ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, June 17, 2005

AALS Contracts, Day 3

Aals_logo_3 Here's today's schedule for the AALS's Exploring the Boundaries of Contract Law at the Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal.

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Contract Enforcement in Emerging Economies
Robert Babak Ahdieh, Emory University
Kevin E. Davis, New York University
Tom Ginsburg, University of Illinois
Moderator: Gillian K. Hadfield, University of Southern California

As the former Soviet Union and other countries continue the effort to transition from socialist economies to market economies, the importance of contract law and institutions has come to fore. In this session the panelists will explore some of the challenges and lessons of contracting in these environments.

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Teaching the Art of the Deal
Moderator and Speaker: Gillian K. Hadfield, University of Southern California
Ronald J. Gilson, Stanford Law School
Douglas L. Leslie, University of Virginia

In this session we will hear from contracts professors who have designed and taught contracts courses, both in first year and in upper years, that focus on teaching not (just) contract doctrine, but also developing students’ ability to analyze contracts problems, think strategically about contracting and exercise judgment in advising clients on how to respond to contracting events. These are courses taught using case studies, based on real-life cases and documents, in a business-school style, and courses taught using problem-solving methods.

12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
AALS Sponsored Luncheon

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Revisiting A Classic: Charles Knapp’s “Enforcing the Contract to Bargain”
Charles Lincoln Knapp, University of California, Hastings
Kristin M. Madison, University of Pennsylvania
Alan Schwartz, Yale Law School
Amy Jean Schmitz, University of Colorado
Moderator: Omri Ben-Shahar, The University of Michigan

In his classic article, Professor Knapp challenged the traditional contract/no-contract boundary. Under this all-or-nothing structure of contractual liability, either there is mutual assent and full liability, or no assent and zero liability. Knapp pointed out that this structure increasingly has been replaced by a regime in which some liability emerges during precontractual negotiations. This form of liability, which he labeled the contract to bargain, is the focus of the panel.

Since the publication of Knapp’s paper, it has become even more clear that systematic patterns underlie precontractual liability. The panel will explore the directions in which this area of the law develops, and the arguments in favor or against these developments. Among others, the topics that will be explored are agreements-in-principle and agreements-to-agree, the obligation to negotiate in good faith, revocation of offers, and gap filling in precontractual agreements.

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