Matthew Seligman, ‘The Error Theory of Contract’

Many people have false beliefs about contract doctrine. That pervasive phenomenon has profound practical, theoretical, and normative implications that neither courts nor scholars have recognized. This Article will make three contributions to fill that gap. First, it will establish just how widespread the phenomenon is among non-lawyers. After synthesizing the existing evidence of false beliefs about contract law, it will contribute a new empirical study showing that between one-third and one-half of people falsely believe specific performance rather than damages is the remedy for breach. The Article will then argue that people’s false beliefs about contract doctrine pose a fundamental challenge to prominent promise- and consent-based theories of contract, which serve as the principal theoretical alternative to law and economics theories of contract …

Seligman, Matthew, The Error Theory of Contract (January 14, 2019).

First posted 2019-01-29 17:58:17

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