December 18, 2012
AALS Section Meetings: Contracts
Posted by Gordon Smith

I thought I would highlight a few sessions I will be attending at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans. First up, Contracts ...

The Law of Contract or Laws of Contracts?

    Moderator: Thomas W. Joo, University of California, Davis, School of Law


    Rachel Arnow-Richman, University of Denver Sturm College of Law,

    David A. Hoffman, Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law

    Robert C. Illig, University of Oregon School of Law,

    Karen E. Sandrik, Willamette University College of Law,

    “There is a story of a Vermont justice of the peace before whom a suit was brought by one farmer against another for breaking a churn. The justice took time to consider, and then said that he had looked through the statutes and could find nothing about churns, and gave judgment for the defendant.” - O.W. Holmes, The Path of the Law.

    This story was meant to ridicule the Vermont justice, but he may have been ahead of his time. This year’s Section program will revisit the perennial and fundamental questions about “contract law” as a legal rubric. Is it preferable to analyze “contracts” as a category, or to disperse contracts into “churn” – like categories, such as sales, consumer protection, employment, family relations, intellectual property, securities, and so on? To what extent does the experience of one type of contract justify generalizations about “contract law”? Conversely, what kinds of contracts implicate context-specific practices, markets, or policy concerns justifying specialized analysis and/or doctrine?

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