ContractsProf Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, May 4, 2015

Another Transparency Issue: Conditional Merit-Based Scholarships

ScholarOne of the ways in which law schools are allegedly inadequately transparent is in the award of merit scholarships conditional on the students’ achievement of a certain grade point average (GPA), usually 3.0, in law school.  The New York Times set the ball rolling back in 2011, with this article about a law student who lost her scholarship when she only managed a 2.967 GPA.  Law school critics allege that such conditional merit scholarships are a “bait and switch.”  It is an odd claim.  Law schools offer conditional merit scholarships for the same reasons colleges offer them, and there are no claims that the terms of the scholarship are unclear.  Why are law students assumed to be incapable of looking into standard grade normalizations curves for the first year? 

The real mystery is why conditional scholarships for law students come in for so much criticism when they seem to be generally regarded as valuable and successful on the undergraduate level.   The scholarships are, as their name suggests, conditional, and it would be completely unreasonable to continue to grant students merit scholarships when their performance in law school has been disappointing.  Students who lose their merit scholarship have gotten their first year of legal education for free, so what is their harm?  I think the claim for harm is derivative of the larger (and largely baseless) claim that law schools do not benefit their students.

 The Critique

Jerry Organ published an interesting article criticizing competitive scholarships and recommending best practices for the law schools that use them, including better disclosure of scholarship retention rates.  Law School Transparency proposed a new ABA standard that would require all law schools to publish on their websites data about the percentage of students who were able to retain their scholarships after the first year.  

As readers of this blog should know, disclosure is no panacea.  Professor Organ was able to find information about how scholarships work at 160 law schools.  That means that the information was out there.  Since Professor Organ was able to gather information about 160 law schools, it should not be difficult for students to gather relevant information about the one law school that they are considering attending.  Many students can find their law school’s curve by looking on Wikipedia.   Since a lot rides on the decision, one would expect students to investigate, especially since the investigation might not take more than a few mouse clicks.

If law schools were more aggressive and sat down with students offered conditional scholarships and walked them all through the statistics, would anything change?  Would a student choose not to go to law school because she had been told that there was a 50/50 chance that she would lose her scholarship after year 1?  I doubt it.  She would feel confident that she would be one of the successful students and, even if not, she would still have enjoyed a year’s free tuition.

 

Continue reading

May 4, 2015 in Commentary, Law Schools, Recent Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New in Print

KuttyI am happy to see a publication by my colleague Faisal Kutty (pictured) gracing this list of recent publications.  Way to go, Faisal!

Hiro N. Aragaki, The Federal Arbitration Act as Procedural Reform. 89 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1939 (2014)

Robert Bejesky, The Economics of the Will to Fight: Public Choice in the Use of Private Contractors in Iraq, 45 Cumb. L. Rev. 1 (2014-2015)

Ann Laquer Estin, Foreign and Religious Family Law: Comity, Contract, and the Constitution. 41 Pepp. L. Rev. 1029 (2014)

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, Religious Tribunals and Secular Courts: Navigating Power and Powerlessness 41 Pepp. L. Rev. 997 (2014)

Faisal Kutty, "Islamic law" in U.S. Courts: Judicial Jihad or Constitutional Imperative? 41 Pepp. L. Rev. 1059 (2014)

Daphne Richemond-Barak, Can Self-Regulation Work? Lessons from the Private Security and Military Industry. 35 Mich. J. Int'l L. 773 (2014)

April 29, 2015 in Government Contracting, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 361 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
2 260 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 179 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 174 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 141 Loyalty Rebates after Intel: Time for the European Court of Justice to Overrule Hoffman-La Roche 
Damien Geradin 
George Mason University School of LawTilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) 
6 116 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 
7 114 M&A Contracts: Purposes, Types, Regulation, and Patterns of Practice 
John C. Coates, IV 
Harvard Law School 
8 101 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
9 99 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
10 94 Antitrust Arbitration and Merger Approval 
Mark A. Lemley and Christopher R. Leslie 
Stanford Law School and University of California, Irvine School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 260 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
2 179 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
3 174 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
4 101 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
5 99 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
6 94 Antitrust Arbitration and Merger Approval 
Mark A. Lemley and Christopher R. Leslie 
Stanford Law School and University of California, Irvine School of Law 
7 92 Manufactured Consent: The Problem of Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Charters and Bylaws 
Ann M Lipton 
Duke University School of Law 
8 90 Private Lenders’ Demand for Audit 
Richard BaylisPete BurnapMark ClatworthyMahmoud Gad and Christopher K. M. Pong 
Cardiff Business School, University of Wales System - Cardiff University, University of Bristol, Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Bristol, Department of Accounting and Finance and Heriot-Watt University - School of Management and Languages 
9 76 Other People's Contracts 
Aditi Bagchi 
Fordham University School of Law 
10 70 Social Justice, Social Norms and the Governance of Social Media 
Tal Zarsky 
University of Haifa - Faculty of Law 

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New in Print

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 456 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 356 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
3 255 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
4 177 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
5 170 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
6 129 Loyalty Rebates after Intel: Time for the European Court of Justice to Overrule Hoffman-La Roche 
Damien Geradin 
George Mason University School of LawTilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) 
7 125 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
8 113 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 
9 97 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
10 95 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 456 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 255 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 177 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 169 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 125 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 125 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
7 97 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
8 95 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
Date posted to database: 22 Feb 2015 
Last Revised: 16 Mar 2015
9 94 Antitrust Arbitration and Merger Approval 
Mark A. Lemley and Christopher R. Leslie 
Stanford Law School and University of California, Irvine School of Law 
10 88 Manufactured Consent: The Problem of Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Charters and Bylaws 
Ann M Lipton 
Duke University School of Law

 

April 21, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New in Print

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

Rank

DownloadsPaper Title
1 434 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 355 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
3 239 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
4 173 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
5 163 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
6 121 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
7 113 Loyalty Rebates after Intel: Time for the European Court of Justice to Overrule Hoffman-La Roche 
Damien Geradin 
George Mason University School of LawTilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) 
8 108 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 
9 96 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
10 95 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic) 
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 434 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 239 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 173 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 163 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 123 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 121 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
7 96 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
8 95 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
9 86 Antitrust Arbitration and Merger Approval 
Mark A. Lemley and Christopher R. Leslie 
Stanford Law School and University of California, Irvine School of Law 
10 82 Manufactured Consent: The Problem of Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Charters and Bylaws 
Ann M Lipton 
Duke University School of Law 

 

April 14, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New in Print

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 376 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 345 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
3 236 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
4 172 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
5 160 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
6 156 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 126 Reasonable Investor(s) 
Tom C. W. Lin 
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
8 114 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
9 106 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 376 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 236 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 172 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 156 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 120 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 114 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
Date posted to database: 17 Feb 2015 
Last Revised: 18 Feb 2015
7 93 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
8 87 Judicial Deregulation of Consumer Markets 
Max N. Helveston 
DePaul University - College of Law 
Date posted to database: 27 Mar 2015 
Last Revised: 27 Mar 2015
9 85 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
10 74 Manufactured Consent: The Problem of Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Charters and Bylaws 
Ann M Lipton 
Duke University School of Law 

 

April 7, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New in Print

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 371 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 329 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
3 229 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
4 165 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
5 157 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
6 148 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 115 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
8 112 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
9 101 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 
10 87 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 371 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 229 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 165 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 148 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 117 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 112 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
7 87 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
8 85 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 
9 84 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
10 67 Manufactured Consent: The Problem of Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Charters and Bylaws 
Ann M Lipton 
Duke University School of Law 

 

 

 

March 31, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New in Print

Pile of BooksAdi Ayal & Uri Benoliel, Revitalizing the Case for Good Cause Statutes: The Role of Review Sites, 19 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 331 (2014)

Aditi Bagchi, The Political Economy of Regulating Contract, 62 Am. J. Comp. L. 687-738 (2014). 

Aditi Bagchi, Parallel Contract, 75 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 139 (2013)

Natalie M. Banta, Inherit the Cloud: The Role of Private Contracts in Distributing or Deleting Digital Assets at Death, 83 Fordham L. Rev. 799 (2014).

John F. Coyle & Joseph M. Green, Contractual Innovation in Venture Capital, 66 Hastings L.J. 133 (2014)

Christopher R. Drahozal & Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Unbundling Procedure: Carve-outs from Arbitration Clauses, 66 Fla. L. Rev. 1945 (2014)

Robert W. Emerson, Assessing Awuah v. Coverall North America, Inc.: The Franchisee as a Dependent Contractor, 19 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 203 (2014)

Sanne Jansen, Price Reduction under the CISG: A 21st Century Perspective, 32 J.L. & Com. 325 (2014)

Sarath Sanga, Choice of Law: An Empirical Analysis, 11 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 894 (2014)

March 25, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 359 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 307 Hello Barbie: First They Will Monitor You, Then They Will Discriminate Against You. Perfectly. 
Irina D. Manta and David S. Olson 
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Boston College Law School 
3 212 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
4 161 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law
5 152 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
6 142 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 108 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
8 105 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
9 102 Virtual Currencies & Federal Law 
Julie Andersen Hill 
University of Alabama - School of Law 
10 98 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 358 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 212 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 161 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 142 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 113 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 108 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
7 83 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
8 83 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 
9 82 A Fuller Understanding of Contractual Commitment 
Zev J. Eigen and David A. Hoffman 
Northwestern University School of Law and Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law 
10 67 Third Party Beneficiaries and Contractual Networks 
Alan Schwartz and Robert E. Scott 
Yale Law School and Columbia University - Law School 

 

 

March 24, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New in Print KCON IX in St. Thomas Law Review

Pile of BooksThe St. Thomas Law Review has published some of the papers presented at the Ninth International Conference on Contracts (KCON IX) that the St. Thomas University School of Law hosted in 2014.  It's nice to see these in print!

Reza Beheshti, Comparative and Normative Analysis of Damages under the SGA and the CESL, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 413 (2014)

Jennifer S. Martin, Contracts: An Introduction to a Symposium and a Few Additional Thoughts, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 375 (2014)

Kingsley Martin, Emergence of Contract Standards and Its Future Impact on Legal Education, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 570 (2014)

John E. Murray, Jr., The Judicial Vision of Contract--The "Constructed Circle of Assent" and Printed Terms, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 386 (2014)

Joseph M. Perillo, Donee Beneficiaries and the Parol Evidence Rule, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 496 (2014)

Jeffrey Ritter, Designing and Constructing Commercial Agreements in the 21st century, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 506 (2014) 

Roni Rosenberg, The Contract: Between Contract Law and Criminal Jurisprudence, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 444 (2014) 

Amy J. Schmitz, Introducing the "New Handshake" to Expand Remedies and Revive Responsibility in eCommerce, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 522 (2014)

Robin West, The Right to Contract as a Civil Right, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 551 (2014)

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Scholarship from Your Blog Editors

Nancy_kim TelmanOne of the great pleasures of working on the blog is the opportunity to have virtual colleagues as a subject-matter specific supplement to one's local colleagues.  I have for many years admired Nancy Kim's scholarship, and she has been for me, a sounding board and a gateway for entering into the scholarship on electronic contracting, with an especial focus on wrap contracts.  

Now, I am happy to announce that we have collaborated on an article, "Internet Giants as Quasi-Governmental Actors and the Limits of Contractual Consent."  The article is forthcoming with the Missouri Law Review and available in draft on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Although the government’s data-mining program relied heavily on information and technology that the government received from private companies, relatively little of the public outrage generated by Edward Snowden’s revelations was directed at those private companies. We argue that the myth of contractual consent muted criticisms that otherwise might be directed at the real data-mining masterminds. By clicking “agree,” consumers are deemed to have consented to the use of their private information in ways that they would not agree to had they known the purposes to which their information would be put and the entities (including the federal government) with whom their information would be shared. We also question the distinction between governmental actors and private actors in this realm, as the Internet giants increasingly exploit contractual mechanisms to operate with quasi-governmental powers in their relations with consumers. We propose that, in their efforts to better protect consumer data, regulators and policymakers should demand more than mere contractual consent as an indicator of consumers’ grant of permission for the use of their data.

Here is a short (2 minute) video of me discussing the article:

 

March 17, 2015 in About this Blog, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

Rank

DownloadsPaper Title
1 317 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 163 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 155 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 143 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
5 126 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
6 112 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 103 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
8 101 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
9 99 Virtual Currencies & Federal Law 
Julie Andersen Hill 
University of Alabama - School of Law 
10 88 Insider Trading in Commodities Markets 
Andrew Verstein 
Wake Forest University School of Law

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 317 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 163 The Choice-of-Law Revolution Fifty Years after Currie: An End and a Beginning 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
3 155 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 126 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 112 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
6 107 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
7 101 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
8 81 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 
9 80 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
10 72 Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right to Contract as a Civil Right 
Robin L. West 
Georgetown University Law Center 

March 17, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 299 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 148 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
3 135 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
4 119 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
5 109 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law
6 102 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
7 99 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
8 99 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
9 95 Virtual Currencies & Federal Law 
Julie Andersen Hill 
University of Alabama - School of Law 
10 91 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 299 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 148 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
3 119 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
4 109 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
5 102 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
6 99 The Aesthetics of Contract Theory 
Efi Zemach and Omri Ben-Zvi 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 91 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
8 78 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
9 76 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 
10 72 Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right to Contract as a Civil Right 
Robin L. West 
Georgetown University Law Center

 

March 10, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRNSSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 379 Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2014: Twenty-Eighth Annual Survey 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
2 217 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
3 204 The Uniform Voidable Transactions Act; or, the 2014 Amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act 
Kenneth C. Kettering 
Visiting Professor at Large 
4 157 Freedom of Contract (and Economic Analysis) 
Péter Cserne 
University of Hull 
5 126 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
6 121 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
7 114 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
8 105 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
9 95 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
10 89 Virtual Currencies & Federal Law 
Julie Andersen Hill 
University of Alabama - School of Law 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 217 Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings: A General Solution to the Puzzles of Contractual Duress, Unconstitutional Conditions, and Blackmail 
Einer Elhauge 
Harvard Law School 
2 157 Freedom of Contract (and Economic Analysis) 
Péter Cserne 
University of Hull 
3 121 Contract as Empowerment 
Robin Bradley Kar 
University of Illinois College of Law 
4 114 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
5 105 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
6 93 Prizes! Innovating, Risk Shifting, and Avoiding Contracts and Grants 
Steven L. Schooner and Nathaniel E. Castellano 
George Washington University - Law School and George Washington University - Law School 
7 88 When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches 
Pamela Foohey 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
8 83 The Future of Contract Law in Europe 
Jan M. Smits 
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) 
9 74 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
10 69 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 

 

 

 

March 3, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

SSRN
SSRN Top Downloads For Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 372 Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2014: Twenty-Eighth Annual Survey 
Symeon C. Symeonides 
Willamette University - College of Law 
2 194 The Uniform Voidable Transactions Act; or, the 2014 Amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act 
Kenneth C. Kettering 
Visiting Professor at Large 
3 152 Freedom of Contract (and Economic Analysis) 
Péter Cserne 
University of Hull 
4 117 Fiduciary Relationships: Ensuring the Loyal Exercise of Judgement on Behalf of Another 
Lionel Smith 
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 
5 105 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
6 97 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
7 92 Second-Liens and the Leverage Option 
Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter 
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate 
8 81 Virtual Currencies & Federal Law 
Julie Andersen Hill 
University of Alabama - School of Law 
9 69 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
10 68 Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right to Contract as a Civil Right 
Robin L. West 
Georgetown University Law Center 

SSRN Top Downloads For LSN: Contracts (Topic)
RECENT TOP PAPERS 

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 152 Freedom of Contract (and Economic Analysis) 
Péter Cserne 
University of Hull 
2 105 Llewellyn Has Left the Building: The Growing Irrelevance of the UCC to 21st Century Sales Law 
Jane K. Winn 
University of Washington - School of Law 
3 97 Standard Form Contracts: Empirical Studies, Normative Implications, and the Fragmentation of Legal Scholarship 
Eyal Zamir and Yuval Farkash 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law and Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law 
4 91 Prizes! Innovating, Risk Shifting, and Avoiding Contracts and Grants 
Steven L. Schooner and Nathaniel E. Castellano 
George Washington University - Law School and George Washington University - Law School 
5 69 Liberalism's Fine Print: Boilerplate's Allusion to Human Nature 
Kenneth K. Ching 
Regent University - School of Law 
6 68 Contracts Symposium Issue: Featured Speaker: The Right to Contract as a Civil Right 
Robin L. West 
Georgetown University Law Center 
7 58 Law in East Florida 1783-1821 
M. C. Mirow 
Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law 
8 58 Procedural Fairness by the Corporation 
Kish Parella 
Washington and Lee University - School of Law 
9 56 Third Party Beneficiaries and Contractual Networks 
Alan Schwartz and Robert E. Scott 
Yale Law School and Columbia University - Law School 
10 46 Dynamic Common Law and Technological Change: The Classification of Bitcoin 
Shawn J. Bayern 
Florida State University - College of Law 

 

February 24, 2015 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | 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)