Rethinking Contract Law and Contract Design

Rethinking Contract Law and Contract Design

Rethinking Law series

Victor P. Goldberg

Rethinking Contract Law and Contract Design presents a rich array of ideas that reassess the law and economics of contractual relations. Victor P. Goldberg uses a transactional framework to critically analyse and re-evaluate contract doctrine and specific legal cases. This important work examines particular contractual precepts whilst conducting a detailed exercise in legal archaeology, challenging readers to reconsider significant legal decisions by forensic exploration of records, briefs, and other materials, including the staple cases of textbooks and casebooks.

Chapter 5: Six pennies for your thoughts: Freund v. Washington Square Press

Victor P. Goldberg

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, commercial law, law and economics, law of obligations

Abstract

After the publisher reneged on a promise to publish, the author sued and won. However, he was only awarded nominal damages, six cents. The case stands for the proposition that speculative damages would not be awarded. This chapter examines the author’s damage theories. Analysis of the record reveals that his most plausible claim, for lost royalties, was never submitted to any court. The contract should have been interpreted as giving the publisher an option to publish with the price being the author’s advance. The breach would have been the publisher’s refusal to return the manuscript to the author.

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