarly Works

Employers are increasingly adding clauses to contracts with employees that purport to shorten the statutes of limitation for employees to pursue claims against their employers (“SOL Clauses”). SOL Clauses are being imposed on employees in various stages of the contracting process. They have turned up in job applications, offer letters, arbitration clauses, employment agreements and employee handbooks. Where they have been enforced by the courts, the justification has been a prioritization of “freedom of contract” over any other policy concerns. This Article argues that, in the employment context, “freedom of contract” should not be prioritized over other competing concerns, which …


Contracts Scholarship Beyond Materialisierung, Daniela Caruso Dec 2022

Contracts Scholarship Beyond Materialisierung, Daniela Caruso

Faculty Scholarship

This comment aims to show how Klaus Eller's paper on ‘The Political Economy of Tenancy Contract Law’1 raises the stakes of private law scholarship and contributes to the larger project of remodeling legal institutions in a progressive direction. The comment starts by contextualising the rapid spread of the Law and Political Economy (LPE) movement; illustrates through examples the generative impact of LPE on contemporary contracts scholarship; and highlights two strands of Eller’s original contribution to such literature: a welcome reflection on the value and limits of Materialisierung, and a radical widening of the private law inquiry to include …


Demystifying Implied Terms, Marcus Moore Aug 2022

Demystifying Implied Terms, Marcus Moore

All Faculty Publications

Recent years have witnessed significant interest in demystifying the implication of contract terms. Whilst the discussion thus far has elicited some answers, the subject remains notoriously ‘elusive'. This article advances discussion in the field. It argues that underlying recent debates are deeper issues that must be brought to the surface. These include theoretical incoherence regarding the nature/purpose of implication tracing back to The Moorcock (1889), and analytical indeterminacy in applying the established ‘tests' for implication, as courts vary between conflicting instrumental and non-instrumental approaches. Feeding both issues is inconsistent linguistic use of core terminology. This article helps demystify implication by …


Contracting For Process, David Snyder Jan 2022

Contracting For Process, David Snyder

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This article introduces the concept of contracting for process and considers when it is likely to be the best contract design. Contracting for process is in widespread use, but it often goes unnoticed. Some characteristics of contracting for process suit it particularly well to situations of uncertainty, including the radical uncertainty that results from fundamental disruptions such as COVID-19. Parties can employ this design for both contracts made or renegotiated during a crisis and for contracts made in ordinary times. The concept articulated here, however, is not confined to contexts of uncertainty or complexity; it can be used to achieve …


Contracts Formed By Software: An Approach From The Law Of Mistake, Vincent Ooi Jan 2022

Contracts Formed By Software: An Approach From The Law Of Mistake, Vincent Ooi

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

A ‘Contracting Problem’ arises when software is used to autonomously enter into contracts without human input. Questions arise as to how and whether there can be an expression of an objective intention to be legally bound. This article considers three leading solutions to the Contracting Problem. The ‘Mere Tools Theory’, which views software as ‘mere tools’ of communication, is too harsh as it binds users to any software malfunction. The Agency Approach, which treats software as Electronic Agents, capable of contracting on behalf of their users, is untenable as it ascribes unrealistic characteristics to software. The article submits that the …


Clearinghouse Insolvency: Caution In Disregarding Contractual Allocation Of Losses Between Non-Defaulting Members Or Shareholders, Thomas E. Plank Apr 2021

Clearinghouse Insolvency: Caution In Disregarding Contractual Allocation Of Losses Between Non-Defaulting Members Or Shareholders, Thomas E. Plank

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2021

Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

This essay raises two challenges to Peter Benson’s compelling new account of contract law. First, I argue that Benson’s use of the concept of reasonableness goes beyond the Rawlsian account to require that we impute to others a capacity to transcend their contingent circumstances in the context of contractual choice. In fact, our choices in contract are driven by external contingencies and it is only reasonable to take those constrains on other people’s choices into account. Second, I contest Benson’s related claim that contract law should be, and largely is, content-neutral. I argue to the contrary that the justice of …


A Theory Of Mistaken Assumptions In Contract Law, Jennifer Nadler Jan 2021

A Theory Of Mistaken Assumptions In Contract Law, Jennifer Nadler

Articles & Book Chapters

In Great Peace Shipping v Tsavliris Salvage, the English Court of Appeal rejected the equitable doctrine of mistaken assumptions, arguing that the doctrine lacks a principled foundation. Defenders of the doctrine appear to agree that the doctrine lacks a coherent animating principle, but they think that its open-endedness is an argument in its favour. Against both the critics and the defenders, this article argues that the equitable doctrine of mistaken assumptions is a principled doctrine, one that protects individual self-determination by setting aside a contract that, due to a mistake about the quality of the thing contracted for, serves …


In Contracts We Trust (And No One Can Change Their Mind)! There Should Be No Special Treatment For Religious Arbitration, Michael J. Broyde, Alexa J. Windsor Jan 2021

In Contracts We Trust (And No One Can Change Their Mind)! There Should Be No Special Treatment For Religious Arbitration, Michael J. Broyde, Alexa J. Windsor

Faculty Articles

The recent article In God We Trust (Unless We Change Our Mind): How State of Mind Relates to Religious Arbitration ("In God We Trust") proposes that those who sign arbitration agreements that consent to a religious legal system as the basis of the rules of arbitration be allowed to back out of such agreements based on their constitutional right to free exercise. This article is a response and is divided into two sections. In the first section, we show that such an exemption would violate the Federal Arbitration Act's (FAA) basic rules preventing the states from heightened regulation of arbitration …


Is Labor Arbitration Lawless?, Paige M. Skiba, Ariana R. Levinson, Erin O'Hara O'Connor Jan 2021

Is Labor Arbitration Lawless?, Paige M. Skiba, Ariana R. Levinson, Erin O'Hara O'Connor

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Labor arbitration is often viewed as a more peaceful, productive, and private alternative to workplace strikes and violence. On the other hand, statutory laws are intended to protect all workers, and contract law default rules and rules of interpretation often serve a protective role that could be harmful if ignored in this private dispute resolution setting. To provide more insight into how arbitrators decide labor disputes, we utilize our newly crafted data set of hundreds of labor arbitration awards spanning a decade. Unlike prior data sets, our data are more inclusive: they include both published and unpublished awards as well …


The Market As Negotiation, Rebecca E. Hollander-Blumoff, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2021

The Market As Negotiation, Rebecca E. Hollander-Blumoff, Matthew T. Bodie

All Faculty Scholarship

Our economic system counts on markets to allocate most of our societal resources. The law often treats markets as discrete entities, with a native intelligence and structure that provides clear answers to questions about prices and terms. In reality, of course, markets are much messier—they are agglomerations of negotiations by individual parties. Despite theoretical and empirical work on markets and on negotiation, legal scholars have largely overlooked the connection between the two areas in considering how markets are constructed and regulated.

This Article brings together scholarship in law, economics, sociology, and psychology to better understand the role that negotiation plays …


Foreign Contracts And U.S. Copyright Termination Rights: What Law Applies? – Comment, Richard Arnold, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2020

Foreign Contracts And U.S. Copyright Termination Rights: What Law Applies? – Comment, Richard Arnold, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Copyright Act gives authors the right to terminate assignments of copyrights in works other than works for hire executed on or after 1 January 1978 after 35 years, and to do so notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary. Given that agreements which are subject to the laws of other countries can assign U.S. copyrights, and purport to do so in perpetuity, U.S. law’s preclusion of agreements contrary to the author’s right to exercise her termination right can give rise to a difficult choice of law issue. Two recent cases which came before courts in the U.S. and England …


Some Issues On The Law Of Direct Damages (Us And Uk), Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2020

Some Issues On The Law Of Direct Damages (Us And Uk), Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

When a contract is breached, both U.S. and U.K. law provide that the non-breaching party should be made whole. The Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) provides that “[t]he remedies provided by this Act shall be liberally administered to the end that the aggrieved party may be put in as good a position as if the other party had fully performed.” The English version, going back to Robinson v. Harman, is “that where a party sustains a loss by reason of breach of contract, he is, so far as money can do it, to be placed in the same situation, with …


The Limits Of Smart Contracts, Jens Frankenreiter Jan 2019

The Limits Of Smart Contracts, Jens Frankenreiter

Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

This essay investigates the potential of smart contracts to replace the legal system as an infrastructure for transactions. It argues that (contract) law remains relevant for most transactions even if they are entirely structured by way of smart contract. The reason for this is that the power of smart contracts to create and enforce obligations against attempts by the legal system to thwart their execution is limited. These limitations are most relevant for obligations to perform certain actions outside the blockchain, but also apply to other obligations contingent on facts outside the records stored on the blockchain.


Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2019

Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and judges think they can address the multiple purposes and values of contract law by developing different doctrinal regimes for different transaction types. They think if we develop one track of contract doctrine for sophisticated parties and another for consumers, we can build a better world of contract: protecting private ordering for sophisticated parties and protecting consumers’ needs all at once. Given the growing enthusiasm for laying down these separate tracks and developing their infrastructures, this Article brings a necessary reality check to this endeavor by highlighting for scholars and judges how doctrine in contract law functions in fact: …


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 any legitimate use …


Fingerprints: An Impressionistic And Empirical Evaluation Of Richard Posner’S Impact On Contract Law, Jeffrey L. Harrison Jan 2019

Fingerprints: An Impressionistic And Empirical Evaluation Of Richard Posner’S Impact On Contract Law, Jeffrey L. Harrison

UF Law Faculty Publications

Richard Posner’s retirement after 36 years on the federal bench presents an ideal opportunity to reflect on his sometimes controversial career as a scholar and a judge. Since his principal scholarly work, Economic Analysis of Law, has been cited in legal scholarship over 7500 times a good working hypothesis is that his impact on law has been substantial. This article considers his impact on contract law. Two lines of research were conducted: one line explores the impact of Judge Posner’s scholarly writings on judicial opinions; the other line examines the impact of his opinions on other courts.


Empiricism And Privacy Policies In The Restatement Of Consumer Contract Law, Gregory Klass Jan 2019

Empiricism And Privacy Policies In The Restatement Of Consumer Contract Law, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Draft Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts includes a quantitative study of judicial decisions concerning businesses’ online privacy policies, which it cites in support of a claim that most courts treat privacy policies as contract terms. This Article reports an attempt to reproduce that study’s results. Using the Reporters’ data, this study was unable to reproduce their numerical findings. This study found in the data fewer relevant decisions, and a lower proportion of decisions supporting the Draft Restatement position. It also found little support for the Draft’s claim that there is a clear trend recognizing privacy policies as …


Parol Evidence Rules And The Mechanics Of Choice, Gregory Klass Jan 2019

Parol Evidence Rules And The Mechanics Of Choice, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Scholars have to date paid relatively little attention to the rules for deciding when a writing is integrated. These integration rules, however, are as dark and full of subtle difficulties as are other parts of parol evidence rules. As a way of thinking about Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller’s The Choice Theory of Contracts, this Article suggests we would do better with tailored integration rules for two transaction types. In negotiated contracts between firms, courts should apply a hard express integration rule, requiring firms to say when they intend a writing to be integrated. In consumer contracts, standard terms …


Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2019

Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib

Scholarly Works

Scholars and judges think they can address the multiple purposes and values of contract law by developing different doctrinal regimes for different transaction types. They think if we develop one track of contract doctrine for sophisticated parties and another for consumers, we can build a better world of contract: protecting private ordering for sophisticated parties and protecting consumers’ needs all at once. Given the growing enthusiasm for laying down these separate tracks and developing their infrastructures, this Article brings a necessary reality check to this endeavor by highlighting for scholars and judges how doctrine in contract law functions in fact: …


The Public Cost Of Private Equity, William Magnuson May 2018

The Public Cost Of Private Equity, William Magnuson

Faculty Scholarship

This Article presents a theory of the corporate governance costs of private equity. In doing so, it challenges the common view that private equity’s governance structure has resolved, or at least significantly mitigated, one of the fundamental tensions in corporate law, that is, the conflict between management and ownership. The Article argues that this widespread perception about the corporate governance benefits of private equity overlooks the many ways in which the private equity model, far from eliminating agency costs, in fact exacerbates them. These governance costs include compensation structures that incentivize excessive risk-taking, governance rights that provide investors with few …


Unframing Legal Reasoning: A Cyclical Theory Of Legal Evolution, Larry A. Dimatteo Apr 2018

Unframing Legal Reasoning: A Cyclical Theory Of Legal Evolution, Larry A. Dimatteo

UF Law Faculty Publications

This article draws from legal history to inform a part of legal theory. The legal history examination focuses on two theories of legal development - Henry Sumner Maine's "progression thesis" and Nathan Isaacs's "cycle theory." After examining these two theories of legal development, the analysis shifts to how legal history informs theories of legal reasoning. There are numerous long-standing debates on how "law" should be interpreted. These debates are replicated in the question of how "contracts" should be interpreted. Contract law and contract interpretation will be the focus in examining how history informs legal theory, and more specifically, legal reasoning. …


Why Autonomy Must Be Contract's Ultimate Value, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2018

Why Autonomy Must Be Contract's Ultimate Value, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

In “The Choice Theory of Contracts”, we develop a liberal theory of contract law. One core task of the book was to persuade advocates of economic analysis that they must situate their enterprise within our liberal framework. Autonomy, rightly understood, is the telos of contract.

Oren Bar-Gill pushes back strongly in “Choice Theory and the Economic Analysis of Contracts”. He offers a penetrating – perhaps devastating – critique of our approach. Bar-Gill notes the substantial convergence between choice theory and a welfarist view. If he is right, then what does choice theory add?

Our task in Part I of this …