Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Article: Sticky Omitted Choice-of-Law Clauses: The Case of Heir Hunters

David Horton (Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Sticky Omitted Choice-of-Law Clauses: The Case of Heir Hunters. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Commentators once thought that contracts were the product of natural selection. Supposedly, over time, drafters learned to keep useful clauses and delete the others. More recently, though, scholars have challenged this assumption by demonstrating that contractual provisions and gaps can be resistant to change, or “sticky.”

This symposium Article adds to this literature by examining the puzzling absence of choice-of-law clauses in heir hunting contracts. Because states disagree about whether heir hunting is legal and most heir hunters hail from permissive jurisdictions, one would expect heir hunters to select the law of their domicile. However, the Article’s review of 558 contracts reveals that heir hunters rarely use choice-of-law provisions. The Article then explores potential explanations for this discovery and analyzes how they inform the debate over sticky terms.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2022/09/article-sticky-omitted-choice-of-law-clauses-the-case-of-heir-hunters.html

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