ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ducks seek new law dean

Oregon_law_school The University of Oregon is looking for a new dean for its law school.  They're looking for somebody who is "a new leader" who will "continue a tradition of excellence in education, scholarship and public service."

Click on "continue reading" for the full job listing.

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July 30, 2005 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in History: July 30

1619: The Virginia Company of London convenes the first meeting the the House of Burgesses at Jamestown, the first legislative assembly in the New World.

1718: William Penn, founder and first owner of the colony of Pennsylvania, dies at Ruscombe, Berkshire.

1729: A new port town is founded on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, named for the proprietary governor of Maryland, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore.

1857: Economist Thorstein (Theory of the Leisure Class) Veblen, the man who came up with "conspicuous consumption," is born at Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

1863: The father of modern mass production, Henry Ford, is born at Springwells Township (now Dearborn), Michigan.

1898: Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen, the Iron Chancellor who took his law degree from Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin in 1835, dies at Friedrichsruh in the German Empire.

1930: At Montevideo, Uruguay beats Argentina 4-2 to win the first soccer World Cup.

1930: Economist Thomas Sowell is born in North Carolina.

1934: Caro Davis and her husband will get the money after all, as the California Supreme Court decides Davis v. Jacoby.

1956: President Eisenhower signs a joint resolution of Congress making "In God We Trust" the official motto of the United States.

1990: The first car rolls off the assembly line at General Motors' new high-tech Saturn division.

2003: After more than a half-century of production, the last old-style Volkswagen beetle -- Hitler's "people's car" -- rolls off a production line in Mexico.

July 30, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Cases: Indemnity clauses

Indiana_flag_2 The difference between breach of a contract duty to take care of property and breach of a promise to indemnify for loss to that property is nicely illustrated in a recent decision from the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In the case, electronics retailer Best Buy leased a store from Simon Property Group.  In 1996, Best Buy's store was being renovated by Brandt Construction to expand the store.   Simon was responsible for hiring Brandt, and in the Brandt-Simon contract, Brandt agreed to provide weather protection to any exposed part of the store during the renovation period, and also promised to indemnify Best Buy and Simon for any damages.  Brandt nevertheless left a large hole in the back wall of Best Buy, and in July 1996, a large rainstorm flooded the store, damaging thousands of dollars of merchandise.  Brandt refused to accept responsibility and refused to indemnify Best Buy.  A jury found that Brandt had not breached its contractual duty with Simon to protect the property, but that its negligence had been 50 percent responsible for the damage.

The jury, however, apparently was looking at the wrong question.  The issue was not whether Brandt had breached its promise to protect the store from damage, the issue was whether Brandt had breached its promise to indemnify Best Buy.  Here, said the court, the clause was clear, and since the loss was at least partially Brandt’s fault, judgment on the contract count should have been entered against it.

Simon Property Group, L.P. v. Brandt Construction, Inc., 2005 Ind. App. LEXIS 1263 (2d Dist., July 15, 2005).

July 29, 2005 in Recent Cases | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Help Wanted: Stetson

Tampa Stetson University is looking for two tenured or tenure-track Contracts professors (who can also do some UCC and Remedies) to be begin in the 2006-07 school year in sunny Tampa-St. Pete.  Sun, sand, and the parol evidence rule.  What more could you want?

Click on "continue reading" for the details.  (Photo: Stetson Law School.)

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July 29, 2005 in Contract Profs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Forum on Franchising set for October

This Sunday, July 31, is the deadline for Early Bird registration at the ABA's 28th Annual Forum on Franchising, which will be held October 19-21, 2005, in Orlando.  Click on "continue reading" for the conference details.

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July 29, 2005 in Meetings | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in History: July 29

238: In a rare double-header, the Praetorian Guard kills both of the Roman co-emperors, Pupienus and Balbinus, replacing them with the 13-year-old Gordian III.

1030: King Olav II Haraldsson, known to history as St. Olaf for his role in Christianizing Norway, is killed at the Battle of Stiklestad, site of what is today the largest outdoor theater in Scandinavia.

1793: Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe chooses a capital site for the new province of Upper Canada, at a place where the sandy Toronto Islands form a natural harbor on Lake Ontario.  He calls the place “York,” but in 1834 the name will be changed to “Toronto.”

1801: Publisher George Bradshaw is born at Pendleton, Lancashire.  In 1839 he’ll create the first of Bradshaw’s Railway Timetables, at sixpence a shot.  They'll become a staple of Britain's Victorian and Edwardian mysteries.

"[Sherlock Holmes] opened the yellow envelope, and then, glancing at the message, threw it across to me.  'Just look up the trains in Bradshaw,' said he, and turned back to his chemical studies."   Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

1833: William Wilberforce, the wealthy merchant who bought a seat in Parliament for £9,000 but used it to champion the abolition of the slave trade, dies a month before the Slavery Abolition Act frees all slaves in the British Empire.

1883: Benito Mussolini, who will become one of the relatively few newspaper editors to become head of a modern state, is born near Como in Italy.

1899: The first Hague Convention is signed, outlawing aerial bombardment and chemical weapons.

1907: Robert Baden-Powell and 22 boys “of mixed social background” hold the first experimental “boy scout” encampment at Brownsea Island, Dorset.  By 1912 there are so many Scouts in England that when they contribute a penny apiece to buy him a wedding gift they come up with a new Rolls-Royce.

1954: George Allen & Unwin publishes J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, first installment of one of the century’s biggest-selling trilogies.

July 29, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Today in History: July 28

1540: Lawyer and Lord Chancellor Thomas Cromwell learns the hard way that Henry VIII is as rough on subordinates as on wives, when he is beheaded on Tower Hill.  Henry deliberately chooses an inexperienced executioner, so it takes three whacks to finish the job.

1794: Another bad day for lawyers involved in politics, as Maximilien Robespierre goes to the guillotine in front of a cheering mob in Paris.

1804: Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach is born at Landshut in Bavaria.  In 1839 he will announce, perhaps prematurely, that “Christianity has in fact long vanished not only from the reason but from the life of mankind.”

1821: Peru declares its independence from Spain.

1866: The Metric Act makes use of the metric system legal in the United States, providing that “no contract or dealing . . . shall be deemed invalid or liable to objection because the weights or measures expressed or referred to therein are weights or measures of the metric system.”

1868: The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, forbidding states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws.”

1902: Philosopher Karl Raimund Popper is born at Vienna in Austria-Hungary.  His thesis, that the distinction between science and non-science is that the former can be falsified, underlies much of modern thought.

1907: Earl Silas Tupper, the inventor of Tupperware, is born at Berlin, New Hampshire.  He’ll turn to plastics after his first venture, a landscaping and nursery business, is bankrupted by the Depression.

1932: President Hoover orders federal troops to disperse the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who descended on Washington asking for more money.  When they will return after President Roosevelt takes office, he sends his wife Eleanor instead of troops, but they still don't get anything.

July 28, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Today in History: July 27

1663: The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act, which requires that all goods shipped to the American colonies must be sent in English-built ships sailing from English and Welsh ports, with all masters and three-quarters of the crews English.

1694: In exchange for a £1.2 million loan to the government, a group of subscribers called The Governor and Company of the Bank of England receives a royal charter and authority to print bank notes.

1789: The first government department under the new U.S. Constitution is formed.  It’s originally called the Department of Foreign Affairs, but the name is later changed to the Department of State to confuse foreigners.

1863: William Lowndes Yancey, the lawyer and journalist who did as much as anyone to bring abut the secession of the southern states and the Civil War, dies less than a month after the Confederate disasters at Gettysburg and Vicksburg.

1866: Cyrus Field’s Anglo-American Telegraph Co. completes the first successful trans-Atlantic cable, allowing telegraphic communication between Europe and the United States.

1922: Norman Lear, whose career will prove that British sitcoms involving funny lower-class people yelling at each other (All in the Family, Sanford and Son) will translate well in the U.S., is born at New Haven, Connecticut.

1990: Belarus declares its independence from Russia for the second and hopefully final time.

July 27, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Today in History: July 26

1139: Portugal becomes independent of Leon-Castile, as Afonso Henriques, hitherto Count of Portugal, is proclaimed king.

1581: The Low Countries declare independence from Spanish rule with the Staten-Generaal’s promulgation of the Oath of Abjuration.

1775: The forerunner of the U.S. Postal Service is created, as Benjamin Franklin is appointed the first Postmaster General of the American colonies.

1788: New York ratifies the new Constitution and becomes the 11th U.S. state.

1803: The first public freight railway, the horse-drawn Surrey Iron Railway, opens in south London.  It will last for 40 years before steam engines put it out of business.

1863: Lawyer, soldier, and politician Samuel Houston, ejected from office as Governor of Texas for refusing to take an oath to the upstart Confederate States of America, dies at his farm at Huntsville, Texas.

1875: Analytical psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung is born, an introverted child with two personalities, at Kesswil in Switzerland.

1887: L.L. Zamenhof publishes his International Language. Foreword And Complete Textbook.  His pseudonym, “Dr. Esperanto” ("Hopeful"), gives his proposed new language its name.

1925: The father of modern logic, (Friedrich Ludwig) Gottlob Frege dies at Bad Kleinen in Germany.  Few writers on the topic have ever written as clearly and succinctly.

1948: President Truman desegregates the U.S. military by signing Executive Order 9981.

1966: Britain’s House of Lords issues its Practice Statement, announcing that while its precedents will still be “normally binding” on it, it will depart from them where justice requires.

July 26, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Today in History: July 25

306: Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus is proclaimed Emperor of Rome by his troops.  He’ll be known to history as Constantine the Great.

1593: Announcing that “Paris is worth a Mass,” Protestant leader Henry of Navarre turns Catholic to become King of France as Henri IV.

1853: The “Robin Hood of El Dorado,” bandit Joaquin Murietta, is killed by a group of California Rangers looking for a $5,000 reward.  His head, preserved in brandy, will later be exhibited to spectators at $1 each.

1934: Cosmetics entrepreneur François Coty, the man who discovered that the secret to selling a perfume is having a great bottle, dies at age 60.

1946: At the Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, crooner Dean Martin and comedian Jerry Lewis appear together for the first time.  Martin & Lewis will soon become one of the country’s biggest draws.

1952: Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing U.S. commonwealth with adoption of a new constitution.

July 25, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Today in History: July 24

1701: French military officer Antoine de la Mothe, sieuer de Cadillac, founds a small fort and settlement on the strait connecting Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.  He names it after his boss, the comte de Ponchartrain, calling it Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit (“of the Strait”) but only the last part sticks.

1832: A group of 110 men and 20 wagons financed by John Jacob Astor to set up competition with the Hudson’s Bay Company, use Wyoming’s South Pass to become the first wagon train to cross the Rocky Mountains.

1847: Brigham Young leads a party of 143 men, three women and two children to the shores of the Great Salt Lake to found Salt Lake City.  Others will quickly arrive and by 1849 residents will create the State of Deseret.

1862: New York lawyer and former President Martin Van Buren, whose “Albany Regency” was the first great political machine in U.S. history, dies at Kinderhook, New York.

1901: William Sydney Porter is released from prison at Columbus, Ohio, having done three years for embezzlement from a bank.  In prison he’d already started writing as “O. Henry.”

1915: A ship carrying Western Electric employees to a picnic sinks 20 feet from the Chicago wharf, killing 841 passengers, twelve more than had died on the Titanic three years earlier.

1929: The Kellogg-Briant Pact goes into effect, prohibiting all future wars.

1997: U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Joseph Brennan, Jr. (Harvard Law 1931) dies at Arlington, Virginia.

July 24, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)