ContractsProf Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thanks to Eniola Akindemowo!

EniolaThe Spring Contracts Conference was a huge success, thanks largely to the hard work of our co-blogger Eniola Akindemowo.  She was so busy dealing with logistics during the conference that she did not have enough time to hang out with many of the conferees, and we were remiss in failing to thank her properly.  But it was a great event, and it ran very smoothly, despite the fact that, through no fault of Professor Akindemowo, we got a late start on planning the conference this year.  As is always the case, the conference featured the usual heady mix of familiar faces, up-and-coming scholars, and practitioners with a scholarly bent.  We delighted in the opportunity to recognize Mel Eisenberg with a lifetime achievement award and Omri Ben-Shahar for his award-winning article, Fixing Unfair Contracts.

San Diego was a great location for the conference, and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law did a great job of hosting.  They have a truly magnificent new building, and rooms and tech support could not have been better for a conference such as ours.  The conference ran on time from start to finish, we all received well-organied binder with short versions of the conference papers, and I don't think I've ever attended a conference at which all of the PowerPoint presentations came off without a hitch.  

So thanks to Professor Akindemowo for all of her hard work in setting up and hosting the conference.  Until next year.


March 5, 2012 in Conferences, Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Unconscionable Final Panel at the Spring Contracts Conference

The last panel of the conference (well, one of two final panels, as the conference usually had two going at once) was dedicated to the doctrine of unconscionability.  We regret that we could not do justice to all of the panels at the conference, as we had to choose in each case which of two panels to attend.  Similarly, not all of the presentations lent themselves to blogging, so here we will just focus on one of the papers from the unconscionability panel.

LonegrassMMelissa Lonegrass, Associate Professor of Law at LSU's Paul M. Herbert Law Center, presented a version of her article, soon to be appearing (we hope) in a law review near you, "Finding Room for Fairness in Formalism: The Sliding Scale Approach to Unconscionability."  She has noted courts' increasing use a sliding scale approach to unconscionability analysis.  That is to say, rather than looking at the procedural and substantive prongs of unconscionability independently, courts view both elements in tandem.  For example, even if there is little procedural unconscionability, a court might find a contract or a provision in a contract unconscionable if there is a great deal of substantive unconscionabiility (and theoretically vice versa).   

Professor Lonegrass's research suggests that there has been relaxation of both prongs in the sliding scale analysis.  So courts find procedural unconscionability satisfied whenever there are contracts of adhesion.  Courts find substantive unconscionability when the terms are unreasonable.  Nobody's conscience needs to be shocked these days.  

Professor Lonegrass defends the sliding scale on the ground that it enables courts to be more sensitive to disparities of bargaining power that are inherent in consumer transactions.  It also addresses formalist concerns regarding the doctrine of unconscionability and have prevented the doctrine from gaining wider currency.  The sliding scale approach retains the procedural inquiry but better enables courts to identify evidence of the lack of genuine consumer assent.   By setting aside unhelpful markers of deficient assent, the sliding scale actually makes the application of the unconscionability doctrine more predictable, thus answering concerns about the doctine's effect on the enforceability of commercial agreements.

She recommends a retention of the dual prong approach, but would de-emphasize consumer characteristics of markers of assent in favor of a focus on disaparities in bargaining power.  Finally, she encourages courts to embrace a lower threshhold (reasonableness instead of "shocks the conscience") for substantive unconscionability.


March 5, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Spring Contracts Live: Contractual Fairness

HartProfessor Danielle Hart of Southwestern Law School presented her paper on Contract Law and Inequality.  She would eradicate the public/private law distinction in an effort to shift the frame from the current free market, neo-liberal frame to one that focuses on the propensity of law to promote inequality.  In particular, Professor Hart views contract law as public law because of the extent of state involvement in every aspect of contracting.  

Her paper focuses on bargaining power, a term that we use all the time but rarely pause to define.  Professor Hart supplements the realist view that bargaining power is a form of property with Pierre Boudieu's notion that capital is any form of power that can be used to obtain an advantage.  

Professor Hart identifies three cardinal principles of barganing power.  1) Bargaining power has never been and never will be distributed equally; 2) bBargaining power is always "inerested" in the Bourdieuvian sense; and 3) finally (and depressingly) unequal bargaining power begets unequal bargaining power. Unequal bargaining power affects bargains all the time, but contracts law addresses it (and then inadequately) only in cases when there is both an actionable misuse of inequality of bargaining power and undue advantage taking.

Professor Hart presents a fully realized, theoretically complex approach to some fundamental contractual concepts, to which it is hard to do justice in 1/3 of a blog post.  We'll have to look forward to the publication of her paper.

KerenProfessor Hila Keren, Professor Hart's colleague at Southwestern Law School, presented what she described as an example of Professor Hart's thesis, Consenting Under Stress.  Her presentation focused on a 10th Circuit case, Gascho, in which a nurse with 35 years of experience agreed to a separation agreement with her employer, abandoning her Title VII claims, while under conditions of extreme stress.  The stress was mostly the product of her husband, who beat her, raped her and then demanded a divorce, and who was also her boss and had fired her after having an affair with his (and her) co-worker.  The court articulated the doctrine of stress as a ground for excusing a party's duties under a contract.  The doctrine, so understood, is very limited, and for that, according to Professor Keren, we have Judge Posner's Selmer decision to thank. The 10th Circuit affirmed the District Court's dismissal of the suit, finding that Ms. Gascho had not presented evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the agreement was valid.  

Professor Keren then undertakes an analysis of our legal understanding of stress.  Courts treat stress as a subjective feeling, but Professor Keren, drawing on a scientific understanding of stress, questions the accuracy of that description.  Stress is actually a predictable human response to certain external events.  She proposes a solution that would take stress a lot more seriously as a physiological response to external factors that could indeed negate a claim that a party had knowingly and willingly consented to an agreement. The paper has many more illustartions of the harsh consequences of courts' misunderstanding of stress.

MillerFinally, our co-blogger, Meredith Miller presented her paper on Party Sophistication and Pluralism in Contract, building on her 2010 article that appeared in the Missouri Law Review.  This paper grows out of last year's conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of Charles Fried's Contract as Promise.  At that conference, Roy Kreitner delivered a paper on the new pluralism in contract theory. 

Isaiah Berlin defines value pluralism as a recognition of the fact that human goals are many, not all of them are commensurable, and they are in potential conflict with one another.  So it is with contract law, say pluralists.  They disagree with monists who seek to elevate one value above all others in order to unify contracts theory.  Identifying parties as sophisticated or unsophisticated provides an ordering mechanism that helps us to determine which contracts principles to prioritize in different contexts.  When courts and scholars are trying to navigate a pluralist system, they ask whether parties are sophisticated, and they elevate certain principles or others depending on their conclusion as to sophistication.  Those interested in Meredith's take on how courts should go about determining sophistication need to look to her Missouri Law Review piece linked to above.


March 5, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Live Blogging (but with Time Delay) Saturday Morning Arbitration Panel

Mark-BurgeMark Burge, Associate Professor of Law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, presented a paper, “Too Clever by Half: A Cautionary Tale in Socio-Legal Legitimacy Starring the Uniform Commercial Code,” which focuses on the failure of the revised UCC Section 1-301 (relating to choice of law) to win adoption, despite the fact that 40 states have adopted the rest of the revisions to Article 1 of the UCC.   In Professor Burge's view, Section 1-301 failed because it violated a fundamental social idea of the American legal and political system in that it undermined the principle that laws ought to be generally applicable.

Revised Section 1-301 would have created different standards for choice of law for consumer and commercial transactions.  The proposed Section would have permitted parties in non-consumer transactions to choose the laws of any state to govern their transactions.  The proposal seemed a logical extension of the tendency in the common law.  While the First Restatement provided rules for choice of law from which the parties could not deviate, the Second Restatement allowed parties to choose which law will govern their agreement, so long as the forum jurisdiction bears some relation to the transaction.  The revised Section extended that logic by removing the restrictions and justified this move by noting that parties are already free to choose governing law if they opt for arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. 

Professor Burge’s thesis is that state legislatures rejected the revised Section because of a visceral abreaction to the possibility that parties would agree to have their agreements governed by the laws of an utterly random jurisdiction.  The visceral reaction arises, Professor Burge suggests, from the Section’s “un-American” diversion from the traditional rule that there must be some connection between the transaction and the jurisdiction whose laws will govern the transaction.

GravesJack Graves, Professor of Law at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, presented his paper, forthcoming the American Review of International Arbitration, “Court Litigation over Arbitration Agreements: Is It Time for a New Default Rule?”  Professor Graves’ thesis is bold and simple: we need a new international convention making arbitration the default legal rule for the resolution of international commercial disputes, that is business-to-business international transactions.  Such a convention is necessary because arbitration is far more efficient and effective, but those advantages are negated by parties’ ability to litigate arbitrability, turning one relatively fast and inexpensive legal process into two, one of which is expensive and protracted.  At the heart of Jack's presentation was a wonderful extended metaphor of court proceedings torpedoing arbitration in a maritime case.

Horton2David Horton, currently a Professor at Loyola Law School – Los Angeles.  Starting next year, he will join the faculty at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, who has guest blogged for us in the past (more than once!), presented a paper on the vindication of rights doctrine.  For years, courts favored litigation over arbitration and held that federal statutory claims could not be adjudicated adequately in arbitral bodies.  In the 1980s, things shifted, as courts abolished this non-arbitrability doctrine in favor of the vindication of rights doctrine, placing the burden plaintiffs to provide concrete proof that arbitration thwarts federal statutory rights. 

Recent Supreme Court decisions seem to be moving us in the direction of universal enforcement of arbitration provisions.  But Professor Horton introduces the notion of inalienable rights that cannot be waived and are thus not subject to the policy favoring freedom of contract.  If one’s ability to vindicate one’s federal statutory rights is inalienable – that is, if one cannot agree ex ante to contract terms that would make it impossible for you to vindicate your rights – then certain arbitration provisions might be unenforceable on those grounds.

Professor Horton runs through traditional justifications of inalienability in terms of preventing certain negative externalities or promoting certain positive externalities.   However, Professor Horton concludes that the most promising justification for the inalienability doctrine is the non-commodification theory, according to which permitting certain things to be sold would change the very nature of the thing.


March 5, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Live Blogging from the Spring Contracts Conference: Contracts in Action I

Our colleauge here at the blog, Meredith Miller moderated the first of three panels united under the broad rubric of Contracts in Action.

ZalesneProfessor Debra Zalesne began her presentation by noting that "non-traditional families" have become the norm.  Despite that, and despite the advances in recognition of same-sex marriage, family law remains relatively heteronormative and often assumes traditional family structures.  Her presentation focused on cohabitation agreements.  Some courts treat such agreements as commercial contracts, ignoring the relationship between the parties and attendant family law issues. Other courts focus on the non-marital relationship and refuse to enforce the agreement, either because they are contrary to public policy or because they lack consideration.  So cohabitation agreements that refer to the love and companionship at the heart of the relationship is likely to be struck down, while those couched in purely commercial terms (housekeeping, nursing, etc.) are more likely to be enforced.  As a result, the law treats non-married couples differently from married couples, since commercial agreements between married partners would ordinarily be set aside as lacking consideration.

Courts similarly disagree about the status of co-parenting contracts, but most commonly, courts ignore such agreements in favor of the best-interests-of-the-child standard.  Professor Zalesne would like to see courts doing the work and trying to give effect to contractual agreements while also looking out for the best interests of the child.

Zacks-webProfessor Erich Zacks presented a paper on cognitive bases of judges and juries in the context of contract preparatio nand execution.  There is large literature on how cognitive biases affect our contracting behavior, and we know from that literature that an actor (say an advertising executive) aware of our cognitive biases can manipulate us to get us to behave in certain ways, e.g. to purchase products that we would not purchase if we were acting raionally.  But Professor Zacks more or less flips this literature around to see if parties who are themselves engaged in a contracting process can do so with an eye to the cognitive biases of judges and juries in order to improve the likelihood that a court will enforce an agreement in the way they want, in part by getting the judge or jury to feel a certain way about the parties.  

So, for example, let's say that I signed a car rental agreement with unfavorable terms because I had just completed a five-hour flight, had no opportunity to negotiate the terms, and had a long line of people waiting behind me.  What the court sees is that I signed in four different places on a form with bold face terms just above or next to my signature.  The very form of the contract sends signals that situate the contract in a good posture for enforcement, rendering my tale of traveling woe relatively unimportant.

Similarly, recitals are a good locus for framing language that can signal to the court the nature of the agreement and the positions of the parties.  Disclosures can be in plain English so that a judge or a jury looking at the disclosure will think, "Hmmm, I understand this and I would not have agreed to it."  All of this suggests that courts are influenced to find consent when there was no substantive consent in part because contracts are designed to exploit cognitive biases so as to promote their enforcement.  

Aaron Goldstein proposes that courts, when considering a facially unambiguous contract, should permit extrinsic evidence only of public and conventional meaning of terms, like trade usage, but they should exclude extrinsic evidence of the parties' subjective intent, such a course of performance and course of dealing.  Mr. Goldstein points out the dangers of a strict imposition of the plain meaning rule in such contexts because it permits parties with more bargaining power (especially in the context of form contracts) to impose one-sided terms in their favor.  But letting in all sorts of extrinsic evidence also creates dangers given the unreliability of people's membories of the facts and circumstances surrounding the formation of the contract.

Mr. Goldstein advocates a middle path, what he calls the public meaning rule.  When interpreting facially unambiguous contractual provisions, courts should permit the introduction of extrinsic evidence of the public and conventional meaning of the contract terms.  They should not permit introduction of extrinsic evidence that illuminates nothing more than subjective intent.  Such evidence is relevant in the equitable context, where the court is less interested in the meaning of the agreement than in enforcing the parties' agreement in a way that accords with fundamental fairness.  Recognizing that consumers have no opportunity to bargain for terms when they agree to form contracts, Mr. Goldstein acknowledges that his public meaning rule approach would be inappropriate in the context of consumer contracts of adhesion.  There again, courts must be more attuned to the sorts of extrinsic evidence of subject understandings relevant to determining the equity and fairness of such agreements.  


March 2, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Lifetime Achievement Panel: Mel Eisenberg

EisenbergKeith Rowley has put together a panel consisting of Shawn Bayern, Omri Ben-Shahar, and Mark Gergen to honor Melvin Eisenberg, who is the fourth honoree for Lifetime Achievement at the Spring Contracts Conference.

Professor Bayern stressed Professor Eisenberg's fundamental refusal to reduce contracts law to any one unifying principle.  Law must be justified by relevant social propositions: including morality, policy and experiential propositions. Not meaning to criticize theorists who view contracts as promise, or as plan, etc., Professor Beyern regards such views as undoubtedly useful but incomplete when considered from the perspective of Professor Eisenberg's appreciation of contracts as contracts.  In addition, Professor Bayern highlighted Professor Eisenberg's contributions to and critiques of the field of law and economics.  Professor Bayern notes that Professor Eisenberg's work is often not categorized under the rubric as law and economics because although Eisenberg utilizes economic theory, he reaches conclusions that are not usually associated with law and economics.  But Professor Bayern challenges more traditional L&E types to attempt to refute any of Professor Eisenberg's arguments, which he (Professor Bayern) summarized as showing that, while economic models might make sense in the abstract world of rational actors, they do not help us understand the real world of contractual relations.

Omri Ben Shahar again stressed Mel Eisenberg's contributions in the realm of law and economics, recognizing Eisenberg as law and economics pioneer.  Eisenberg's approach to L&E enables economic analysis to improve in resolution.  Because Eisenberg focuses not on generating new theoretical models but on applying them in concrete situations, he can test and refine economic models and help them achieve greater clarity and specificity.   Professor Ben Shahar elaborated on Professor Eisenberg's substantive contributions in refining our understandings of disgorgement, the bargain theory of consideration and procedural unconscionability doctrine.

Mark Gergen celebrated Mel Eisenberg as the best exemplar of his generation of the great pragmatic tradition in contracts scholarship.  Professor Gergen illustrated this by comparing and contrasting Professor Eisenberg's work with that of last year's honoree, Stewart Macauley.  After noting the extent of overlap between the two scholars, Professor Gergen identified the key distinction that Mel Eisenberg more clearly sees the limitations of contracts doctrine.  Contracts may be about relationships, but it cannot repair such relationships when they are broken.  There may be damages, but often the parties just must go their separate ways.  Professor Gergen also contrasted Mel Eisenberg's work with that of another giant of Mel's generation of conracts scholars, Professor Robert Scott, especially in their estimation of the value of litigation and their faith in courts.

Ultimately, all agreed that Mel Eisenberg's scholarship defies easy categorization but is always characterized by lucidity, clarity and persuasiveness.  The pleasure of reading Mel Eisenberg's scholarship is that you always learn by reading him and emerge either persuaded or knowing, because of the clarity of Eisenberg's writing and his transparency in identifying his assumptions, exactly why you disagree.

As expected, Professor Eisenberg was gracious in his remarks, noting that he is currently at work on a book on contracts, and indicating that there is still some "open texture" in his work that he can work on with the help of the comments he received on his work.  


March 2, 2012 in Conferences, Contract Profs, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Live from the Springs Contracts Conference I: Don't Mess with Val Ricks

V-ricksWe are under way in San Diego.  Eniola has done an amazing job putting it all together; she has welcomed us, and we are now in the first panel.

I hope to be able to say something more about the excellent papers by Moshe Gelbard and Charles Calleros.  But Val Ricks clearly stole the show with his impassioned defense of the doctrine of consideration.  Learned contracts scholars from around the globe threw him questions, and his answer never changed.

Doctrine of assent?

Covered by the doctrine of consideration.

Affirmative defenses?

Best explained by the doctrine of consideration.

Will Romeny win the nomination?

Only if he properly appreciates the doctrine of consideration!

What is the meaning of life?

Since at least the 16th century, life has been nothing more than an elaboration of the doctrine of consideration.


March 2, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Spring Contracts Conference Is Only Days Away!!

We will be honoring Professor Melvin Eisenberg for a lifetime of important contributions to contracts scholarship.  We will also be honoring our selection for the best contracts article to appear in 2011 (keep an eye on this blog for an announcement of the winner later this week).  

San Diego
For those seeking more information on the conference, at which CLE credits are available, here is the main page.

And for those already stocking up on suntan lotion for the trip to San Diego, here is the conference program.

We at the blog are proud to note one of our own contributors, Eniola Akindemowo, is the conference organizer.  Thanks and congratulations to Eniola for pulling this conference together!


February 27, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Finalists

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Report from AALS Section Meeting

AalslogoThis year's AALS Contracts section program presentations were thought-provoking and interesting - thanks to Keith Rowley, Tom Joo and Lisa Bernstein for selecting the papers and to Aditi Bagchi, Mohsen Manesh and Emmanuel Voyiakis for their presentations.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Keith Rowley stepped down as Chair (but will remain as immediate past Chair and unofficial Godfather of the Section), and Tom Joo is the new Chair, Larry Garvin the Chair-Elect, and Nancy Kim the Secretary of the section. In addition, Curtis Bridgeman, Emily Houh and Danni Kie Hart will be the new at-large Executive Committee Board members. We look forward to seeing you all at next year's meeting.

[Nancy Kim]

January 10, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Reminder

Okay folks, you are back from the AALS conference now and all jazzed about the latest contracts scholarship: let your voices be heard!

The polls remain open for the remainder of the month for the first annual ContractsProf Blog prize for the best contracts law article of the year, to be awarded at the Spring Contracts Conference .  That conference will oe be held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in March.  The winner will receive a cash prize!

Vote (once only, folks) by sending an e-mail with your favorite contracts law review article from the list below to  If your favorite article is not on the list, you may nominate (and/or vote for) an article that is not on this list through the same e-mail address.

The list of entries can be found here.



January 9, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Details for the Spring Contracts Conference . . .

The 7th Annual International Conference on Contracts will be hosted by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in its new state of the art facility in San Diego California on March 2nd & 3rd 2012.

San Diego

In the fine tradition of previous conferences held at Stetson, UNLV, McGeorge, South Texas, Texas Wesleyan and Gloucester, England, this conference will provide scholars and teachers at all experience levels the opportunity to present, discuss and receive feedback on a wide spectrum of scholarship. Articles recently published, articles-accepted-but-not-yet-published, works-in-progress, not yet fully formed ideas for scholarship or pedagogical innovations are welcome. The conference also provides an eagerly anticipated annual opportunity to network with colleagues, potential collaborators and mentors from the U.S. and around the globe.

Further details about registration and hotel researations re now available here.


January 9, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reminder: New Voices Session at the AALS Conference

Please join us at the Contract Section's program, New Voices in Contracts Scholarship, scheduled for Saturday, January 7, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The program will feature three junior scholars whose proposals the selection committee chose from the many quality responses to our CFP.

In alphabetical order, the featured speakers and their topics are

Aditi Bagchi (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Parallel Contract;

Mohsen Manesh (University of Oregon School of Law), Contractual Freedom under Delaware Alternative Entity Law; and

Emmanuel Voyiakis (London School of Economics & Political Science, Department of Law), Contract Law and Reasons of Social Justice.

There will be a brief business meeting following the program.


January 6, 2012 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reminder: Get Out and Vote

No, this has nothing to do with Iowa.

This is just a reminder that the polls remain open for the remainder of the month for the first annual ContractsProf Blog prize for the best contracts law article of the year, to be awarded at the Spring Contracts Conference .  That conference will oe be held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in March.  The winner will receive a cash prize!

Vote (once only, folks) by sending an e-mail with your favorite contracts law review article from the list below to  If your favorite article is not on the list, you may nominate (and/or vote for) an article that is not on this list through the same e-mail address.

The list of entries can be found here.


January 2, 2012 in About this Blog, Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 26, 2011

AALS Contracts Annual Meeting Program

If you are attending next week's AALS Annual Meeting, please join us for the Contract Section's program, New Voices in Contracts Scholarship, scheduled for Saturday, January 7, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The program will feature three junior scholars whose proposals the selection committee chose from the many quality responses to our CFP.

In alphabetical order, the featured speakers and their topics are

Aditi Bagchi (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Parallel Contract;

Mohsen Manesh (University of Oregon School of Law), Contractual Freedom under Delaware Alternative Entity Law; and

Emmanuel Voyiakis (London School of Economics & Political Science, Department of Law), Contract Law and Reasons of Social Justice.

There will be a brief business meeting following the program.

I look forward to seeing many of you in less than two weeks.

[Keith A. Rowley]

December 26, 2011 in Conferences, Meetings, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vote for the Best Contracts Article of 2011!

Announcing the first annual ContractsProf Blog prize for the best contracts law article of the year, to be awarded at the Spring Contracts Conference to be held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in March.  The winner will receive a cash prize!

Vote (once only, folks) by sending an e-mail with your favorite contracts law review article from the list below to  If your favorite article is not on the list, you may nominate (and/or vote for) an article that is not on this list through the same e-mail address.

Kenneth A. Adams, Making a Mess of Ambiguity: Lessons from the Third Circuit’s Opinion in Meyer v. CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, Bus. L. Today (the ABA Business Law Section's Online Resource) (Nov. 24, 2011)

Sofia Adrogue, Recent Developments in Fifth Circuit Business Torts Jurisprudence, 43 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 843 (2011).

Michael Aikins, Off-Contract Harms: The Real Effect of Liberal Rescission Laws on Contract Price, 121 Yale L. J. Online 68 (2011)

Miriam Albert, Lenne Espenschied and Grace M. Giesel, Exercise Showcase, 12 Transactions 335 (2011) 

Luca Anderlini, Leonardo Felli, and Andrew Postlewaite, Should Courts Always Enforce What Contracting Parties Write? 7 Rev. L. & Econ. (2011)

Sally Andersen, Mapping the terrain: The last decade of payday lending in Australia, 39 Australian Bus. L. Rev. 5 (2011)

Hiro N. Aragaki, Equal Opportunity for Arbitation, 58 UCLA L. Rev. 1189 (2011)

Aditi Bagchi, Managing Moral Risk: The Case of Contracts, 111 Colum. L. Rev. 1878 (2011)

Aditi Bagchi, Unequal Promises, 72 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 467 (2011)

Glen Banks, Lost Profits for Breach of Contract: Would the Court of Appeals Apply the Second Circuit's Analysis? 74 Alb. L. Rev. 637 (2010/2011)

Ian Bartum, Thoughts on the Divergence of Contract and Promise, 24 Canadian J. L & Jurisprudence 225 (2011)

Stephen F. Befort, Unilateral Alteration of Public Sector Collective Bargaining Agreements and the Contract Clause, 59 Buff. L. Rev. 1 (2011)

Uri Benoliel, The Behavioral Law and Economics of Franchise Tying Contracts,  41 Rutgers L.J. 527 (2010).

Omri Ben-Shahar, Fixing Unfair Contracts, 63 Stan. L. Rev. 869 (2011)

Omri Ben-Shahar and Eric A. Posner, The Right to Withdraw in Contract Law, 40 J. Legal Stud.115 (2011)

Norman D. Bishara, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Employer: Relative Enforcement of Covenants Not to Compete, Trends, and Implications for Employee Mobility Policy. 13 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 751 (2011)

Brian H. Bix, Mahr Agreement, Contracting in the Shadow of Family Law (and Religious Law) -- A Comment on Oman's Article, 1 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 61 (2011)

Jennifer L. Blair, Surviving Reality TV: The Ultimate Challenge for Reality Show Contestants, 31 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 1 (2010-2011)

Richard R.W. Brooks & Alexander Stremitzer, Remedies On and Off Contract, 120 Yale L.J. 690 (2011)

Deborah Burand, Kojo Yelpaala and Peter Linzer, Teaching Transactional Skills and Law in an International Context, 12 Transactions 275 (2011)

Scott J. Burnham, Blood Does Not a Contract Make: A Response to Professor Nancy Kim, 1 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 49 (2011)

Adam Candeub, Contract, Warranty and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 46 Wake Forest L. Rev. 45 (2011)

Robert A. Caplen, Turning Esch to Dust? The State of Supplementation of the Administrative Record in Bid Protests before the Court of Federal Claims, 12 Whittier L. Rev. 197 (2011)

William J. Carney, Ronald J. Gilson and George W. Dent, Jr., Keynote Discussion: Just What Exactly Does a Transactional Lawyer Do? 12 Transactions 175 (2011)

David Chalkin, A Critical Examination of How Contract Law Is Use by Financial Institutions Operating in Multiple Jurisdictions, 34 Melbourne Univ. L. Rev. 34 (2010)

Vincent Chiappetta, Patent Exhaustion: What's It Good For? 51 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1087 (2011)

Carl J. Circo, Will Green Building Contracts Transform Construction and Design Law? 43 Urb. Law. 4837 (2011)

Neil B. Cohen and William H. Henning. Freedom of Contract vs. Free Alienability: An Old Struggle Emerges in a New Context, 46 Gonz. L. Rev. 353 (2010/11)

Ronnie Cohen and Shannon O'Byrne, Burning Down the House: Law, Emotion and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, 45 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L.J. 677 (2011)

Amanda Harmon Coole , Marka B. Fleming and Gwendolyn McFadden-Wade, The Constitutional and Contractual Controversy of Suspicionless Drug Resting of Public School Teachers, 63 Okla. L. Rev. 421 (2011)

Lawrence A. Cunningham, A New Legal Theory to Test Executive Pay: Contractual Unconscionability. 96 Iowa L. Rev. 1177 (2011)

Jaime, Dodge, The Limits of Procedural Private Ordering, 97 Va. L. Rev. 723 (2011)

Michael A. Dorelli  and Phillip T. Scaletta, Recent Developments in Indiana Business and Contract Law. 44 Ind. L. Rev. 1053 (2011)

Mateja Djurovic, Serbian Contract Law: its development and the New Serbian Civil CodeEur. Rev. of Contract L. 65 (2011) 

Christopher R. Drahozal, and Peter B. Rutledge, Contract and Procedure, 94 Marq. L. Rev. 1103 (2011)

Shelley Dunck, Brian Krumm and Sharon Pocock, Teaching Contract Drafting Using Real Contracts, 12 Transactions 359 (2011) 

W. David East, Douglas Wm. Godfrey and Carol D. Newman. Teaching Transactional Skills and Tasks other than Contract Drafting, 12 Transactions 217 (2011) 

David G. Epstein, Response to Reasonable Expectations in Sociocultural Context, 1 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 54 (2011) 

David M. Epstein, Helen S. Scott, Carole Heyward and Daniel B. Bogart, Simulations in Clinics, Contract Drafting, & Upper-Level Courses, 12 Transactions 55 (2011)

Horst Eidenmüller, Why Withdrawal Rights? 7 Eur. Rev. of Contract L. 1 (2011) 

Carlos A. Encinas, Clause Majeure?: Can a Borrower Use an Economic Downturn or Economic Downturn-Related Event to Invoke the Force Majeure Clause in Its Commercial Real Estate Loan Documents? 45 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L.J. 731 (2011)

Mark Fagan, Tamar Frankel, Eric J. Gouvin and Kathy Z. Heller, Upper-level Courses: Three Exemplars, 12 Transactions 377 (2011)

Yuval Feldman & Doron Teichman, Are All Contractual Obligations Created Equal? 100 Georgetown L. J. 5 (2011) 

Stephen Friedman, Arbitration Provisions: Little Darlings and Little Monsters, 79 Fordham L. Rev. (2011)

Thomas A. Gabriele, Could the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 Have Fixed the Problems that Plagued the F-22 Acquisition Project Back in 1981?40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 741 (2011)

David Gilo & Ariel Porat, Viewing Unconscionability through a Market Lens, 52 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 133 (2011)

Victor Goldberg, Traynor (Drennan) Versus Hand (Baird):Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, J. Legal Analysis Advance Access (Oct. 7, 2011)

Eric J. Gouvin, Robert Statchen, Anthony J. Luppino and William A. Kell, Interdisciplinary Transactional Courses, 12 Transactions 101 (2011)

Jack M. Graves, Arbitration as Contract: The Need For a Fully Developed and Comprehensive Set of Statutory Default Legal Rules, 2 Wm. & Mary Bus. L. Rev. 227 (2011).

Stefan Grundmann & Sebastian Uhlig, German Contract Law – Nearly a Decade After the Fundamental Reform in the Schuldrechtsmodernisierung,  Eur. Rev. of Contract L. 78 (2011) 

Surya Gablin Gunasekara, "Other Transaction" Authority: NASA's Dynamic Acquisition Instrument for the Commercialization of Manned Spaceflight or Cold War Relic? 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 893 (2011) 

John M. Garon and Elaine D. Ziff, The Work Made for Hire Doctrine Revisited: Startup and Technology Employees and the Use of Contracts in a Hiring Relationship, 12 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. 489 (2011)

David Hahn, The Internal Logic of Assumption of Executory Contracts, 13 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 723-750 (2011)

Sam Foster Halabi, Efficient Contracting between Foreign Investors and Host States: Evidence from Stabilization Clauses, 31 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 261 (2011)

Grant M. Hayden & Matthew T. Bodie, The Uncorporation and the Unraveling of "Nexus of Contracts" Theory, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 1127 (2011) (reviewing Larry E. Ribstein, The Rise of the Uncorporation)

Trevor C. Hartley, Choice of Law Regarding Voluntary Assignment of Contractual Obligations under the Rome I Regulation, 60 Int'l & Comp. L. Quarterly 29 (2011)

Joan MacLeod Heminway, Michael A. Woronoff and Lyman P.Q. Johnson. Innovative Transactional Pedagogies, 12 Transactions 243 (2011)

Alec Hillbo, Fifty Years of Restrictive Covenants in Arizona Law,  4 Phoenix L. Rev. 725 (2011)

Robert A. Hillman and Maureen O'Rourke. Defending Disclosure in Software Licensing, 78 U. Chi. L. Rev. 95 (2011)

Adam J. Hirsch, Freedom of Testation/Freedom of Contract, 95 Minn. L. Rev. 2180 (2011)

Michael H. Hoffheimer, Conflicting Rules of Interpretation and Construction in Multi-jurisdictional Disputes, 63 Rutgers L. Rev. 599 (2011)

David Horton, Arbitration as Delegation, 86 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 437 (2011)

Grace Hum, Miki Felsenburg, Barbara Lentz, Carolyn Broering-Jacobs and Ted Becker, Legal Writing Professors Morphing into Contract Drafting Professors, 12 Transactions 127 (2011)

Woodrow Hartzog,  Website Design as Contract, 60 Am. U. L. Rev. 1635 (2011)

Adam J. Hirsch, Freedom of Testation/Freedom of Contract, 95 Minn. L. Rev. 2180 (2011)

John Patrick Hunt, Taking Bubbles Seriously in Contract Law, 61 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 681 (2011) 

Christine Hurt, Regulating Compensation, 6 Entrepren. Bus. L.J. 21 (2011)

William P. Johnson, Understanding Exclusion of the CISG: A New Paradigm of Determining Party Intent,59 Buff. L. Rev. 213 (2011)

Louis Kaplow, On the Meaning of Horizontal Agreements in Competition Law, 99 Cal. L. Rev. 693 (2011)

Won Kidane, Immigration Law As Contract Law. (Reviewing Victor Romero, Everyday Law for Immigrants), 34 Seattle U. L. Rev. 889 (2011)

Juliet P. Kostrisky, Interpretive Risk and Contract Interpretation: A Suggested Approach for Maximizing Value. 2 Elon L. Rev. 109 (2011)

Anne Layne-Farrar, An Economic Defense of Flexibility in IPR Licensing: Contracting around "First Sale" in Multilevel Production Settings, 51 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1149 (2011). 

Stephen J. Leacock, Fingerprints of Equitable Estoppel and Promissory Estoppel on the Statute of Frauds in Contract Law, 2 Wm. & Mary Bus. L. Rev. 73 (2011)

Chunlin Leonhard, Subprime Mortgages and the Case for Broadening the Duty of Good Faith, 45 U.S.F. L. Rev. 621 (2011)

Michael H. LeRoy, The New Wages of War--Devaluing Death and Injury: Conceptualizing Euty and Employment in Combat Zones, 22 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 217 (2011)

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Will Increased Disclosure Help? Evaluating the Recommendations of the ALI's "Principles of the Law of Software Contracts," 78 U. Chi. L. Rev. 165 (2011)

Carter Anne McGowan, Twittergate: Rethinking the Casting Director Contract, 21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 365 (2011)

Brittnay M. McMahon, The Science behind Surrogacy: Why New York Should Rethink Its Surrogacy Contracts Laws, 21 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 359 (2011)

Kemit A. Mawakana, In the Wake of Coast Federal: The Plain Meaning Rule and the Anglo-American Rhetorical Ethic, 11 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class 39 (2011)

Roy S. Mitchell, Cultural Sensitivities in International Construction Arbitration, 2 Faulkner L. Rev. 325 (2011)

Terry F. Moritz, and Brandon J. Fitch, The Future of Consumer Arbitration in Light of Stolt-Nielsen. 23 Loy. Consumer L. Rev. 265 (2011)

Jim.Moye, Let's Put the Fear in the FERA! Suggestions to Make the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 a Strong Fraud Deterrent, 35 S. Ill. U. L.J. 421 (2011)

Sondra Bell Nensala, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12: How HSPD-12 May Limit Competition Unnecessarily and Suggestions for Reform, 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 619 (2011).

Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Tina L. Stark and Howard Katz, Negotiations, 12 Transactions 153 (2011) 

Raymond T. Nimmer,  Copyright First Sale and the Over-riding Role of Contract. 51 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1311 (2011). 

N. Pieter M. O'Leary, Bullies in the Sandbox: Federal Construction Projects, the Miller Act, and a Material Supplier's Right to Recover Attorney's Fees and Other "Sums Justly Due" under a General Contractor's Payment Bond, 38 Transp. L.J. 1 (2011)

Nathan B. Oman, Consent to Retaliation: A Civil Recourse Theory of Contractual Liability96 Iowa Law Review 529 (2011)

Nathan B. Oman How to Judge Shari'a Contracts: A Guide to Islamic Marriage Agreements in American Courts, 2011 Utah L. Rev. 287

Kingsley S. Osei, The Best of Both Worlds: Reciprocal Preference and Punitive Retaliation in Public Contracts, 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 715 (2011).

Salvatore Orlando, The Use of Unfair Contractual Terms as an Unfair Commercial Practice, 7 Eur. Rev. of Contract L. 76 (2011)

Heidi Lynn Osterhout, Maj. U.S. Air Force. No More "Mad Money": Salvaging the Commander's Emergency Response Program, 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 935 (2011) 

Francesco Parisi, et al., Optimal Remedies for Bilateral Contracts, 40 J. Legal Stud. 245 (2011)

Lisa Penland, David Thomson, Susan Duncan, Karen J. Sneddon and Susan M. Chesler, New Ways to Teach Drafting and Drafting Ethics, 12 Transactions 187 (2011)

Lynn C. Percival, IV, Public Policy Favoritism in the Online World: Contract Voidability Meets The Communications Decency Act, 17 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 165 (2011)

Abigail Lauren Perdue, For Love or Money: An Analysis of the Contractual Regulation of Reproductive Surrogacy, 27 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 279- (2011).

Ryan Peterson, Regulating the Global Marketplace: Why the U.S. Government Must Revise the Current Rules on Contracting with Foreign-Controlled U.S. Businesses, 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 1061 (2011)

Lucille M. Ponte, Getting a Bad Rap? Unconscionability in Clickwrap Dispute Resolution Clauses and a Proposal for Improving the Quality of These Online Consumer "Products," 26 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 119 (2011)

Judith Resnick, Fairness in Numbers: A Comment on AT&T v. Concepcion, Wal-Mart v. Duke, and Turner v. Rogers, 125 Harv. L. Rev. 78 (2011)

David Robbins, et al, Path of an Investigation: How a Major Contractor's Ethics Office and Air Force Procurement Fraud and Suspension/Debarment Apparatus Deal with Allegations of Potential Fraud and Unethical Conduct, 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 595 (2011). 

Regina Robson, Paying for Daniel Webster: Critiquing the Contract Model of Advancement of Legal Fees in Criminal Proceedings, 7 Hastings Bus. L.J. 275 (2011)

Victor C. Romero, Immigration Law, Contracts, and Due Process: A Response to Professor Won Kidane's Review of Everyday Law for Immigrants. 34 Seattle U. L. Rev. 903 (2011) 

Guy A. Rub, Contracting around Copyright: The Uneasy Case for Unbundling of Rights in Creative Works, 78 U. Chi. L. Rev. 257 (2011)

Kara M. Sacilotto, Deja Vu All Over Again: Cost-Reimbursement Contracts Fall out of Favor (Again), but Should They? 40 Pub. Cont. L.J. 681 (2011).

Jane Scott and Charles Fox, Contract Drafting in 90 Minutes, 12 Transactions 7 (2011)

Daniel P. Selmi, The Contract Transformation in Land Use Regulation, 63 Stan. L. 591 (2011)

Steven L. Schooner, A Random Walk: The Federal Circuit's 2010 Government Contracts Decisions, 60 Am. U. L. Rev. 1067 (2011)

Andrew A. Schwartz,  Consumer Contract Exchanges and the Problem of Adhesion, 28 Yale J. on Reg. 313 (2011)

Jan M. Smits, Rethinking the Usefulness of Mandatory Rights of Withdrawal in Consumer Contract Law: The Right to Change Your Mind? 29 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 671 (2011)

Tina L. Stark, Welcome & Opening Remarks, 12 Transactions 3 (2011)

David F.Tavella and Anne Marie Tavella, Advice and Consent for Federal Judges: a New Alternative Based on Contract Law, 3 Drexel L. Rev. 521 (2011). 

D. A. Jeremy Telman, Langdellian Limericks, 61 J. Legal. Educ. 110 (2011)

Steve Thel and Peter Siegelman, You Do Have to Keep Your Promises: A Disgorgement Theory of Contract Remedies, 52 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1181- (2011)

Marina Tsikun and Kuei-Jung Ni, Using Licensing Contracts to Protect Holders of Traditional Knowledge Related to Genetic Resources -- a Reflection on ICGB Projects, 42 IIC: Int'l Rev. Intell. Prop. & Competition L. 299 (2011)

Megan S. Vahey, A Discussion on the District of Columbia's Procurement Law and the Spark That Led to Renewed Reform Efforts, 14 U.D.C. L. Rev. 115 (2011)

Florian Wagner-von Papp, European Contract Law: Are No Oral Modification Clauses Not Worth the Paper They Are Written On? 63 Current Leg. Problems 511 (2011)

Christine M. Westphal, Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts: Regulating Employee Solicitation. 37 J. Legis. 108 (2011)

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, Breaching the Mortgage Contract: The Behavioral Economics of Strategic Default, 64 Vand. L. Rev. 1547 (2011)

Chris Willett, The Functions of Transparency in Regulating Contract Terms: UK and Australian Approaches, 60 Int'l & Comp. L.Q. 355 (2011). 

John J.Worley, Karl Okamoto and Sherry Porter, Transactional Centers and Certificate Programs, 12 Transactions 299 (2011)

Huma T. Yasin, Playing Catch-up: Proposing the Creation of Status-based Regulations to Bring Private Military Contractor Forms within the Purview of International and Domestic Law. 25 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 411 (2011)

Noah D. Zatz,  Beyond Misclassification: Tackling the Independent Contractor Problem without Redefining Employment. 26 A.B.A. J. Lab. & Emp. L. 279 (2011).


December 25, 2011 in Conferences, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Greetings from Netanya...

Greetings from Netanya Academic College, where I will enjoy this symposium tomorrow: Law of Contract or Laws of Contracts (here's the program: Download Symposium).  Come join us if you are in Israel!

[Meredith R. Miller]


December 13, 2011 in Conferences, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Spring Contracts Conference Will Be in San Diego This Year!

Conference Announcement and Call For Papers
7th International Conference on Contracts
Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
San Diego, California  March 2nd – 3rd 2012

The 7th Annual International Conference on Contracts will be hosted by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in its new state of the art facility in San Diego California on March 2nd & 3rd 2012.

 In the fine tradition of previous conferences held at Stetson, UNLV, McGeorge, South Texas, Texas Wesleyan and Gloucester, England, this conference will provide scholars and teachers at all experience levels the opportunity to present, discuss and receive feedback on a wide spectrum of scholarship.  Articles recently published, articles-accepted-but-not-yet-published, works-in-progress, not yet fully formed ideas for scholarship or pedagogical innovations are welcome.  The conference also provides an eagerly anticipated annual opportunity to network with colleagues, potential collaborators and mentors from the U.S. and around the globe.

San Diego
Call For Papers and Panels
:  We invite paper, presentation and panel proposals exploring any aspect of contract law, theory and policy.  The topic range is deliberately broad to permit an as full as possible exploration of contractual themes.  Past programs have thus included panels on “traditional” contracts topics (e.g. remedies, formation, defenses, etc), on contract-related subjects (insurance, consumer law, commercial law, dispute resolution, family law and restitution), and from a rich variety perspectives (historical, jurisprudential, empirical, institutional, law-and-economics, international and comparative contracting and others).  We also solicit volunteers to serve as moderators or discussants for panels that are not “pre-packaged”.

Participation: We will try to accommodate as many presenters, moderators, and discussants as possible.  Junior scholars and those working in non-U.S. legal systems in particular are encouraged to propose papers or panels and to volunteer to serve as discussants or moderators.  Anyone wishing to attend to enjoy the conference without presenting or serving as a discussant or moderator is also welcome.  There is no publication requirement for conference participants.  (Experience suggests that individual papers and panels are often published elsewhere).

 Proposal Submissions: To propose a presentation or panel, please email a title, brief description, and any supporting materials to (email preferred) or to Eniola Akindemowo at the address below by Friday, December 23rd 2011.   If your interest is to discuss or moderate, please let us know (indicating your interests and availability) by Friday, December 23rd 2011 also.  All proposals received by the December 23rd deadline will be evaluated and we will try to accommodate all requests to discuss or moderate.  Proposals and requests received after the December 23rd deadline will be entertained on a space-available- basis.

 Registration and Preliminary Schedule:  Final details (including the conference hotel, registration details, and a conference website) are being finalized and will be circulated shortly, however we do not expect the registration fee to be more than $250.  The registration fee will cover the costs of a continental breakfast, lunch and tea breaks on both days and a reception dinner on the Friday.  The conference program will take place between approximately 9:00 am – 5:30 pm on both days. 


Proposals and Participation Requests Due:                  Friday, December 23rd, 2012
Papers and Presentations in Final Form Due:               Friday, February 10th, 2012
Conference Begins:                                                 Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Conference Ends:                                                     Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Conference Contacts

Eniola Akindemowo,
Professor of Law,
Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
1155 Island Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 916-4204. 

Donna Gelken,
Faculty/Conference Assistant,
Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
1155 Island Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 961-4254


November 23, 2011 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

AALS Contracts Section Call for Proposals

The Executive Committee of the AALS Contracts Section solicits proposals for the Section’s Annual Meeting program New Voices in Contracts Scholarship, scheduled for Saturday, January 7, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Invitation: We invite proposals exploring any aspect of contract law, theory, policy, and practice writ large (including, but not limited to, bankruptcy/insolvency, commercial law, consumer law, dispute resolution regimes, family law, insurance law, legal systems, and restitution, in addition to more traditional contract topics) from a behavioral, cognitive, comparative, critical, doctrinal, economic, empirical, equitable, historical, institutional, interdisciplinary, jurisprudential, pedagogical, philosophical, policy-driven, political, or sociological perspective.  We will entertain proposals based on work in any stage of completion from formulation to a finished paper, but prefer proposals that are not based on work already published in a mainstream American academic law journal.

Program: Our goal is to provide a forum for contracts scholars who have been active in the field for ten years or less, especially those who are pre-tenured -- although we may consider proposals from more senior scholars whose work may not be widely known to the AALS Contracts Section's membership.  We will give some preference to proposers who have not recently been part of an AALS Contracts Section annual meeting program.  Depending on the number of proposals we receive and select, we may invite more seasoned contracts scholars whose expertise overlaps with one or more accepted proposals to serve as discussants for one or more presentations.

Submitting a Proposal: Please e-mail an abstract, précis, outline, draft, or paper to section chair Keith Rowley (, chair-elect Tom Joo (, and immediate past chair Lisa Bernstein ( no later than 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, December 2, 2011, indicating how best to contact you between then and December 10.  While we will reserve at least one spot for submissions received by the foregoing deadline (and may consider late proposals), we will begin reviewing proposals as we receive them and may begin extending offers as early as Wednesday, November 30th.

[Keith A. Rowley]

November 5, 2011 in Conferences, Meetings, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Mini-Report from the Wisconsin Contracts Law Conference

Earlier this week, we invited participants in the recent contracts conference honoring the scholarship of Stewart Macauley held at the University of Wisconsin at Madison to send in accounts of the proceedings.

Claire Hill from the University of Minnesota provides the following account:

The recent conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to honor Stewart Macaulay’s work, was just as it should have been – a felicitous mix of empirics and theory, in sociology, economics, law and philosophy, on relational contracts, norms, networks, what contract law can and can’t do, what we should be teaching our students, what we shouldn’t be teaching our students, what people use contracts to do, what they don’t use contracts to do, what they shouldn’t or can’t use contracts to do, and much more. My contribution was on mistakes in complex business contracts. It was great fun to collect examples and quotes (one was “Commas all over the place. Complete confusion.”) I’m very grateful to have been invited to such a wonderful and well-organized event.    

[Posted on behalf of Claire Hill by JT]

October 26, 2011 in Commentary, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)