ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reminder: AALS Contracts Section Call for Proposals

The Executive Committee of the AALS Contracts Section solicits proposals for the Section’s Annual Meeting program Navigating Lombard Street in a Fog: Seeking (or Ignoring) Landmarks of Intent and Context, scheduled for Thursday, January 6, 2011 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The Topic: Consent supposedly distinguishes contracts from other private or public rights and duties by requiring that each contracting party manifest its intent, at the time it enters into the contract, to be bound to the contract.  This program will explore:

♥   whether intent – objectively manifested or otherwise – is or should be an integral part of contemporary contract law, practice, and theory;

♥   the extent to which context affects or should affect a party’s ability to consent, the significance of its manifested consent, or both; and

♥   assuming that intent and context matter, how best to determine and give effect to the parties’ intent in the context of their transaction.

We are particularly interested in fostering discussion of (1) intent to be bound, (2) intent to be bound to specific terms, (3) the intended meaning of agreed terms, (4) intended circumstances under which a party may avoid or delay performing their duties, and (5) intended remedies available or foreclosed if a party does not perform as agreed under circumstances that neither invite nor allow avoidance or delay.

The Program: Inspired by last year’s lively roundtable discussion of pedagogical approaches and by a fairly robust body of recent scholarship relevant to our topic, and paying homage to the increasingly rare, but fondly remembered, two-semester Contracts course, we seek speakers for two (or more) discussion panels, which the planning subcommittee will organize topically.  We have secured a 180-minute time slot, which should facilitate a broader, more diverse, and more participatory discussion than the typical 100-minute AALS program permits.

Publication: While we hope that this program will ignite or further fuel already-burning scholarly interest across its broad scope, we do not require an original paper proposal and have not pre-arranged publication of any papers discussed at or arising from the program (although we may explore publishing a program transcript if we can find a suitable venue and all of the speakers consent).

Submitting a Proposal: If you would like to participate as a panelist, please contact program chair Keith Rowley (, no later than 12:00 p.m. PST, Monday, December 6th, indicating the aspect(s) of the topic that most interest(s) you; from what perspective(s) you propose to discuss it/them; if applicable, the scholarly work – yours or someone else’s, published or in progress – you plan to draw upon; and how best to contact you between now and December 10.  While the program planning subcommittee will reserve some spots for submissions received by the foregoing deadline (and may consider late proposals), we will begin to review proposals as we receive them and may begin extending offers as early as Monday, November 29th.

We apologize for the short notice, but hope to capitalize on it by attracting participants who might have been unwilling or unable to commit themselves in September or early October or who, like some of us, were stymied by the ongoing labor strife at the AALS headquarters hotel.  We are meeting; we are meeting elsewhere; and we ask that you help make this a well-attended, informative, and interactive program.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Keith A. Rowley]

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