October 06, 2008
Contracts Limerick of the Week: Peevyhouse
It is a pleasure to be able to post about a case that needs no introduction. Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal is an old stand-by. It's a great teaching case. Not only does it illustrate important issues regarding the proper measure of expectation damages, but it also stimulates interesting public policy discussions.
But teaching Peevyhouse has become even easier because of the efforts of the University of Oklahoma's Judith Maute (pictured). Professor Maute's much-cited study of the Peevyhouse case, Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal Co. Revisited: The Ballad of Willie and Lucille, 89 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1431 (1995), is a great teaching aid, as is the recent documentary film that she made about the case: The Ballad of Willie & Lucille: Disappointed Expections of Contract Law and the Legal System. Contracts profs out there: if you have half an hour to spare, I highly recommend this film, which explores the background of the case, introduces students to Willie Peevyhouse, shows the land at issue in the case, and gives students a useful lesson in how litigation strategy can affect outcomes. The film has the added bonus of featuring several contracts profs, and it is just plain fun to see these folks on screen.
Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal
Before you let Garland Coal
Turn your backyard into a hole,
Make sure that your land
Is worth 25 grand
Or your state Supreme Court has a soul!
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