ContractsProf Blog

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

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Weiskopf on Lady Duff

Ladyduffgordon1919 St Johns University's Nicholas Weiskopf has a new article forthcoming in the Pace Law Review about Cardozo's famous decision involving Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon (pictured).  It's always nice to have occassion to ponder Lady Duff-Gordon and Cardozo's opinion in the Wood v, Lucy case, even if, as Professor Weiskopf notes, the case seems to be falling out of favor.  Here is the abstract:

This piece was prepared in connection with a Fall Law School Symposium marking the 90th anniversary of Judge Cardozo's famous New York Court of Appeals decision in Wood v. Lucy 222 N.Y. 88, 118 N.E. 214 (1917). It deals with tensions in the case law as to whether the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing may permissibly create contractual duties wholly independent of any actually agreed to by the parties, whether on a theory of presumed intent or what in actuality is judicially legislated construction designed to preserve minimum decencies. Wood, with its finding of a reasonable efforts requirement to be imposed on one with a marketing exclusive, is described as an early example of the latter approach, and contrasted to decisions which, to this day, insist that good faith can only be used to prevent abuse of actual terms of agreement.

[Jeremy Telman]

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