Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law

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Princeton University Press, 2013 - Law - 339 pages
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"The law has allowed a very basic idea--that humans might come to an agreement--to morph into an embarrassment for law and injustice for too many. This brilliant and powerful book puts the mess in context, and offers a path forward to reform."--Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University

"This important book lays out the strongest possible attack on a legal regime that allows businesses to predraft terms of agreement, modify consumers' legal rights, and privately legislate rules of play in the market. To those interested in understanding the values that such practices violate, the potential harms that widespread boilerplate may cause, and legal methods that can be harnessed to protect vanishing consumer rights, this book is a milestone."--Omri Ben-Shahar, University of Chicago

"This clear and highly readable book makes accessible to a wide audience the most comprehensive and in-depth discussion to date of a persisting challenge to the legitimacy of contract relations in modern societies. We all have to deal with boilerplate. Radin's outstanding book is indispensable to understanding its practical and theoretical significance, and to promoting justice in contractual relations."--Peter Benson, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

"When we sign or click on a form we never negotiated or even read, do we really 'agree' to all the terms its drafter wishes to impose on us--no matter how sneaky or outrageous? Radin shows how allowing boilerplate to govern our relationships can degrade our values and democracy. This elegant and lucid book is a profound meditation on contract law and the meaning of consent."--Robert W. Gordon, Stanford Law School

"This beautifully written and persuasively argued book tackles an immensely important and timely topic: the increasing use of boilerplate or standard form contracts in the provision of goods and services. It will receive much attention for its diagnosis of problems that boilerplate contracts present and for its imaginative canvassing of possible legal and regulatory responses."--Michael Trebilcock, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

"Radin critiques the mass phenomenon of boilerplate, or nonnegotiable contract terms, of which consumers are unlikely to be aware. The book introduces and elegantly combines several theoretical challenges in this area and will be an important intervention in the debate."--Aditi Bagchi, Fordham University School of Law

 

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Contents

Rationales and Rationalizations
53
Current Judicial Oversight and Possible Improvements
121
Other Remedial Possibilities
187
Whats Next for Boilerplate?
243
Notes
249
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Margaret Jane Radin is the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and the William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott Professor of Law, emerita, at Stanford University. Radin is the author of "Reinterpreting Property" and "Contested Commodities".

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