ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Perillo on Pothier

Josephperillo Through an accident of history, the great French legal thinker Robert Joseph Pothier is best-known as the original author of the damages rule later adopted in Hadley v. Baxendale.  But, as Joseph Perillo (left) writes in Robert J. Pothier's Influence on the Common Law of Contract, forthcoming in the Texas Wesleyan Law Review, the man's influence was far greater, reaching nearly every aspect of sales law.


The French author, Robert Joseph Pothier, had an enormous influence on the common law of contract. The whole structure of the Common Law of contracts and sales is based largely on Pothier's treatises on obligations and sales. The wisdom he passed on had its origins in ancient Rome but was reshaped by Aristotelian thinking in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, as well as the humanism of the Enlightenment. It is well known that and that he was the o inventor of the rule in Hadley v. Baxendale. It is less well known that his influence on the common law of contracts was far more wide ranging.

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