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contracts

This is the page for Caroline Bradley’s Contracts Class at the University of Miami School of Law. For the Fall Semester 2017 we will be using the following books: Macaulay, Whitford, Hendley & Lipson, Contracts: Law in Action: Volume I: The Introductory Course (4th Ed. 2016) (Carolina Academic Press) and Burton & Eisenberg, Contract Law, Selected Source Materials Annotated (Selected Statutes).

Dean’s Fellow Sessions with Daniel Horn (Dhorn@law.miami.edu): Mondays 5:30-6:20pm in F109 and Tuesdays 5:30-6:20pm in A110A.

Week 15: November 20 DK Arena v EB Acquisitions (Florida Supreme Court 2013) and Spring 2013 exam.

Review sessions:

Monday 27 November, 3.30 pm, Room F1-09
Tuesday 5 December, 2-3.30pm, Room F108

Course Themes:
1. Contract law and fairness: formal contract law and promissory estoppel; how do the cases we have studied fit with ideas of fairness: are the courts in the cases we have read trying to apply the law, or trying to do justice between the parties, or both? Is it always fair to enforce contracts, or not? Does emphasizing ideas of certainty (giving effect to contracts rather than rewriting contracts) increase fairness or not? Does the law you have been studying really give effect to freedom of contract? Should courts focus on just the case before them or on the rule the case establishes, or both? For example, should courts deciding contract cases take account of how contracting parties generally will likely behave in response to a particular decision?

2. Courts and legislatures: should courts decline to develop the law in deference to the legislature, and, if so, when? Marvin v Marvin and Hewitt v Hewitt (and Blumenthal v Brewer) illustrate different attitudes to this question. The legislative history of the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law suggests that legislatures aren’t necessarily better at evidence gathering and negotiating than courts are. We have also seen some variation in how courts go about interpreting and applying statutes (e.g. illegality, regulation of non-competes in Wisconsin).

3. Context: Are family cases really different from contracts for the “timely delivery of a crate of oranges”(Miller v Miller, CB p. 246). Are family disputes different from commercial disputes, or not? What about employment? Are employment contract issues like commercial contracts or like family contracts?

4. Contract law and power: do the materials you have read suggests that contract law has any coherent view of how to deal with inequalities in bargaining position?

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