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Default rules

Discipline
Institution
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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Best Way Out Is Always Through: Changing The Employment At-Will Default To Protect Personal Autonomy, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

The Best Way Out Is Always Through: Changing The Employment At-Will Default To Protect Personal Autonomy, Matthew T. Bodie

All Faculty Scholarship

Employment at-will is the default rule of termination for the vast majority of American employment relationships. The rule creates a presumption—a strong one—that the contract for employment allows either party to terminate the contract at any point in time. Since its inception, this bright line rule has given way to carefully curated exceptions, primarily to protect against discrimination and retaliation. This Article proposes that state courts create a new exception to the at-will rule—or, perhaps more accurately, acknowledge an intricacy within the existing default. The personal-autonomy presumption would modify at-will to make clear that employers will not ...


Fractured Markets And Legal Institutions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Fractured Markets And Legal Institutions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article considers how we can improve legal outcomes of conflicts that occur in very small arenas. The conflicts can be of many kinds, including a nuisance dispute between neighbors, an impending collision between two moving vehicles, a joint decision between spouses about whether or on what terms to continue their marriage, or a disagreement between managers and shareholders within a firm.

The prevailing literature typically refers to these small environments as “markets.” Thinking of them as markets, however, averts our attention from larger environments that should be considered but that often do not function well as private markets. For ...


"Nudging" Better Lawyer Behavior: Using Default Rules And Incentives To Change Behavior In Law Firms, Nancy B. Rapoport Jan 2014

"Nudging" Better Lawyer Behavior: Using Default Rules And Incentives To Change Behavior In Law Firms, Nancy B. Rapoport

Scholarly Works

This article examines how incentives in law firms can affect lawyer behavior and suggests some possible changes to incentive structures and default rules that might improve the ethical behavior of lawyers.

In the changing landscape of law practice — where law firm profits are threatened by such changes as increased pressure from clients to economize and the concomitant opportunities for clients to shop around for the most efficient lawyers — are there ways to change how things are done in law firms so that firms can provide more efficient and ethical service? This article suggests that an understanding of cognitive biases and ...


Parallel Contract, Aditi Bagchi Feb 2012

Parallel Contract, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article describes a new model of contract. In parallel contract, one party enters into a series of contracts with many similarly situated individuals on background terms that are presumptively identical. Parallel contracts depart from the classical model of contract in two fundamental ways. First, obligations are not robustly dyadic in that they are neither tailored to the two parties to a given agreement nor understood by those parties by way of communications with each other. Second, obligations are not fixed at a discrete moment of contract. Parallel contracts should be interpreted differently than agreements more consistent with the classic ...


The Naked Fiduciary, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic Jan 2012

The Naked Fiduciary, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic

Faculty Scholarship

Business law is grounded in the common law of fiduciary duty. Courts and policymakers have been loath to abandon that principle. Yet, particularly in the contractual context of limited liability companies (LLCs), the fiduciary label is illusory and may undercut sound governance practices for those entities. This Article presents an in-depth empirical study about governance provisions included in LLC operating agreements and examines the implications of the data in the context of various types of businesses that might choose to organize as LLCs. The Article uses the data and related case studies to offer a new approach to LLC governance ...


Private Ordering And The Proxy Access Debate, Scott Hirst, Lucian A. Bebchuk Jan 2010

Private Ordering And The Proxy Access Debate, Scott Hirst, Lucian A. Bebchuk

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines two “meta” issues raised by opponents of the SEC’s proposal to provide shareholders with rights to place director candidates on the company’s proxy materials. First, opponents argue that, even assuming proxy access is desirable in many circumstances, the existing no-access default should be retained and the adoption of proxy access arrangements should be left to opting out of this default on a company-by-company basis. This Article, however, identifies strong reasons against retaining no-access as the default. There is substantial empirical evidence indicating that director insulation from removal is associated with lower firm value and worse ...


Coordinating In The Shadow Of The Law: Two Contextualized Tests Of The Focal Point Theory Of Legal Compliance, Richard H. Mcadams, Janice Nadler Jan 2008

Coordinating In The Shadow Of The Law: Two Contextualized Tests Of The Focal Point Theory Of Legal Compliance, Richard H. Mcadams, Janice Nadler

Faculty Working Papers

In situations where people have an incentive to coordinate their behavior, law can provide a framework for understanding and predicting what others are likely to do. According to the focal point theory of expressive law, the law's articulation of a behavior can sometimes create self-fulfilling expectations that it will occur. Existing theories of legal compliance emphasize the effect of sanctions or legitimacy; we argue that, in addition to sanctions and legitimacy, law can also influence compliance simply by making one outcome salient. We tested this claim in two experiments where sanctions and legitimacy were held constant. Experiment 1 demonstrated ...


A Complaint About Payment Law Under The U.C.C.: What You See Is Often Not What You Get, Gregory E. Maggs Jan 2007

A Complaint About Payment Law Under The U.C.C.: What You See Is Often Not What You Get, Gregory E. Maggs

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

In this Essay, Professor Maggs observes that many provisions of U.C.C. Articles 3, 4, 4A, and 5 are misleading. Although the provisions express certain rules, these rules often actually do not apply because the parties have waived them, because the parties have no practical way to enforce them, or because they are predicated on unrealistic assumptions. Professor Maggs laments that this discrepancy between what the U.C.C. says and reality may have deceived the state legislatures that voted to enact the U.C.C., that it may impose costs on businesses and consumers, and that it clearly ...


On The Stickiness Of Default Rules, Omri Ben-Shahar, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2006

On The Stickiness Of Default Rules, Omri Ben-Shahar, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

It was once perceived, and still is commonly taught, that default rules in contract law must mimic efficient arrangements. Otherwise, these rules impose needless transaction costs upon parties who seek to opt out of them to reach more efficient positions. In settings where these costs are high, parties might find themselves "stuck" in a default, unable to reach the outcome that they prefer. The strong version of this account-that the only factor that can make an inefficient default rule stick is the direct cost of drafting a tailored provision-has been gradually reappraised. It is by now recognized that factors beyond ...


The Law And Economics Of Contracts, Benjamin E. Hermalin, Avery W. Katz, Richard Craswell Jan 2006

The Law And Economics Of Contracts, Benjamin E. Hermalin, Avery W. Katz, Richard Craswell

Faculty Scholarship

This paper, which will appear as a chapter in the forthcoming Handbook of Law and Economics (A.M. Polinsky & S. Shavell, eds.), surveys major issues arising in the economic analysis of contract law. It begins with an introductory discussion of scope and methodology, and then addresses four topic areas that correspond to the major doctrinal divisions of the law of contracts. These areas include freedom of contract (i.e., the scope of private power to create binding obligations), formation of contracts (both the procedural mechanics of exchange, and rules that govern pre-contractual behavior), contract interpretation (what consequences follow when agreements ...


Contracts With Consent: A Contextual Critique Of The No-Retraction Liability Regime, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2004

Contracts With Consent: A Contextual Critique Of The No-Retraction Liability Regime, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This is a reply to Omri Ben-Shahar's Contracts with Consent, forthcoming in the Pennsylvania Law Review, and will be published along with his essay in that journal. The reply makes two main points. First, it argues that Omri's no-retraction liability regime will impose substantial costs, largely because of the frequency with which parties will have non-opportunistic reasons for retracting contract proposals that their negotiating partners have not yet accepted. Second, it argues that these costs will be substantial even though Ben-Shahar presents his proposal as a default rule. First, his rule vitiates the information-forcing benefits of the current ...


What's In A Name: An Argument For A Small Business Limited Liability Entity Statute (With Three Subsets Of Default Rules), Dale A. Oesterle, Wayne M. Gazur Jan 1997

What's In A Name: An Argument For A Small Business Limited Liability Entity Statute (With Three Subsets Of Default Rules), Dale A. Oesterle, Wayne M. Gazur

Articles

The recent proliferation of small business entity forms is primarily a result of their tax characterization. With the recent adoption of the IRS "check-the-box" regulations and, as a consequence, the elimination of traditional tax distinctions, many of these forms have lost their appeal. This article proposes starting over with one form, the "limited liability entity." Part I discusses the history of small business forms. Part II analyzes the current forms in light of the recent check-the- box legislation. Part III discusses the necessity of and rationale behind a unified entity statute. Finally, Part IV outlines a unified limited liability entity ...


Hiding The Ball, Pierre Schlag Jan 1996

Hiding The Ball, Pierre Schlag

Articles

No abstract provided.


...And Contractual Consent, Randy E. Barnett Jan 1994

...And Contractual Consent, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Part I, the author contends that when economists persistently ignore the importance of contractual consent, they are missing the crucial problem of legitimacy. In Parts II and IV, he responds to the criticisms of his consent theory of contract advanced by Jay Feinman and Dennis Patterson. Both Feinman and Patterson object to the enterprise in which the author and others are engaging, and he explains why each is wrong to dismiss the current debate over default rules. Finally, in contrast, in Part III the author shows how Steven Burton's theory of default rules, which he finds most congenial ...


The Sound Of Silence: Default Rules And Contractual Consent, Randy E. Barnett Jan 1992

The Sound Of Silence: Default Rules And Contractual Consent, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this article, the author challenges the received wisdom of "gap-filling in the absence of consent" by showing how the concept of default rules bolsters the theoretical importance of consent. He accomplishes this by expanding and refining his analysis of a "consent theory of contract." The author proposes that the concept of default rules reveals consent to be operating at two distinct levels of contract theory. First, the presence of consent to be legally bound is essential to justify the legal enforcement of any default rules. Second, nested within this overall consent to be legally bound, consent also operates to ...


Rational Bargaining Theory And Contract: Default Rules, Hypothetical Consent, The Duty To Disclose, And Fraud, Randy E. Barnett Jan 1992

Rational Bargaining Theory And Contract: Default Rules, Hypothetical Consent, The Duty To Disclose, And Fraud, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author begins by responding to Coleman's rational choice approach to choosing default rules. In part I, he applies the expanded analysis of contractual consent and default rules that he had recently presented elsewhere to explain how rational bargaining, hypothetical consent, and actual consent figure in the determination of contractual default rules. Whereas Coleman advocates the centrality of rational bargaining analysis to this determination, the author explains why rational bargaining theory's role must be subsidiary to that of consent.

The author then turns his attention to Coleman's appraisal of contracting parties' duty to disclose information concerning the ...