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Forty years ago, my former colleague, the late Ian Macneil, published an article entitled The Many Futures of Contracts. When I was asked to contribute to this symposium on what contract law might look like in 2025, the play on words was too good to resist. Professor Macneil developed the notion of "relational contracts," emphasizing the limits of classical contract law in dealing with long-term contractual relations. His work had a strong influence on scholarship, including my work. The notion that many contractual relationships are long-lived and require some form of adaptation as circumstances change and new information becomes available is a powerful one, one that was not well appreciated in classical contract law.

Law evolves slowly and doctrine has not changed much since Macneil wrote. And, I suspect, contract law a decade from now will not look very different from today. So, rather than predict, I will discuss some concerns I have with the doctrine as it stands today with the hope of nudging the law in a different direction.


Contracts | Law

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