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 13: A precedent built on sand: NorCon v. Niagara Mohawk

Victor P. Goldberg

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


Under the common law, a contracting party could only demand assurance of performance if the other party was insolvent. If a party had reasonable grounds for insecurity, the UCC §2-609 allowed it to demand adequate assurance even if the counterparty were solvent. The Restatement (Second) adopted the same rule for non-goods. In NorCon v. Niagara Mohawk the New York court extended the adequate assurance doctrine for some non-goods contracts. Although the decision seems to imply that there is some relation between the NorCon facts and its conclusion as to the law, there is none.

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