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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Amending Corporate Charters And Bylaws, Albert H. Choi, Geeyoung Min Aug 2017

Amending Corporate Charters And Bylaws, Albert H. Choi, Geeyoung Min

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recently, courts have embraced the contractarian theory that corporate charters and bylaws constitute a “contract” between the shareholders and the corporation and have been more willing to uphold bylaws unilaterally adopted by the directors. This paper examines the contractarian theory by drawing a parallel between amending charters and bylaws, on the one hand, and amending contracts, on the other. In particular, the paper compares the right to unilaterally amend corporate bylaws with the right to unilaterally modify contract terms, and highlights how contract law imposes various limitations on the modifying party’s discretion. More generally, when the relationship of contracting ...


Solid V. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 17 (Apr. 27, 2017), Hunter Davidson Apr 2017

Solid V. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 17 (Apr. 27, 2017), Hunter Davidson

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Court interpreted Nevada Supreme Court Rules (“SCR” or the “Rules”) on Electronic Coverage of Court Proceedings: (1) My Entertainment TV (MET) is a “news reporter” under SCR 229(1)(c) because it collects, edits, and publishes footage concerning local events for public dissemination; (2) Clark County court proceedings footage has the educational or informational purpose required by SCR 241; (3) camera presence in the court room alone does not overcome the presumption permitting electronic recording of court proceedings under SCR 230; and (4) contract provisions must be read together, and the result should comport with the SCR on electronic ...


Arrested Development: Rethinking The Contract Age Of Majority For The Twenty-First Century Adolescent, Wayne Barnes Apr 2017

Arrested Development: Rethinking The Contract Age Of Majority For The Twenty-First Century Adolescent, Wayne Barnes

Faculty Scholarship

The contract age of majority is currently age 18. Contracts entered into by minors under this age are generally voidable at the minor’s option. This contract doctrine of capacity is based on the policy of protecting minors from their own poor financial decisions and lack of adultlike judgment. Conversely, the age of 18 is currently set as the arbitrary age at which one will be bound to her contract, since this is the current benchmark for becoming an “adult.” However, this article questions the accuracy of age 18 for this benchmark. Until comparatively recently, the age of contract majority ...


Rise Of The Digital Regulator, Rory Van Loo Mar 2017

Rise Of The Digital Regulator, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

The administrative state is leveraging algorithms to influence individuals’ private decisions. Agencies have begun to write rules to shape for-profit websites such as Expedia and have launched their own online tools such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mortgage calculator. These digital intermediaries aim to guide people toward better schools, healthier food, and more savings. But enthusiasm for this regulatory paradigm rests on two questionable assumptions. First, digital intermediaries effectively police consumer markets. Second, they require minimal government involvement. Instead, some for-profit online advisers such as travel websites have become what many mortgage brokers were before the 2008 financial ...


Convergence Between Australian Common Law And English Common Law: The Rule Against Penalties In The Age Of Freedom Of Contract, Man Yip, Yihan Goh Mar 2017

Convergence Between Australian Common Law And English Common Law: The Rule Against Penalties In The Age Of Freedom Of Contract, Man Yip, Yihan Goh

Research Collection School Of Law

This note discusses the High Court of Australia decision of Paciocco v Australia and New Zealand Bank Group Limited on the rule against penalty clauses and situates its importance in light of the UK Supreme Court decision of Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi and Beavis v ParkingEye Ltd.
It compares the analytical frameworks laid down in the two cases and
points out some unresolved issues in this area of law even following
these cases.


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into ...


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 ...


If You've Seen One, You Have Not Seen Them All, David Spratt Jan 2017

If You've Seen One, You Have Not Seen Them All, David Spratt

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

No abstract provided.


Who Needs Contracts? Generalized Exchange Within Investment Accelerators, Brad Bernthal Jan 2017

Who Needs Contracts? Generalized Exchange Within Investment Accelerators, Brad Bernthal

Articles

This Article investigates why an expert volunteers on behalf of startups that participate in a novel type of small venture capital (“VC”) fund known as a mentor-driven investment accelerator (“MDIA”). A MDIA organizes a pool of seasoned individuals – called “mentors” – to help new companies. An obvi- ous organizational strategy would be to contract with mentors. Mentors in- stead voluntarily assist. Legal studies of norm-based exchanges do not explain what this Article calls the “mentorship conundrum”—i.e., the puzzling moti- vation of a mentor to volunteer within otherwise for-profit environments. This Article is the first to bridge the insights of ...


In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue Jan 2017

In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For most non-contractual legal claims for damages that are brought against individuals or firms, there is some form of liability insurance coverage. The Restatement of the Law Liability Insurance is the American Law Institute’s first effort to “restate” the common law governing such liability insurance policies, and we are the reporters. In a recent essay funded by the insurance industry, Yale Law Professor George Priest launched a strident critique of the Restatement project, arguing that the rules adopted in the Restatement:

(a) are radically contrary to existing case law,

(b) have a naïve “pro-policyholder” bias that ignores basic economic ...


Opening The Red Door To Chinese Arbitrations: An Empirical Analysis Of Cietac Cases (1990-2000), Pat K. Chew Jan 2017

Opening The Red Door To Chinese Arbitrations: An Empirical Analysis Of Cietac Cases (1990-2000), Pat K. Chew

Articles

This article reveals evidence-based details of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) arbitral proceedings (1990-2000), allowing unprecedented insights into Chinese international business arbitration. It begins by confirming the prominence of Chinese foreign trade and foreign investment in the global economy and CIETAC’s critical role in securing that prominence. Among other results, the empirical study of CIETAC awards finds: (i) the parties were of diverse nationalities, most commonly with disputes between a Chinese party and a foreign party; and (ii) the majority of cases were sales and trade disputes, although a sizable number were investment/joint venture ...


An Autopsy Of Cooperation: Diamond Dealers And The Limits Of Trust-Based Exchange, Barak D. Richman Jan 2017

An Autopsy Of Cooperation: Diamond Dealers And The Limits Of Trust-Based Exchange, Barak D. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Both academic and popular representations of the diamond industry describe trust-based relations and an industry arbitration system that sustain trade. In recent years, however, trust among merchants has eroded, and merchants have correspondingly lost confidence in the industry's arbitration. This article describes the events that have led to the breakdown of cooperative trust in the industry and derives lessons regarding the nature and limits of reputation-based exchange in the modern economy.


Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2017

Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on the Open Land Contracts repository, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects.

This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist the Open Land Contracts repository users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific ...


Insurance Policies: The Grandparents Of Contractual Black Holes, Chris French Jan 2017

Insurance Policies: The Grandparents Of Contractual Black Holes, Chris French

Journal Articles

In their recent article, The Black Hole Problem in Commercial Boilerplate, Professors Stephen Choi, Mitu Gulati, and Robert Scott identify a phenomenon found in standardized contracts they describe as “contractual black holes.” The concept of black holes comes from theoretical physics. Under the original hypothesis, the gravitational pull of a black hole is so strong that once light or information is pulled past an event horizon into a black hole, it cannot escape. In recent years, the theory has been reformulated and now the hypothesis is that some information can escape, but it is so degraded that it is virtually ...


Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The academic literature on sovereign debt largely assumes that law has little role to play. Indeed, the primary question addressed by the literature is why sovereigns repay at all given the irrelevance of legal enforcement. But if law, and specifically contract law, does not matter, how to explain the fact that sovereign loans involve detailed contracts, expensive lawyers, and frequent litigation? This Essay makes the case that contract design matters even in a world where sovereign borrowers are hard (but not impossible) to sue. We identify a number of gaps in the research that warrant further investigation.


The Macpherson-Henningsen Puzzle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2017

The Macpherson-Henningsen Puzzle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the landmark case of MacPherson v. Buick, an automobile company was held liable for negligence notwithstanding a lack of privity with the injured driver. Four decades later, in Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, the court held unconscionable the standard automobile company warranty which limited its responsibility to repair and replacement, even in a case involving physical injury. This suggests a puzzle: if it were so easy for firms to contract out of liability, did MacPherson accomplish anything?