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Full-Text Articles in Law

Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro Jan 2024

Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro

Scholarship@WashULaw

For nearly two centuries, the law has allowed servitudes that “run with” real property while consistently refusing to permit servitudes attached to personal property. That is, owners of land can establish new, specific requirements for the property that bind all future owners—but owners of chattels cannot. In recent decades, however, firms have increasingly begun relying on contract provisions that purport to bind future owners of chattels. These developments began in the context of software licensing, but they have started to migrate to chattels not encumbered by software. Courts encountering these provisions have mostly missed their significance, focusing instead on questions …


After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge Dec 2023

After Ftx: Can The Original Bitcoin Use Case Be Saved?, Mark Burge

Faculty Scholarship

Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies spawned by the innovation of blockchain programming have exploded in prominence, both in gains of massive market value and in dramatic market losses, the latter most notably seen in connection with the failure of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange in November 2022. After years of investment and speculation, however, something crucial has faded: the original use case for Bitcoin as a system of payment. Can cryptocurrency-as-a-payment-system be saved, or are day traders and speculators the actual cryptocurrency future? This article suggests that cryptocurrency has been hobbled by a lack of foundational commercial and consumer-protection law that …


Expecting Specific Performance, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David Hoffman, Emily Campbell Nov 2023

Expecting Specific Performance, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David Hoffman, Emily Campbell

Articles

Using a series of surveys and experiments, we find that ordinary people think that courts will give them exactly what they bargained for after breach of contract; in other words, specific performance is the expected contractual remedy. This expectation is widespread even for the diverse array of deals where the legal remedy is traditionally limited to money damages. But for a significant fraction of people, the focus on equity seems to be a naïve belief that is open to updating. In the studies reported here, individuals were less likely to anticipate specific performance when they were briefly introduced to the …


Defeating The Empire Of Forms, David Hoffman Nov 2023

Defeating The Empire Of Forms, David Hoffman

Articles

For generations, contract scholars have waged a faint-hearted campaign against form contracts. It’s widely believed that adhesive forms are unread and chock full of terms that courts will not, or should not, enforce. Most think that the market for contract terms is broken, for both employees and consumer adherents. And yet forms are so embedded in our economy that it’s hard to imagine modern commercial life without them. Scholars thus push calibrated, careful solutions that walk a deeply rutted path. Notwithstanding hundreds of proposals calling for their retrenchment, the empire of forms has continued to advance into new areas of …


Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Nov 2023

Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Stopping Runs In The Digital Era, Luís C. Calderón Gómez Jul 2023

Stopping Runs In The Digital Era, Luís C. Calderón Gómez

Articles

Bank runs, and the financial crises they catalyze and amplify, are incredibly costly-to individuals, families, society, and the economy writ large. Banking regulation has, for the most part, protected us from traditional bank runs for the last ninety years. However, as we saw in the devastating 2008 financial crisis, bank runs can still occur in lightly regulated or opaque segments of the financial sector.

The recent crypto market downturn dramatically forewarned regulators of the potential and significant risks that novel assets could pose to our financial system's stability. In particular, a novel, systemically important asset (stablecoins) revealed its vulnerability to …


Standards And The Law, Cary Coglianese Apr 2023

Standards And The Law, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

The world of standards and the world of laws are often seen as separate, but they are more closely intertwined than many professionals working with laws or standards realize. Although standards are typically considered to be voluntary and non-binding, they can intersect with and affect the law in numerous ways. They can serve as benchmarks for determine liability in tort or contract. They can facilitate domestic and international transactions. They can prompt negotiations over the licensing of patents. They can govern the development of forensic evidence admissible in criminal courts. And standards can even become binding law themselves when they …


Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The private law of torts, property, and contracts will and should play an important role in resolving disputes regarding how private individuals and entities respond to and manage the harms of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation (known in climate change policy dialogue as “adaptation”). While adaptation is commonly presented as a problem needing legislative solutions, this Article presents a novel and overdue case for private law to take climate adaptation seriously.

To date, the role of private law is a significant blind spot in scholarly discussions of climate adaptation. Litigation invoking common-law doctrines in climate adaption disputes …


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 …


Deals In The Heartland: Renewable Energy Projects, Local Resistance, And How Law Can Help, Christiana Ochoa Jan 2023

Deals In The Heartland: Renewable Energy Projects, Local Resistance, And How Law Can Help, Christiana Ochoa

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Informed by original empirical research conducted in the Midwestern United States, this Article provides a rich and textured understanding of the rapidly emerging opposition to renewable energy projects. Beyond the Article’s urgent practical contributions, it also examines the importance of formalism and formality in contracts and complicates current understandings.

Rural communities in every windblown and sun-drenched region of the United States are enmeshed in legal, political, and social conflicts related to the country’s rapid transition to renewable energy. Organized local opposition has foreclosed millions of acres from renewable energy development, impeding national and state-level commitments to achieving renewable energy targets …


Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2023

Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

The success of the New York Convention has made arbitration a preferred means of dispute resolution for international commercial transactions. Success in arbitration often depends on the extent to which a party may secure assets, evidence, or the status quo between parties prior to the completion of the arbitration process. This makes the availability of provisional measures granted by either arbitral tribunals or by courts fundamental to the arbitration. In this Article, I consider the existing legal framework for provisional measures in aid of arbitration, with particular attention to the sources of the rules providing for such measures. Those sources …


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 …


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 …


Langdell And The Foundation Of Classical Contract Law, Daniel P. O'Gorman May 2022

Langdell And The Foundation Of Classical Contract Law, Daniel P. O'Gorman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Narrative Capacity, James Toomey May 2022

Narrative Capacity, James Toomey

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The doctrine of capacity is a fundamental threshold to the protections of private law. The law only recognizes private decision-making—from exercising the right to transfer or bequeath property and entering into a contract to getting married or divorced—made with the level of cognitive functioning that the capacity doctrine demands. When the doctrine goes wrong, it denies individuals, particularly older adults, access to basic private-law rights on the one hand and ratifies decision-making that may tear apart families and tarnish legacies on the other.

The capacity doctrine in private law is built on a fundamental philosophical mismatch. It is grounded in …


A Comment On Colla And Gulati, Cheeky Contracting, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan May 2022

A Comment On Colla And Gulati, Cheeky Contracting, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

All Faculty Scholarship

Colla and Gulati have identified a moment of disequilibrium in contract law and practice that tests the comfortable assumptions and taxonomies of contracts scholars. The dispute seems to pit the parties’ “real deal” against the paper deal, with attorneys for the creditors bewildered at Argentina’s novel and aggressive reading of its obligations. The focus of this commentary is, basically: How cheeky is cheeky?


Law School News: The Dean Meets The Governor 01-26-2022, Michael M. Bowden Jan 2022

Law School News: The Dean Meets The Governor 01-26-2022, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev Jan 2022

Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev

All Faculty Scholarship

We offer the first large scale descriptive study of residential leases, based on a dataset of ~170,000 residential leases filed in support of over ~200,000 Philadelphia eviction proceedings from 2005 through 2019. These leases are highly likely to contain unenforceable terms, and their pro-landlord tilt has increased sharply over time. Matching leases with individual tenant characteristics, we show that unlawful terms are surprisingly likely to be associated with more expensive leaseholds in richer, whiter parts of the city. This result is linked to landlords' growing adoption of shared forms, originally created by non-profit landlord associations, and more recently available online …


New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2022

New York's Requirements For Contractual Definiteness With Application To The Formation Of Investment Vehicles, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

A review of 82 modern New York cases reveals an unexpected frequency of authority requiring contractual definiteness as to what may reasonably appear to be minor terms.
Illustrative are cases holding inadequately definite ordinary ways preliminary agreements may express compensation on a percentage of net basis. Other unexpected authority (i) is less willing than expected to allow subsequent actions to provide sufficient definiteness to initially indefinite agreements and (ii) denies the enforceability of confidentiality provisions and a right of first refusal.
The survey includes some unexpected support for contracts specifying a plausibly material portion of the consideration with inadequate definiteness …


Lowering The Stakes Of The Employment Contract, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2022

Lowering The Stakes Of The Employment Contract, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

Every country has to make hard choices about the distribution of entitlements. But employers control the entitlements that individual Americans enjoy to a far greater extent than those in other rich democracies. In this Essay, I argue that, in the absence of the political consensus necessary to deliver state solutions to political questions, employers here are assigned an exaggerated role in employees’ lives. Government incentives for and directives to employers have become a strategy of political deflection. The effect has been to raise the stakes of employment well beyond the scope of those terms and conditions that relate to attracting …


Fit For Its Ordinary Purpose: Implied Warranties And Common Law Duties For Consumer Finance Contracts, Susan Block-Lieb, Edward J. Janger Jan 2022

Fit For Its Ordinary Purpose: Implied Warranties And Common Law Duties For Consumer Finance Contracts, Susan Block-Lieb, Edward J. Janger

Faculty Scholarship

The history of consumer goods and consumer credit markets pre-sents an anomaly: market transactions for consumer goods and credit transactions evolved in tandem from face to face and bespoke to standardized and widely distributed; the law governing these “product” markets has not. With consumer goods, the Uniform Commercial Code codifies implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and the common law of tort provides strict liability for defective products. With consumer fi-nance contracts, borrowers enjoy scant common law protection. And yet both consumer goods and consumer contracts may be danger-ously defective “products.”

This Article reconsiders the traditional, …


What Do Good Lawyers Know That The Rest Of Us Don't? Introducing First-Year Law Students To 'Legal Realism', Gregory S. Crespi Jan 2022

What Do Good Lawyers Know That The Rest Of Us Don't? Introducing First-Year Law Students To 'Legal Realism', Gregory S. Crespi

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

This short article presents the general outlines of a lecture that I usually give to my first-year contract law students, at about the end of their first week of classes, to get them started thinking about the process of judicial decision-making, and about the “legal realist” perspective regarding that process.


Contracts Without Courts Or Clans: How Business Networks Govern Exchange, Sadie Blanchard Jan 2022

Contracts Without Courts Or Clans: How Business Networks Govern Exchange, Sadie Blanchard

Journal Articles

Legal scholars have long recognized the close-knit community as an alternative institution for supporting trade when contract law and trusted courts are unavailable. But recent research suggests that another option may be available: heterogeneous business networks. What’s interesting is that these networks lack features traditionally seen as essential to community-supported trade. In particular, they lack preexisting noncommercial social ties that allow reliable and trusted information to spread at low cost, make exiting the network difficult, and enable coordinated sanctioning of cheaters. As a result, some leading scholars doubt that these networks are doing the work of sustaining cooperation. This Article …


The New Bailments, Danielle D'Onfro Jan 2022

The New Bailments, Danielle D'Onfro

Scholarship@WashULaw

The rise of cloud computing has dramatically changed how consumers and firms store their belongings. Property that owners once managed directly now exists primarily on infrastructure maintained by intermediaries. Consumers entrust their photos to Apple instead of scrapbooks; businesses put their documents on Amazon’s servers instead of in file cabinets; seemingly everything runs in the cloud. Were these belongings tangible, the relationship between owner and intermediary would be governed by the common-law doctrine of bailment. Bailments are mandatory relationships formed when one party entrusts their property to another. Within this relationship, the bailees owe the bailors a duty of care …


Intro To Contracts, Anjelica Cappellino Oct 2021

Intro To Contracts, Anjelica Cappellino

Open Educational Resources

No abstract provided.


Towards Cnl-Based Verbalization Of Computational Contracts, Inari Listenmaa, Maryam Hanafiah, Regina Cheong, Andreas Kallberg Sep 2021

Towards Cnl-Based Verbalization Of Computational Contracts, Inari Listenmaa, Maryam Hanafiah, Regina Cheong, Andreas Kallberg

Centre for Computational Law

We present a CNL, which is a component of L4, a domain-specific programming language for drafting laws and contracts. Along with formal verification, L4’s core functionalities include natural language generation. We present the NLG pipeline and an interactive process for ambiguity resolution.


Contract Design When Relationship-Specific Investment Produces Asymmetric Information, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis Jun 2021

Contract Design When Relationship-Specific Investment Produces Asymmetric Information, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis

Articles

Under conventional contract theory, contracts may be efficient by protecting relationship specific investment from holdup in subsequent (re)negotiation over terms of trade. This paper demonstrates a different problem when specific investment also provides significant private information to the investing party. This is fairly common: for example, a manufacturer invests to learn about its buyer's idiosyncratic needs or a collaborator invests to learn about a joint venture. We show how such private information can lead to subsequent bargaining failure and suboptimal ex ante relationship-specific investment. We also show that this inefficiency is worse if the parties enter into a binding and …


The Contract Interpretation Policy Debate: A Primer, Joshua M. Silverstein Feb 2021

The Contract Interpretation Policy Debate: A Primer, Joshua M. Silverstein

Faculty Scholarship

Contract interpretation is one of the most significant areas of commercial law. As a result, there is an extensive academic and judicial debate over the optimal method for construing agreements. Throughout this exchange, scholars and courts have advanced a wide array of conceptual, theoretical, and empirical arguments in support of the two primary schools of interpretation— textualism and contextualism—as well as various hybrid positions. This Essay is intended to serve as a primer on those arguments.


Crisis And Cultural Evolution: Steering The Next Normal From Self-Interest To Concern And Fairness, Robert A. Bohrer Jan 2021

Crisis And Cultural Evolution: Steering The Next Normal From Self-Interest To Concern And Fairness, Robert A. Bohrer

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the current time of crisis and offers a vision of the way in which our society and our law can evolve in response. Crises of this scale are evolution-forcing events and I argue that the current moment can move us towards a fundamentally different vision of law and justice. It is the first essay or article to show that the autonomous pursuit of self-interest was a common assumption or value in the major intellectual forces of the twentieth century: classical free market economics, behavioral economics, and sociobiology, as well as in the competing visions of a just …


Arthur Linton Corbin, Gregory Klass Jan 2021

Arthur Linton Corbin, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This chapter on Arthur Linton Corbin will appear in the forthcoming collection, Scholars of Contract Law. The chapter provides a brief summary of Corbin’s life, then discusses five topics: Corbin’s Socratic approach to the classroom and his introduction of the caselaw method at Yale; Corbin’s analytic approach, which was inspired by Hohfeld and is illustrated by Corbin’s definitions of “contract” and “consideration”; Corbin’s evolutionary theory of the common law, his understanding of the relationship between law and social mores, and his insistence that legal rules always be treated as mere “working rules”; Corbin’s occasional appeal, despite his general aversion …