ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Lawyers!

Business_20 Who says we don't?  Business 2.0 Magazine, that's who!  In it's August 2007 issue, Business 2.0  features the "29 Best Business Ideas in the World," and the very best idea of all -- that's right, #1 -- is "let's get rid of the lawyers." 

Ah, you say, but that idea is at least as old as Shakespeare,
True enough, says Spanish startup, Negotiation, but it nonetheless has launched "Tractis," a web platform that, according to Business 2.0 "lets users create, manage, and execute contracts online -- no lawyers required." 

The article in Business 2.0 goes on to quote Negotiation CEO David Blanco as follows: "The biggest problem with online contracts now is enforcement.  If you reach an agreement with another person and something goes wrong, how do you enforce the contract and in which jurisdiction?  How do you know the true identity of someone calling himself snake69@hotmail.com?  Tractis' proposed solution is "a comprehensive range of trust and verification systems." 

Hmmm.  I wonder if Mr. Blanco has identified the biggest problem or only the initial problem.  What happens once you identify snake69 and you want to sue him?  Don't you need a stinkin' lawyer for that?  And what if snake69 has a stinkin' lawyer and a contract that he knows will favor him because his stinkin' lawyer told him which one to choose on the Tractis database?

Hat tip: James Saqui

[Jeremy Telman]

August 15, 2007 in Commentary, E-commerce, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

1-800-Promises

ImagesWe might be a little late on this one, but here's a tale to begin the semester: A man orders flowers for his girlfriend from 1-800-FLOWERS. Because the man lives with his wife, he asks that the order be kept private and that no record of the transaction be mailed to him at his home or office. Apparently, 1-800-FLOWERS promises to keep the order private. Then, months later, the company sends a thank you note to the man's home, and his wife calls the company for proof of purchase - which the company faxes to his wife. Lawsuit1: divorce. Lawsuit2: The man sues 1-800-FLOWERS for breach of contract - it did, after all, promise to keep the purchase private. His damages? Spousal support?

[Meredith R. Miller; H/T Mom and Above the Law]

August 15, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)