06 November 2014

Consideration Lives!

By "consideration" I mean the doctrine of the law that gives certain promises legal sanction. In other words, what turns a mere agreement into a contract. Or, in yet other words, as my students would (or at least should) express it, the bargained-for exchange.

Friend and professor at South Texas College of Law Val Ricks continues his virtually one-man effort to keep the doctrine of consideration at the conceptual center of contract law. You can download his latest foray, Consideration and the Formation Defenses here.

Val's article is rather deep for those who aren't conversant in the common law of contracts. (The civil law has its own doctrinal device for identifying legally-sanctionable contracts.) And, as usual, I am extremely pleased to read the historical studies that always inform Val's work. Nonetheless, I haven't been persuaded that his reconfiguration of contract law around consideration rather than assent plus consideration is sufficiently useful to cause me to throw out the casebook I currently use when teaching contracts. But perhaps I'm merely lazy.

In any event, if you count yourselves among the contract law cognoscenti, then Val's article is for you. And, if you want to show me some love, you might go on to read my analysis of consideration in Consideration in the Common Law of Contracts: A Biblical-Theological Critique (download here).

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