ContractsProf Blog

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

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Designer Leaves NASCAR for Formula One, Brings Contract Dispute Along for the Ride

Ricky bobby Michael Waltrip of NASCAR fame (fame earned both as a driver and now as a team owner) has filed a complaint against auto designer Mike Coughlan.  The suit claims that Coughlan breached the contract by leaving his position with Waltrip's race team prior to the end of his employment contract term.  And, to make it worse, Coughlan reportedly left Waltrip's team to design cars for the Formula One team, Williams.  Given NASCAR’s reported inferiority complex with respect to the older and allegedly more complex F1 racing (i.e., a kind of racing that requires one to do more than just turn left), this departure "across the pond" was especially vexing to Waltrip.  The particular contractual terms cited include a “loyalty clause” and the duty of good faith and fair dealing.  If the contractual fight takes any dramatic turns, perhaps Sascha Baron-Cohen will reprise his role as a Formula One turned NASCAR driver in the movie version of this dispute. 

[H.R. Anderson]

July 22, 2011 in Celebrity Contracts, Current Affairs, In the News, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alan White on JP Morgan's Attempt to Evade State Law


Alan Friend of the blog, Alan White, reports here on a case currently before the 4th Circuit.  The case is Epps v. JP Morgan Chase, which was decided last November in the Maryland District Court.

Here is Alan's commentary:

In a case now before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chase Bank asserts that it may repossess an auto loan borrower’s car without complying with consumer protections in state commercial law.   The Maryland District Court found for Chase Bank, concluding that 1) the National Bank Act preempts state repossession notice law and 2) Chase was not bound by the mandatory loan contract term specifically incorporating Maryland repossession law, because as an assignee of the contract, Chase had not voluntarily agreed (!) to the choice of law provision. 

The logic of the lower court opinion is remarkable.  It seems to suggest that even the repossession rules of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code could be preempted by the National Bank Act and OCC regulations.  What is truly extraordinary, however, is the idea that a national bank could on the one hand invoke the privilege, created by the UCC and other state law, to repossess collateral without judicial process, while on the other hand disregarding the restrictions and consumer protections that accompany that privilege.  If the entirety of state commercial and debt collection law conflicts with the National Bank Act, then there was no state law basis for Chase to seize Ms. Epps' car, and the purported repossession was nothing more than grand theft.

Thanks for the tip, Alan!

[JT]

July 21, 2011 in Contract Profs, Recent Cases, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New in Print

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRN RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days) 
TOP 10 Papers for Journal of Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal  

May 19, 2011 to July 18, 2011

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 835 Economic Analysis of Claims in Support of the ‘Durbin Amendment’ to Regulate Debit Card Interchange Fees 
Howard H. ChangMargaret Morgan Weichert
2 226 Res Judicata in International Arbitral Awards 
Luca G. Radicati di Brozolo
3 157 Two Culture Problems in Law and Economics 
Alan Schwartz
4 105 The Rise and Possible Fall of Investor-State Arbitration in Asia: A Skeptic’s View of Australia’s ‘Gillard Government Trade Policy Statement’ 
Luke R. Nottage
5 94 Contracts and Markets: A Very Short Essay Without Footnotes 
Nathan B. Oman
6 93 Commercializing Property Rights in Inventions: Lessons for Modern Patent Theory from Classic Patent Doctrine 
Adam Mossoff
7 63 On Regulatory Arbitrage 
Jordan M. Barry
8 61 Pluralism and Perfectionism in Private Law 
Hanoch Dagan
9 58 Unconscionability Wars 
David Horton
10 52 Law, Economics, and Morality: Response to Critiques 
Eyal ZamirBarak Medina

RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days) 
TOP 10 Papers for Journal of LSN: Contracts (Topic)  

May 19, 2011 to July 18, 2011

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 148 Property Law as the Infrastructure of Democracy 
Joseph William Singer
2 94 The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication 
Christopher R. Trudeau,
3 93 Commercializing Property Rights in Inventions: Lessons for Modern Patent Theory from Classic Patent Doctrine 
Adam Mossof
4 92 Too Big to Exist 
Barak OrbachGrace E. Campbell
5 61 Pluralism and Perfectionism in Private Law 
Hanoch Dagan
6 39 Unfair Terms in Contracts between Businesses 
Martijn W. Hesselink
7 33 Relational Formalism and the Construction of Financial Instruments: A Bottom-Up Jurisprudence for Commercial Law 
Jonathan Yovel
8 14 Outlaw Contract Terms in Consumer Contracting: Mispricing, Market Inefficiency and the Overconsumption of Risk 
Larry R. Pounders
9 13 From the Mouths of Babes: Protecting Child Authors from Themselves 
Julie D. Cromer Young
10 12 Whither Arbitration? 
Peter B. Rutledge

[JT]

July 19, 2011 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)