Insincere Promises: The Law of Misrepresented Intent

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Law - 316 pages
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How can a promise be a lie? Answer: when the promisor never intended to perform the promise. Such incidences of promissory fraud are frequently litigated because they can result in punitive damages awards. And an insincere promisor can even be held criminally liable. Yet courts have provided little guidance about what the scope of liability should be or what proof should be required. This book—the first ever devoted to the analysis of promissory fraud—answers these questions. Filled with examples of insincere promising from the case law as well as from literature and popular culture, the book is an indispensable guide for those who practice or teach contract law.

The authors explore what promises say from the perspectives of philosophy, economics, and the law. They identify four chief mistakes that courts make in promissory fraud cases. And they offer a theory for how courts and practitioners should handle promissory fraud cases.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 How to Say Things with Promises
19
3 Falsehood and Responsibility
46
4 Why Promissory Fraud?
59
What Does a Promise Say?
83
Evidence of Falsity and Evidence of Culpability
113
7 The Landscape of Promissory Misrepresentation
142
Insincere Promising as Crime
170
9 Teaching Promissory Fraud
194
10 Conclusion
201
Draft Prestatement of the Law of Insincere Promising
206
Promissory Fraud Abroad
210
Notes
215
Index
285
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