ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

KCON XI: Remember the Alam... er, the Deadline!


San Antonio Riverwalk KCON2016This blog's favorite conference is coming to St. Mary's University School of Law in beautiful San Antonio! The Eleventh International Conference on Contracts (KCON XI) should be on your calendars for February 26-27, 2016 (and if it isn't, put it there). The purpose of this post, however, is to highlight a more pressing date: Friday, December 11 (just over a week away) is the deadline for submitting proposed papers and panels.

Here, courtesy of Professor Colin Marks, the conference organizer, is the KCON call for papers:

Submissions are cordially invited for the 11th Annual International Conference on Contracts, the largest annual scholarly and educational conference devoted to Contracts and related areas of commercial law. Papers and works in progress are welcome from those who study contracts from any perspective, whether doctrinal, pedagogical, theoretical, empirical, historical, economic, critical, comparative or interdisciplinary.

Works that take an international or civil law approach are also welcome. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to participate. Those interested in proposing and organizing panels of three to five presenters on specific themes are especially encouraged to do so.

Individual submissions should be made by a brief abstract (one page is sufficient) of the paper or work in progress that includes contact information for the author(s). Individual submissions will be placed on panels with like submissions. Panel proposals should include the name and contact information of the moderator or organizer, and a summary of the proposed papers or works in progress. There is no publication commitment for the conference, but organizers of individual panels are free to arrange for publication on their own.

You can find conference information, the e-mail address for proposals, and registration instructions here: bit.ly/KCON2016.

December 2, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Joining the Team: Mark Edwin Burge (Texas A&M)

Changes are underway at the ContractsProf Blog, and I am delighted to be one of them.  Thanks to Myanna Dellinger for giving me the opportunity to join a team building on over a decade of quality content established by our founder (and my faculty colleague) Frank Snyder, outgoing editor Jeremy Telman, and many others throughout the years.

Who is this guy, anyway? Glad you asked. I am an Associate Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, proud home for two years of the esteemed International Conference of Contracts that, as Jeremy mentioned here, has been closely associated with this blog since its inception. My major scholarly interests are in contracts (seriously, did you think I would NOT say "contracts" here?), commercial law (especially payment systems), and the interaction of both fields with legal skills and practice. I came to the academy after eight years of practice in the areas of business and commercial litigation and related transactions. Despite some occasional flirtations with theory, I have yet to shake off my greater interest in how lawyers actually make things work. So I've learned to live with that, and I'm most fortunate to be at a law school with colleagues and an administration who support the grab-bag of things I do.

My current work, which I hope to discuss here occasionally (while skillfully avoiding off-putting narcissism in the process), involves the intersection of private contract law with public regulation in the rapidly developing area of emerging payment systems. Where exactly are the best dividing lines between private and public law, especially in an age where the lag between technology and law seriously strains the institutional capacity of legal systems? Perhaps we can find some answers to that overarching question and have some fun along the way. I should, in the interest of full disclosure, confess that I think contract law is fun.

I look forward to the adventure, and I appreciate anyone who is along for the ride.

 

December 1, 2015 in About this Blog, Commentary, Conferences, Contract Profs, E-commerce | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

KCON XI: Registration Open Now

Bumping this back up to the top:

The website for the 11th edition of the International Conference on Contracts is now up.  

Here are the basics:

11th International Conference on Contracts (KCON XI)

Feb. 26 and 27, 2016
St. Mary’s University School of Law
San Antonio, Texas

LinzerThe St. Mary’s University School of Law is pleased to host the International Conference on Contracts — a two-day conference designed to afford contracts scholars and teachers at all experience levels (including those preparing to enter the academy and those whose primary teaching appointment is not in a law school) an opportunity to present/demonstrate and discuss (formally and informally) recently-published and accepted-but-not-yet-published scholarship, works-in-progress, thought experiments, as-yet-fully-formed ideas for scholarship, and pedagogical innovations and to network with colleagues — and potential collaborators or mentors — from around the country and other parts of the world.

This year, we will be honoring Professor Peter Linzer of the University of Houston Law Center (pictured) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of contract law.

Call for Papers

Submissions are cordially invited for the 11th Annual International Conference on Contracts, the largest annual scholarly and educational conference devoted to Contracts and related areas of commercial law. Papers and works in progress are welcome from those who study contracts from any perspective, whether doctrinal, pedagogical, theoretical, empirical, historical, economic, critical, comparative or interdisciplinary.

Works that take an international or civil law approach are also welcome. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to participate. Those interested in proposing and organizing panels of three to five presenters on specific themes are especially encouraged to do so.

Individual submissions should be made by a brief abstract (one page is sufficient) of the paper or work in progress that includes contact information for the author(s). Individual submissions will be placed on panels with like submissions. Panel proposals should include the name and contact information of the moderator or organizer, and a summary of the proposed papers or works in progress. There is no publication commitment for the conference, but organizers of individual panels are free to arrange for publication on their own.

Submissions: The deadline is Monday, Dec. 11, 2015. Proposals submitted earlier will be accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis.

Submissions should be directed to:
Professor Colin P. Marks
cmarks@stmarytx.edu

Preliminary Schedule

The conference program will begin both Friday and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. Breakfast and conversational opportunities will start earlier. The conference will continue until about 5:30 p.m. each day.

Accommodations

The Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio is holding a block of rooms from the nights of Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 through Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at a rate of $139 per night (plus tax) for a single or double occupancy room or $149 per night (plus tax) for a triple or quadruple occupancy room.

To book a conference-rate room, please use this hotel registration link or call 800-345-9285 and identify yourself as an attendee of the International Conference on Contracts.

The deadline for hotel registration at the conference rate is Feb. 5, 2016. The sooner you book the more likely we will be able to get the hotel to make the conference rate available to additional attendees once the initial block is booked and the deadline passes.

Though shuttles will be provided to and from the conference and hotel, should you wish to drive, parking rates for the group are: $20 valet plus tax, (subject to change/for Hotel guest only). There are also various city lots around the hotel which cost between $12 and $20 per day.

Transportation

We’ll provide transportation between the Menger and the law school for the conference as well as forFriday’s dinner venue at the Plaza Club in downtown San Antonio. Attendees who prefer to stay elsewhere are responsible for their own transportation.

Meals

Your registration fee will cover the costs of breakfast and lunches both days and a reception and dinnerFriday evening, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments during breaks, which will include coffee, fruit, baked goods and other items.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the chair of the conference steering committee, Colin P. Marks, at 210-231-2248 or cmarks@stmarytx.edu.

November 5, 2015 in Conferences, Contract Profs | Permalink

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Contracting over Privacy

Chicago Law SchoolLast month, we posted a notice about the Contracting over Privacy conference that is upcoming this week at the University of Chicago Law School.  The full conference program (reproduced below) is available here.  You can download the papers from that same site.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Session 1: Kristen Anderson, Federal Trade Commission, Moderator
9:30 – 10:15:       Florencia Marrota-Wurgler, New York University, Understanding Privacy Policies: Self-Regulation, Market Forces, and Enforcement Actions

10: 15 – 11:00:      Alessandro Acquisti, Rainer Böhme, Sarah Spiekermann, and Kai-Lung Hui Carnegie Mellon University, How Feasible Are Markets for Personal Data?

Session 2: Susanne Augenhofer, Humboldt University in Berlin, Moderator
11: 15 – 12: 00:      Paul Schwartz, U.C. Berkeley, Comparative Contractual Privacy Law: The U.S., Germany, and E.U.

Session 3: Aaron Burstein, Federal Trade Commission, Moderator
1:30 – 2:15:      Omri Ben-Shahar and Adam Chilton, University of Chicago, An Experimental Test of How the Formal Properties of Privacy Disclosures Influence Behavior

2:15 – 3:00:      Lior Strahilevitz, University of Chicago & Matthew Kugler, U.S. Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit, Is Privacy Policy Language Irrelevant to Consumers?

Session 4: Randy Picker, University of Chicago, Moderator
3:15 – 4:00:      Kirsten Martin, George Washington University, Explicit Versus Implicit Privacy Contracts: Comparing the Impact of Privacy Notices and Norms on Consumer Trust

4:00 – 4:45
:      Ian Ayres, Yale University, A Laffer Curve for Invasions of Privacy

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Session 5: Ariel Feldman, University of Chicago, Moderator
9:30 – 10:15:       Joel Reidenberg, Fordham University, Jaspreet Bhatia, Carnegie Mellon University, et al., Automated Measurement and Comparison of Privacy Policy Ambiguity

10: 15 – 11:00:      Richard Brooks, Columbia University, The Information Fiduciary: Beyond Contracting over Privacy

 Session 6: Sebastien Gay, University of Chicago, Moderator
11: 15 – 12: 00:      Oren Bar-Gill, Harvard University, & Omri Ben-Shahar, University of Chicago, Optimal Defaults for Consumer Contracts

This event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited.

October 15, 2015 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, September 25, 2015

Private Law Blog on Fried's Contract as Promise 2.0

Yonathan Arbel has a post over on the New Private Law blog about the publication of the 2d edition of Charles Fried's classic Contract as Promise.  

The post is here.

The post also includes a video of a panel discussion on the publication, which is embedded below.

 

September 25, 2015 in Books, Conferences, Contract Profs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

KCON XI Open for Business!

The website for the 11th edition of the International Conference on Contracts is now up.  

Here are the basics:

11th International Conference on Contracts (KCON XI)

Feb. 26 and 27, 2016
St. Mary’s University School of Law
San Antonio, Texas

LinzerThe St. Mary’s University School of Law is pleased to host the International Conference on Contracts — a two-day conference designed to afford contracts scholars and teachers at all experience levels (including those preparing to enter the academy and those whose primary teaching appointment is not in a law school) an opportunity to present/demonstrate and discuss (formally and informally) recently-published and accepted-but-not-yet-published scholarship, works-in-progress, thought experiments, as-yet-fully-formed ideas for scholarship, and pedagogical innovations and to network with colleagues — and potential collaborators or mentors — from around the country and other parts of the world.

This year, we will be honoring Professor Peter Linzer of the University of Houston Law Center (pictured) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of contract law.

Call for Papers

Submissions are cordially invited for the 11th Annual International Conference on Contracts, the largest annual scholarly and educational conference devoted to Contracts and related areas of commercial law. Papers and works in progress are welcome from those who study contracts from any perspective, whether doctrinal, pedagogical, theoretical, empirical, historical, economic, critical, comparative or interdisciplinary.

Works that take an international or civil law approach are also welcome. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to participate. Those interested in proposing and organizing panels of three to five presenters on specific themes are especially encouraged to do so.

Individual submissions should be made by a brief abstract (one page is sufficient) of the paper or work in progress that includes contact information for the author(s). Individual submissions will be placed on panels with like submissions. Panel proposals should include the name and contact information of the moderator or organizer, and a summary of the proposed papers or works in progress. There is no publication commitment for the conference, but organizers of individual panels are free to arrange for publication on their own.

Submissions: The deadline is Monday, Dec. 11, 2015. Proposals submitted earlier will be accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis.

Submissions should be directed to:
Professor Colin P. Marks
cmarks@stmarytx.edu

Preliminary Schedule

The conference program will begin both Friday and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. Breakfast and conversational opportunities will start earlier. The conference will continue until about 5:30 p.m. each day.

Accommodations

The Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio is holding a block of rooms from the nights of Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 through Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at a rate of $139 per night (plus tax) for a single or double occupancy room or $149 per night (plus tax) for a triple or quadruple occupancy room.

To book a conference-rate room, please use this hotel registration link or call 800-345-9285 and identify yourself as an attendee of the International Conference on Contracts.

The deadline for hotel registration at the conference rate is Feb. 5, 2016. The sooner you book the more likely we will be able to get the hotel to make the conference rate available to additional attendees once the initial block is booked and the deadline passes.

Though shuttles will be provided to and from the conference and hotel, should you wish to drive, parking rates for the group are: $20 valet plus tax, (subject to change/for Hotel guest only). There are also various city lots around the hotel which cost between $12 and $20 per day.

Transportation

We’ll provide transportation between the Menger and the law school for the conference as well as forFriday’s dinner venue at the Plaza Club in downtown San Antonio. Attendees who prefer to stay elsewhere are responsible for their own transportation.

Meals

Your registration fee will cover the costs of breakfast and lunches both days and a reception and dinnerFriday evening, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments during breaks, which will include coffee, fruit, baked goods and other items.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the chair of the conference steering committee, Colin P. Marks, at 210-231-2248 or cmarks@stmarytx.edu.

September 23, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Contracting Over Privacy Conference at the University of Chicago Law School

Ben-Shahar, Omr StrahilevitzOmri Ben-Shahar (left) and Lior Strahilevitz (right) are hosting a conference October 16 & 17 at the University of Chicago Law School.  The conference is sponsored by the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics..  The flyer is here.

Confirmed participants include: 
Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University
Kristen Anderson, Federal Trade Commission
Ian Ayres, Yale University
Oren Bar-Gill, Harvard University
Omri Ben-Shahar, University of Chicago
Jaspreet Bhatia, Carnegie Mellon University
Richard Brooks, Columbia University
Aaron Burstein, Federal Trade Commission
Adam Chilton, University of Chicago
Ariel Feldman, University of Chicago
Sebastien Gay, University of Chicago
Matthew Kugler, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
Florencia Marotta-Wrugler, New York University
Kirsten Martin George, Washington University
Randy Picker, University of Chicago
Joel Reidenberg, Fordham University
Paul Schwartz, University of California, Berkeley
Lior Strahilevitz, University of Chicago

September 17, 2015 in Conferences, Contract Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New in Print: Hastings Law Journal Special Issue for Charles L. Knapp

Last year, Hastings Law hosted a conference in honor of Charles L. Knapp.  The proceedings of that conference are now in print.  Abstracts can be found here on the Hastings Law Journal homepage.

Hastings-Law-Journal
Contract Law Present and Future: A Symposium to Honor Professor Charles L. Knapp on Fifty Years of Teaching Law

Harry G. Prince

Volume 66, Issue 4, 871-878

Full Article

HLJ IssueCasebooks and the Future of Contracts Pedagogy

Carol L. Chomsky

Volume 66, Issue 4, 879-898

Full Article

Under the Sun: Casebooks and the Future of Contracts Teaching

Thomas W. Joo

Volume 66, Issue 4, 899-914

Full Article

“Contraps”

William J. Woodward, Jr.

Volume 66, Issue 4, 915-936

Full Article

The Duty of Good Faith: A Perspective on Contemporary Contract Law

Jay M. Feinman

Volume 66, Issue 4, 937-950

Full Article

Sketches of a Redemptive Theory of Contract Law

Emily M.S. Houh

Volume 66, Issue 4, 951-970

Full Article

Contract as Evil

Peter Linzer

Volume 66, Issue 4, 971-1010

 

Full Article

Curing the Infirmities of the Unconscionability Doctrine

Hazel Glenn Beh

Volume 66, Issue 4, 1011-1046

Full Article

Contractual Indescendibility

David Horton

Volume 66, Issue 4, 1047-1082

Full Article

Is There a “Duty to Read”?

Charles L. Knapp

Volume 66, Issue 4, 1083-1112

Full Article

September 2, 2015 in Conferences, Contract Profs, Recent Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oxford Conference on General Principles of Law

Institute of European and Comparative Law
 
Celebrating 20 Years of the Institute of European and Comparative Law
 
Friday 25-26 September 2015
 
St Anne's College Oxford and the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
 
 
‘General principles of law’ are one of the most visible areas of intersection between EU law and comparative law: as long as they are understood as ‘the general principles common to the laws of the Member States’ (Art 340(2) TFEU) their fleshing out requires careful comparative preparatory work. True, more often than not, the general principles of EU law were not developed on the basis of thorough and textbook style analysis. This does not make it less interesting to look at the interaction of EU law and comparative law in this particular field. Those working together in elaborating general principles of EU law tend to be responsive to input from national laws, and the laws of the Member States have no choice but to be responsive to the general principles developed at EU level.
 
It is the purpose of this conference to look at this particular interaction from the perspectives of EU law and comparative law alike. Leading scholars and practitioners from both fields will come together to discuss the most recent developments in the field.
 
The conference will be held on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Oxford Institute. It will bring together current and former members, visitors and friends of the Institute, as well as those who might belong to one of these categories in the future. Celebration will be an essential part of the proceedings!
 
Further information, including the full programme and registration details can be found here.

July 29, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fourth Annual Insurance Workshop at Rutgers Camden

Rutgers-Camden_Law_SchoolThe Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility is holding its fourth annual insurance workshop on Friday, October 2, 2015. This is a day-long event on the Camden campus with an opportunity to present and receive comments on drafts or less fully formed works-in-progress on topics related to insurance law or other aspect of managing or regulating risk.

For more information, contact Professor Rick Swedloff, swedloff@camden.rutgers.edu

July 17, 2015 in Conferences, Law Schools | Permalink

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Online Conference on Technology in International Arbitration

The Virtual Arbitration: Undesirable or Inevitable (or both)?
A Live Online Conference on Technology in International Arbitration
June 11, 2015 – 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon EDT (U.S.)


Cisco TelePresence (the arbitration community will gather at multiple facilities around the globe)
Webstream (the academic community may attend free of charge via live streaming video)


Join us for a live online conference designed to explore the use of modern videoconferencing technology to hold arbitration hearings online, thereby reducing many of the costs and logistical challenges often associated with international arbitration proceedings. The conference will include a mock arbitration proceeding (a witness examination), followed by a panel discussion of its effectiveness (or lack thereof), and concluding with questions from attendees around the globe. Both the mock arbitration and subsequent panel include prominent members of the global arbitration community, so each should be uniquely valuable in exploring both the challenges and opportunities presented by virtual online arbitration proceedings.

The arbitration community will gather at Cisco TelePresence sites around the world for a fully immersive state-of-the-art experience (most of these sites are already sold out). However, the conference is also being delivered live via Webstream, and the academic community (faculty, students, and others interested in learning more about the potential for online arbitration hearings) is invited to attend at no charge. While the Webstream will only allow one-way video, a Chat function will be included to allow for interactivity and moderated by Professor Jack Graves (Touro Law Center, NY, USA, and a member of the JTIA editorial board). Selected chat questions may also be forwarded to panelists as part of the conference Q&A process.

The conference announcement, including the agenda, can be found here:
http://www.jurisconferences.com/2015/technology-and-international-arbitration-june-11-2015/

The Webstream of the conference (including the Chat function) will be available here:
http://www.ustream.tv/ciscotv3

Questions regarding academic community participation in the conference via Webstream may be directed to Jack Graves at: jgraves@tourolaw.edu<mailto:jgraves@tourolaw.edu>.

June 3, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink

Monday, April 20, 2015

Joint Call for Papers from Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law and Section on Women in Legal Education

AALS Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law

AALS Section on Women in Legal Education

 

Call For Papers

 

Female Perspectives in Commercial and Consumer Law

The AALS Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its program co-sponsored by the Section on Women in Legal Education during the AALS 2016 Annual Meeting.  The papers from the program will be published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

Female scholars have made pivotal contributions to the development of commercial and consumer laws and scholarship in the United States, especially in the past few decades.  Not only have specific women’s voices played an important role, but distinctively feminist concerns have engendered changes in legal theory and policy.  This panel will discuss the contributions that specific female legal academics have made to the field (as just a few examples, Elizabeth Warren and Jean Braucher).  Also, it will reflect on how feminist concerns have influenced commercial and consumer law scholarship. Finally, it will also include scholarship focused on women’s experiences with consumer and commercial law.

The Committee invites submissions from scholars interested in presenting at the program and in publishing their papers with the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.  Two speakers will be selected from this call for papers.  The panel is focused on “female perspectives,” broadly construed. The Section strongly encourages proposals from all genders.   

There is no formal requirement as to the form or length of proposals. Preference will be given to proposals that are substantially complete and to papers that offer novel scholarly insights.

Per AALS rules, only full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit a paper to a Section’s call for papers. Fellows from AALS member law schools are also eligible to submit a paper but must include a CV with their proposal.  All panelists, including speakers selected from this Call for Papers, are responsible for paying their own annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

Deadline: AUGUST 15, 2015. We will make decisions shortly after that date.  Please email submissions, in Word or PDF format, to the Program Committee c/o Jim Hawkins at jrhawkins@uh.edu with “AALS Submission” in the subject line. Before sending, please remove all identifying information from the Word or PDF document.

 

April 20, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seals Workshop for Aspiring Law Professors

SEALS

The Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) is pleased to once again offer its Prospective Law Professors Workshop as part of its annual meeting. This two-day workshop is for those seeking law teaching jobs in Fall 2015.  The Prospective Law Professors Workshop will run on Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, July 29, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. 

The workshop will include practice interviews, practice jobtalks, guidance on drafting CVs and FAR forms, and several panel discussions geared toward prospective law professors.  There is no supplemental fee to participate.  Participants in the workshop need only pay the standard SEALS registration fee.  

The number of participants will be limited. For more information on the program, including how to apply, please visit our website at http://sealslawschools.org/seals-prospective-law-professors-workshop/

March 11, 2015 in Conferences, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Session on Contract as Empowerment at K CON X

KarA recent contract law piece, “Contract as Empowerment” was just listed as “Download of the Week” on Larry Solum’s Legal Theory Blog. As many readers of this blog will know, this piece reflects University of Illinois Law Professor Robin Bradley Kar’s latest work on contract theory. The piece combines core arguments from two pieces that we recently highlighted on this bloom, but presents them in a single law review article format. The piece thus distills the ideas and presents them in polished form.
 
For anyone still contemplating attending K-CON at UNLV, an additional Roundtable on Contract as Empowerment has also been added.  This Roundtable will take place on Saturday, February 28th, at 9:00 am at UNLV. Professor Kar will present the theory. Gregory Klass (Georgetown Law), Russell Korobkiin (UCLA Law) and Jeff Lipshaw (Suffolk Law) will offer responses, before leaving time for audience Q&A. 
 
Here is the abstract and link to the article:
 
 

            This Article offers a novel interpretation of contract law, which I call “Contract as Empowerment”. On this view, contract law is neither a mere mechanism to promote efficiency nor a mere reflection of any familiar moral norm—such as norms of promise keeping, property, or corrective justice. Contract law is instead a mechanism of empowerment: it empowers people to use legally enforceable promises as tools to influence other people’s actions and thereby meet a broad range of human needs and interests. It also empowers people in a special way, which reflects a moral ideal of equal respect for persons. This fact explains why contract law can produce genuine legal obligations and is not just a system of coercion.

            The purpose of this Article is to introduce contract as empowerment and argue that it reflects the best general interpretation of contract. Contract as empowerment is an “interpretive” theory in the sense that it is simultaneously descriptive, explaining what contract law is, and normative, explaining what contract law should be.

            To support contract as empowerment’s interpretive credentials, I identify a core set of doctrines and puzzles that are particularly well suited to testing competing interpretations of contract. I argue that contract as empowerment is uniquely capable of harmonizing this entire constellation of doctrines while explaining the legally obligating force of contracts. Along the way, contract as empowerment offers (1) a more penetrating account of contractual remedies than exists in the current literature; (2) a more compelling account of the consideration requirement and its standard exceptions; and (3) a concrete framework to determine the appropriate role of certain doctrines—like unconscionability—that appear to limit freedom of contract. Contract as empowerment also explains the main differences between claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, restitution and quasi-contract. It explains key doctrines and answers key puzzles at each basic stage of contract analysis: formation, interpretation and construction, performance and breach, the standard defenses and the standard remedies.

            The whole of this explanation is, moreover, greater than the sum of its parts. Because of its harmonizing power, contract as empowerment demonstrates how a broad range of seemingly incompatible surface values in modern contract law can work together—each serving its own distinctive but partial role—to serve a more fundamental principle distinctive to contract. These surface values include the values of fidelity, autonomy, liberty, efficiency, fairness, trust, reliance and assurance. Although many people think that contract law must involve trade offs between these values, contract as empowerment suggests that tensions between them are not always real. So long as the complex system of rules that governs contracts is fashioned in the right way, these doctrines can work together to serve a deeper and normatively satisfying principle distinctive to contract. This framework can therefore be used to guide legal reform and identify places where market regulation is warranted by the principles of contract in many different contexts of exchange—from those involving consumer goods to labor, finance, credit, landlord-tenant, home mortgages and many others.

            There is a further implication of contract as empowerment. Contract as empowerment absorbs many economic insights but gives them a fundamentally different interpretation. It suggests that contracting and modern market activities are not simply spheres where self-interest runs wild. They are instead spheres of moral interaction, which can engage people’s natural sense of obligation and generate genuine legal obligations—at least so long as contract law is simultaneously personally empowering and reflective of a moral ideal of equal respect for persons. An important moral fabric has, in other words, been running through contract law and many forms of modern economic activity for some time now. This fabric has been obscured by classical economic interpretations but cannot be ignored in any true social science of the phenomena. Understanding this moral fabric can help people lead better and more integrated lives, as both moral and economic agents. We must, however, learn to strengthen this fabric and protect it from growing tear.

February 23, 2015 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Getting Close to K Con X!

For those of you who are still trying to decide whether or not to attend, it looks like a great conference, featuring two of our bloggers, Nancy Kim and Myanna Dellinger.

Las vegas at night

10th International Conference on Contracts

William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV

February 27 & 28, 2015 

Preliminary Program

   UNLV logo

Fri. 2/27

8:15-8:45         Registration and Continental Breakfast (Moot Court Lobby)

8:45-9:00         Welcome and Announcements (Moot Court Auditorium)

9:00-10:45      Whose Contract Law Is It Anyway? (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: Dov Waisman

Danielle Hart, How Does Bargaining Power Affect Contract Litigation Outcomes?

Larry DiMatteo, How Private is Private Contract Law?

H.G. Prince, How Does the California Supreme Court’s Contracts Jurisprudence Relate to Its Ideological Composition?

Hila Keren, Whose Freedom of Contract?

Consent (or Lack Thereof) (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Shawn Bayern, Offer and Acceptance in Modern Contract Law: A Needless Concept

Chunlin Leonhard, Consent in Contract: A Dangerous Fiction

Kenneth Ching, What We Consent to When We Consent to Form Contracts: Market Price

Eric Zaks, Bonding and Contract Drafting: Paying a Premium for Foregoing Genuine Consent

10:45-11:00    Break

11:00-12:30    Contract Terms I (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: TBA

Royce Barondes, Frictions and the Persistence of Inferior Contract Terms

Mark Gergen, Privity's Shadow: Exculpatory Terms in Extended Forms of Private Ordering

Joshua Silverstein, Using the West Digest System as a Data Collection and Coding Device for Empirical Legal Scholarship: Demonstrating the Method Via a Study of Contract Interpretation

Comparative and International I (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Mateja Djurovic, Europeanisation of Contract Law Through the Judicial Activity of the European Court of Justice

Glennys Spence, A Pound of Flesh: A Comparative Analysis of the Group of Companies Doctrine and the Alter Ego Theory in International Commercial Arbitration

Jane Winn, Contracting Out of the Nation State: The Role of Global Private Regulators

12:30-1:45      Lunch (Barrick Museum Garden)

1:45-3:30         Roundtable: Perspectives on the Restatement (Third) of the Law of Consumer Contracts (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: Omri Ben-Shahar (U. of Chicago)

Robin Kar (U. of Illinois)

Nancy Kim (California Western)

Gregory Klass (Georgetown)

David McGowan (U. of San Diego)

3:30-3:45         Break (Moot Court Lobby)

3:45-5:30         Consumer Protection (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: TBA

Susanne Augenhofer, Self-Regulation and the Interface of Consumer Protection and Corporate Governance

David Friedman, Addressing Fictitious Pricing: Discounting of Retail Goods and Deceptive Prior-Reference Pricing

Timothy Hall, Contractual Limitation of Personal Fitness and Health Data Tracking: An Empirical Analysis

Jim Hawkins, Are Bigger Companies Better for Low-Income Borrowers?: Evidence from Payday and Title Loan Advertisements 

Performance & Enforcement (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Pamela Edwards, “The Best Interests of the League”: Contractual Limits of Sports Leagues Commissioners' Powers to Discipline Team Owners

Orit Gan, The Justice Element of Promissory Estoppel

Victor Goldberg, Buffalo’s Field of Dreams: Kenford Co. v. Erie County

Jennifer Martin, Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises in Resales Under 2-706 

6:00-9:00         Reception & Dinner (Barrick Museum Exhibition Hall)

 

Sat. 2/28

8:30-9:00         Breakfast (Moot Court Lobby)

9:00-10:30      Storytelling and Contracts (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: Keith Rowley

Lenora Ledwon, Bonds, Promises, and Contracts in the Narco-Western: Freedom of (and From) Contract in Breaking Bad

Deborah Post, Story Telling and Normative Analysis

Debora Threedy, Cooper on Contracts: Popular Culture and the Paradox of Relational Contracts

Comparative and International II (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Myanna Dellinger, Rethinking Force Majeure in U.S. and International Contracts Law

Larry DiMatteo, A Case Study in Comparative Contract Law: Late Acceptance, Right to Cure, and Anticipatory Repudiation in Common, Civil, and Chinese Contract Laws

Irina Sakharova, Finance Lease Contracts: International and Comparative Perspectives

10:30-10:45    Break 

10:45-12:15    Digital Giants Gone Wild! (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: TBA

Michael Rustad & Thomas Koenig, Wolves of the World Wide Web: Reforming Social Media Provider’s Contracting Practices

Nancy Kim, Internet Giants as Quasi-Governmental Actors and the Limits of Contractual Consent

Joasia Luzak, Wanted: A Bigger Stick – On Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts with Online Service Providers

Sacred Cows (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Mark Burge, Thinking Outside the Four Corners of Contract Doctrine in the Legal Education Crisis

Victor Goldberg, Rethinking Jacob and Youngs v. Kent

Jeff Lipshaw, Does Contract Theory Matter?

12:15-1:45      Lunch (RAJ 4th Floor Faculty Lounge)

Keynote: Stewart Macaulay

Comments: Chuck Knapp

                       Peter Linzer

 

1:45-3:30         Roundtable: Perspectives on More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: Omri Ben-Shahar (U. of Chicago)

Susanne Augenhofer (Humboldt U.-Berlin)

Jeffrey Stempel (UNLV)

Stacey Tovino (UNLV)

TBA

3:30-3:45         Break (Moot Court Lobby)

3:45-5:15         Contract and Families (Moot Court Auditorium)

Chair: TBA

Erez Aloni, Mistaking Neoclassicism for Pluralism in Family Law

Christie Matthews, Contract Law, Race, and Intrafamilial Transactions

Contract Terms II (BSL 102)

Chair: TBA

Sid DeLong, Construction Contracts (N.B.: It’s not what you think)

Peter Gerhart, Good Faith Contract Performance and the Reasonable Person

Allen Kamp, UCC Interpretation versus Plain Meaning Interpretation: A Question of Purpose

5:15-5:30         Conference Wrap-Up (Moot Court Auditorium)

February 18, 2015 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Conference on the CISG at 35

January 28, 2015 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Call for Papers: Obligations: Revolutions in Private Law

Call for Papers

Obligations VIII: Revolutions in Private Law

The Eighth Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations will be held at the University of Cambridge from 19-22 July 2016, co-hosted by the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law and Melbourne Law School. The biennial Obligations Conferences bring together scholars, judges and practitioners from throughout the common law world to discuss current issues in contract law, the law of torts, equity and unjust enrichment.

Both established and junior legal scholars are invited to submit proposals to present papers addressing the conference theme, broadly interpreted, which is described as follows:

Revolutions in thinking about our governing rules often cause palpable shifts in their foundations: 2016 is the 350th anniversary of Newton’s ‘discovery’ of gravity, and the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s ‘discovery’ of general relativity.  It is also the 50th anniversary of the publication of Goff and Jones’ The Law of Restitution, and the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.  What changes mark the most significant paradigm shifts in private law?  What effects have they brought?  What has provoked them in the past, and what might deliver them in the future?  These questions are relevant across the entire sweep of the law, and are common to all jurisdictions.  We hope that this theme and its underlying questions will provoke serious discussion about the types of issues which unsettle the law, and how we as lawyers help to resolve the ructions.  

Anyone wishing to offer a paper should submit a working title and an abstract (of no more than 500 words) by email to obligations8@gmail.com by 30 June 2015. Papers will be selected on the basis of quality, originality, engagement with the conference theme and fit with other papers being presented at the conference. Those offering papers will be notified by 31 July 2015 at the latest whether their papers have been accepted. A waiting list may be established, depending on the level of interest.

All presenters whose offers of papers are accepted will be expected to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and to pay a discounted registration fee. Speakers will be asked to submit fully written draft papers by 15 June 2016 for distribution to delegates via a password-protected website. As with previous Obligations Conferences, it is proposed that a small number of selected papers focused on the conference theme will be published in an edited collection following the conference.

Further information about the Obligations Conference series can be found at www.obsconf.com.

Sarah Worthington, Andrew Robertson and Graham Virgo
Conference conveners

January 26, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Podcast Now Available for AALS Annual Meeting 2015 - Mind the Gap!

Earlier this month, the Contracts sections hosted a program on Contracts, Technology and Legal Gaps.  We had an excellent line-up of expert panelists:  Eric Goldman (Santa Clara), Woodrow Hartzog (Samford), Corynne McSherry (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Jane Winn (U. of Washington) and Deborah Zalesne (CUNY).  For those of you who were unable to attend, the podcast for the program is now available here.

January 25, 2015 in Conferences, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Stanford Conference in Honor of Richard Craswell

Who Knows?:
Law in an Information Society

A Festschrift in Honor of Richard Craswell

Feb. 6-7, 2015 on the Stanford Law School campus

Stanford

We live in a time when information—about costs, parties, alternatives, and laws—is more important than ever before. This symposium brings together 25 leading scholars in law and economics, contracts, commercial law, antitrust law, and other topics relating to how litigants, regulators, and policymakers can use information to inform their decisionmaking.

The Stanford Law Review is pleased to present this symposium to celebrate Professor Craswell and his tremendous contributions across many areas of law. Articles will be presented by Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff, Louis Kaplow, Alan Schwartz, Christine Jolls, and Tess Wilkinson-Ryan and David Hoffman, and papers will be presented by Matthew Spitzer and Richard Brooks. Many other noted scholars from around the country will serve as discussants.

 Attendance is free: See a full schedule and register HERE!

January 19, 2015 in Conferences, Contract Profs, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lost in the Fine Print Document to Be Screened at AALS

Lost

Join Alliance for Justice at the Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Annual Meeting to celebrate the release of the new short documentary,

Lost in the Fine Print

Examining the Impact of Forced Arbitration

Saturday, January 3, 2015

MARRIOT WARDMAN PARK HOTEL
2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC
Room Wilson C, Mezzanine Level

8:30PM

Cocktails and refreshments provided

Please RSVP here

Watch the trailer

Buried in everyday agreements for products, services, and jobs is fine print saying when you are harmed, you can’t go before an impartial jury or judge. Instead, these forced arbitration clauses send you to a decision-maker picked by the company that wronged you. Not surprisingly, one study found that arbitrators rule for companies over consumers 94 percent of the time. And you’re stuck with their decision because there’s no appeal. It’s a rigged system that helps companies evade responsibility for violating anti-discrimination, consumer protection, and public health laws.

Narrated by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, AFJ’s new 20 minute documentary Lost in the Fine Print tells the story of three everyday people who found themselves trapped in the system of forced arbitration—and the impact of this system on their lives and livelihoods. The cocktail reception will feature a film screening and brief remarks.

Featured Speakers:

Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice
Paul Kirgis, Professor, St. John’s University School of Law and Chair, AALS Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution
Nancy Kim, Professor of Law, California Western School of Law; Chair, AALS Section on Contracts and author, Wrap Contracts 
Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Michelle Schwartz, Director of Justice Programs, Alliance for Justice

Host Committee (in formation):

*All titles and university affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

Theresa A. Amato, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Loyola University Chicago

Frank Askin, Distinguished Professor of Law, Robert E. Knowlton Scholar, and Director of Constitutional Rights Clinic, Rutgers School of Law—Newark
Robin Bradley Kar, Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Illinois College of Law
Raymond H. Brescia, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Government Law Center, Albany Law School
Katherine S. Broderick, Dean and Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
Sarah E. Burns, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law
Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the School of Law, University of California, Irvine

Liz Ryan Cole, Professor, Vermont Law School
James E. Coleman, Jr., John S. Bradway Professor of the Practice of Law; Director, Center for Criminal 
Justice and Professional Responsibility and Co-Director, Wrongful Convictions Clinic, Duke University School of Law
Joshua P. Davis, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Director, Center for Law and Ethics, University of San Francisco School of Law
Peter Edelman, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Catherine Fisk, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law 
Celeste Hammond, Professor and Director, Center for Real Estate Law, John Marshall Law School
Ann C. Hodges, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law
Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
Robert A. Katz, Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Amalia D. Kessler, Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies, Stanford Law School
Peter Linzer, Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center
Dennis O. Lynch, Professor and Dean Emeritus, University of Miami School of Law
Margaret L. Moses, Professor of Law and Director, International Law and Practice Program, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
David B. Oppenheimer, Clinical Professor of Law & Director of Professional Skills, UC Berkeley School of Law
Nancy Polikoff, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
Margaret Jane Radin, Henry King Ransom Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School and author of Boilerplate
Maritza Reyes, Associate Professor of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law
Daniel B. Rodriguez, Dean and Harold Washington Professor, Northwestern University School of Law and President, AALS
Florence Wagman Roisman, William F. Harvey Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Professor, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Kathryn Sabbeth, Assistant Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
Peter M. Shane, Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law 
Shirin Sinnar, Assistant Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
Jean Sternlight, Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution and Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
Joan Vogel, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
Adam Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

PS: Lost in the Fine Print is a game-changer. It demystifies the concept of forced arbitration, and urges us to demand change. Nationwide, law professors are using the film as a resource to educate students about this issue. Click here to download or order your free copy of the film.

Alliance for Justice
11 Dupont Circle, NW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20036
202-822-6070
www.afj.org

AFJ West Coast Office
436 14th Street
Ste. 425
Oakland, CA 94612
510-444-6070
www.afj.org

December 29, 2014 in Conferences, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)