Legal Studies Research Paper Series

  • John F. CoyleThere is widespread agreement among experienced contract drafters that every commercial contract should contain a choice-of-law clause. Among their many virtues, choice-of-law clauses facilitate settlement and reduce litigation costs. While most modern contracts contain these provisions, some do not. In many instances, the absence of these clauses may be attributed to outdated forms, careless drafting, inattentive lawyers, or some combination of the three. In a few instances, however, it appears that sophisticated contract drafters purposely omit choice-of-law clauses from their agreements. If these clauses add value to a contract—and there is near-universal agreement that they do—then this decision […]
  • Gerald J. PostemaThis short talk outlines a vision of the techniques and governing dispositions of philosophical jurisprudence. Philosophical jurisprudence is a key partner in the enterprise of General Jurisprudence that brings many forms of rational inquiry together to deepen human understanding of the law and its place in the social and political lives of human beings. This partner is fundamentally discursive, seeks comprehensive explanations of law, seeks continuities and illuminating similarities among apparently disparate phenomena, and is constitutionally self-critical and historical. It is also fundamentally sociable—i.e., intellectually extroverted and oriented toward engagement.
  • David S. Ardia, Evan Ringel and Allysan ScatterdayThe last two presidential election cycles have brought increased attention to the extent of misinformation – and outright lies – peddled by political candidates, their surrogates, and others who seek to influence election outcomes. Given the ubiquity of this speech, especially online, one might assume that there are no laws against lying in politics. It turns out that the opposite is true. Although the federal government has largely stayed out of regulating the content of election-related speech, the states have been surprisingly active in passing laws that prohibit false statements associated with elections. […]
  • John F. CoyleContract boilerplate generates many benefits for contract users. It also generates costs. In the past, reformers have attempted to mitigate these costs by drafting model contract language and urging contract users to incorporate this language into their agreements. This brief Essay argues in support of a different approach. It calls for replacing several standard pieces of contract boilerplate with codes that the Essay dubs “Boilerterms.” Instead of writing a standard choice-of-law clause into an agreement, for example, the parties would write “Boilerterm COL—Broad (New York).” An authoritative guide prepared by experts would clearly define the meaning of the […]