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The Best Puffery Article Ever, David A. Hoffman Jan 2006

The Best Puffery Article Ever, David A. Hoffman

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This Article provides the first extensive legal treatment of an important defense in the law of fraud and contracts: puffery. Legal authorities commonly say they make decisions about whether defendants should be able to utter exaggerated, optimistic, lies based on assumptions about buyer behavior, concluding that consumers do not rely on such speech. However, as the Article shows, such analyses are proxies for a deeper analytical question: does the speech encourage or discourage a type of consumption activity that the court deems welfare maximizing? The Article presents a novel constitutional analysis of puffery doctrine that focuses on the meaning of …