ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Now in Print


Paula D. Baron, Confused in Words: Unconscionability and the Doctrine of Penalties, 34 Monash U.L. Rev. 285 (2008).

Omri Ben-Shahar, A Bargaining Power Theory of Default Rules, 109 Colum. L. Rev. 396 (2009).

Curtis Bridgeman, Contracts as Plans, 2009 U. Ill. L. Rev. 341.

Joshua A.T. Fairfield, Anti-social Contracts: The Contractual Governance of Virtual Worlds, 53 McGill L.J. 427 (2008).

Joshua Getzler, Quantum Meruit, Estoppel, and the Primacy of Contract, 125 L.Q. Rev. 196 (2009).

Matthew C. Jennejohn, Collaboration, Innovation, and Contract Design, 14 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 83 (2008).

David McLauchlan, Contract Interpretation: What Is It About?, 31 Sydney L. Rev. 5 (2009).

Colleen P. MurphyWhat Is Specific About "Specific Restitution"?, 60 Hastings L.J. 853 (2009).

M.H. Ogilvie, Mental Distress and Punitive Damages for Breach of Contract in the Supreme Court of Canada: Here's the Remedy, but Where's the Right?, [2009] J. Bus. L. 248.

Carl N. Pickerill, Executory Contracts Re-Revisited, 83 Am. Bankr. L.J. 63 (2009).

Ingeborg Schwenzer & Pascal Hachem, The CISG--Successes and Pitfalls, 57 Am. J. Comp. L. 457 (2009).

D. Gordon Smith & Brayden G. King, Contracts as Organizations, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 1 (2009).

Robert P. Bartlett, III, Commentary, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 47 (2009).

Anna Gelpern, Commentary, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 57 (2009).

Richard S. Wirtz, Cost of Performance or Difference in Value?, 59 Case W. L. Rev. 61 (2008).

[Keith A. Rowley]

May 2, 2009 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Law Day!


Happy Law Day!

[Meredith R. Miller]

May 1, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Your Public Interest Auction Donations

Over at PrawfsBlawg, Rose Cuison Villazor asks: what do you donate to your law school's public interest auction?  Here's my answer.  Each original print is signed by the undersigned, and they are pictured in the home of the 2008 auction winner:


HawkinsVMcGee  WhatsAChickenCarbolicSmokeBall

[Meredith R. Miller]

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Another Benefit of Contract-Based Warranties: Class Certification?

This blog's illustrious editor, Prof. Snyder, recently pointed out that tort law provides much better remedies than contracts-based breach of warranty claims, but students nevertheless need to know about contracts-based remedies because of the longer statute of limitations.

It seems that there is another reason that students should learn about UCC and common law warranty claims: class certification.  At least, for those warranty claims that don't have a reliance element.  

This is evidenced by a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling in a case against Ford, as summarized at

Among Detroit's Big Three, Ford Motor Company looks to be in the best shape. But sometimes, even when you think you're in the clear, you're not. (At least in litigation.) That's what happened to Ford last week in Oklahoma, where the state's supreme court reinstated a nationwide class action against Ford and auto parts maker Williams Controls that had been tossed by an intermediate appellate court. The class, which includes an estimated 300,000-500,000 members, contends that certain models of Ford Super Duty pickup trucks and Expedition sport utility vehicles contain faulty accelerator pedals, causing the trucks to idle rather than accelerate when drivers step on the gas.

The case, which was first filed in 2004, alleges breach of warranty, negligence, and product liability. The trial court certified a nationwide class in 2007, but last year the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals reversed the lower court. In reinstating the case, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in certifying a class on the breach of warranty claims. It declined to affirm class certification on negligence or product liability claims.

(emphasis added).  And, a class action, by the way, seems the only feasible way such small individual warranty claims would ever be litigated.  Attorneys for plaintiffs will seek between $60-100 million, depending on the size of the class.  This amount is based on a price tag of $185 per faulty accelerator pedal.

[Meredith R. Miller]

April 28, 2009 in Recent Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Man claims campground had contract duty to protect him from water balloon

A A New Hampshire man who suffered injuries when he was hit by a water balloon fired by a slingshot is suing his campground, claiming that the facility owed a duty to protect him from being attacked.

Things apparently get rowdly on Maine's Saco River during the summertime The plaintiff was taying at the Fiddlehead Campground (left), which advised residents to  " 'avoid rowdy groups canoeing on the river' by staying at the campground, where campers agree to standard campground groups that 'help control noise and unruly behavior."  Plaintiff nevertheless was hit in the eye by a water balloon launched 67 feet away by three men using a large slingshot.  He is apparently claiming that the campground's advice created a promise that he would be safe if he stayed there.

[Frank Snyder]

April 28, 2009 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Contract law: the last resort of the tardy

Teaching contract remedies for breach of warranty, whether common law or UCC, often seems like a waste of time, since in many cirucmstances tort law provides superior remedies for defective products or services that cause injuries.  But, as we often explain to students, you need to know contract remedies if for not other reason that sometimes either you or (hopefully) your client will have blown the tort statute of limitations and will have to make out a claim under contract law.

That seems to e the situation in a recent professional malpractice case, Tower Investments Inc. v. Rawle & Henderson, where counts for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against a law firm were barred by the statute of limitaitons, but breach  of contract claims were held to be timely.  The Legal Intelligencer, via, has a synopsis of the litigation here.

[Frank Snyder]

April 26, 2009 in Recent Cases | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The case of the wry-faced llama

A Karl Llewellyn liked to make fun of 19th century contract law as being based on the arms' length horse trade between two strangers.  But two centuries later animal cases still come up with some frequency.

Like this Georgia case, in which a llama breeder was held liable for breach of warranty when the two animals it sold were found to be suffering from a condition called "wry face" (left).

[Frank Snyder]

April 26, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in history: April 26

Aaa On this date in 1607, English employees of the privately held Virginia Company of London (left: the company seal) land at Cape Henry, Virginia, with the intent of founding a gold-mining operation. A month later they will found the first successful settlement of Jamestown.

They don't actually find any gold, but the settlement will endure, making the United States the first nation in history to be founded by a for-profit corporation.

[Frank Snyder]

April 26, 2009 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)