Monday, June 12, 2017

Contracts, Cases, Text, and Problems, 2016 Edition by Charles R. Calleros & Stephen Gerst: Sample Chapter

A few years ago, I mentioned an excellent ecasebook by Charles Calleros and Stephen Gerst.  I liked the book because it did a good job of putting cases and other materials in context and included problem-solving exercises.  Carolina Academic Press has now issued a new edition of this book in hard copy.

The authors have posted a sample chapter on SSRN: Charles R. Calleros & Stephen Gerst, Non-enforcement of Contract Obligations for Illegality, Violations of Public Policy, and Unconscionability


"This chapter, on Illegality, Public Policy, and Unconscionability, is from a first-year textbook that the author first drafted in 2008 and has used many years in electronic format, but which appeared this year in updated form and for the first time in hardcover. The latest version of the book includes two additional chapters from co-author Stephen Gerst.

Entitled Contracts: Cases, Text, and Problems, the book reflects a combination of case method and problem method with an added emphasis on presenting material in the way that an associate would approach a legal problem in a law office: (1) secure a general understanding of the topic by reading from a secondary source, (2) focus on primary authority in the form of case law or statutory text, and (3) apply the newly learned legal principles to facts. Accordingly, the book (1) introduces each topic with legal background to provide general context, (2) moves to specific case law or statutory text, and (3) provides numerous exercises and practice exams for students to apply their acquired knowledge. This student-friendly approach has facilitated learning, helped to reinforce lessons in students' legal research and writing courses, and helped to prepare them for work in a law office.

The chapter on Illegality, Public Policy, and Unconscionability is representative of the book’s method of combining hornbook style orientation and excerpts from scholarly articles, primary law such as case law, and numerous exercises including queries about legislative proposals. Indeed, the topic of noncompetition agreements is presented primarily through text and problems. As a further link to the practice of law, the chapter presents a particularly interesting unconscionability analysis by a trial court and then invites students find the case on appeal to determine its fate (which turns out to be a less interesting tool for teaching and debate)."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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