ContractsProf Blog

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

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Teaching Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room

In a previous post, I shared a way to illustrate the differences between certain types of chicken for the frequently-used ambiguity case, Frigaliment.  For today's random teaching tip, I am leaving chicken behind and moving on to fish.  Because I have the luxury of a six-credit Contracts course, I have time to cover warranties, both express and implied, for sales of goods.  The case I use to teach the implied warranty of merchantability, Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room, involves fish chowder.  The primary issue is whether a fish bone in a cup of New England fish chowder sold to Ms. Webster at the Blue Ship Tea Room resulted in a breach of the implied warranty of merchantability.  The court answered, "no," but not before going into the details of the way chowder is made in New England.  After I call on a student to share the facts of the case, I say that I've unearthed this clip showing exactly how the fish chowder was made (start at 0:17):  

 

I also encourage students to craft their own limericks for cases--just as our own Prof. Telman has done.  The latest student limerick submitted was for Webster.  Kudos to student Sareena Beasley for this one:

—Sat down for a bowl of fish chowder
—Ended up with a bone but they doubt her
—So don't pick a fight
—With the Fishermen's delight
When it's known that there’s bones in the flounder

And to those who say that Contracts is the driest 1L class, I say,"puh-shaw!"

[Heidi R. Anderson]

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Famous Cases, Limericks, Teaching | Permalink

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