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Contracts in the Real World: Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter Paperback


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Contracts in the Real World: Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter + Cases and Materials on Contracts: Making and Doing Deals, 3d (American Casebooks) + Cases And Materials on Torts, 12th (University Casebook Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781107607460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107607460
  • ASIN: 1107607469
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Love it. Wonderfully conversational, substantively sophisticated."
--Ian Ayres, Yale University

"Lawrence Cunningham has written a highly original and important book. For novices and long-time contract law scholars alike, the book is educational and insightful. The author presents a fun accounting of the essence of contracts both historically and in the present. One is moved from the position of viewing canonical contract cases as mere milestones of evolution to an understanding that the rationales behind these cases remain embedded in modern contract law. Cunningham has performed a service to legal scholarship by breathing new life into the relics of the past in order to better understand the cases of today."
- Larry A. DiMatteo
Huber Hurst Professor of Contract Law & Legal Studies, University of Florida


"In Lawrence Cunningham's engaging new book, Contracts in the Real World, old chestnuts, the foibles of contemporary celebrities and holes-in-one are delivered with flair and without legalese. The neophyte will be informed by this fun book. I am sure Professor Kingsfield would enjoy it much as I did."
- Joseph M. Perillo
Distinguished Professor of Law Fordham Law School


"The stories are fascinating, the issues are important, and the explanations are compelling. Lawrence Cunningham has written a splendid book."
- Steven Lubet
Williams Memorial Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law


"Contracts in the Real World is a fascinating account of how contract disputes are argued and decided, engaging the reader with stories involving celebrity parties or gut-wrenching disputes without losing scholarly sophistication. It is fit for general readers and students of the law, amply demonstrating the common sense that the common law of contracts brings to bear on the battles inevitably arising when promises are broken."
- Donald Langevoort
Thomas Aquinas Reynolds Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center


"In a perhaps natural turn for legal realism in the age of reality television, the last decade has seen an explosion of interest in legal 'stories'. Too often, however, such stories recount more than they teach. In exploring the Law of Contract through a set of carefully chosen exemplars Lawrence Cunningham does much more. Contracts in the Real World offers an invaluable set of reference points, drawn from both the classics and the modern day, to connect legal doctrine to the life of the law."
- Robert B. Ahdieh
Professor of Law Emory Law School


"This book will be a fascinating reading for teachers, students, and indeed for anyone with an interest in contracting generally. It runs the gamut from Lady Duff-Gordon to Lady Gaga, and taught me things I didn't know about cases I thought I knew well, as well as telling me about cases I had never heard of -- while at the same time weaving a pattern of the common law of contract. An unusual and rewarding book."
- Charles L. Knapp
Joseph W. Cotchett Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law


Contracts in the Real World is a long overdue and illuminating alternative. That is, in a academic field where the coin of the realm is case law about matters such as Blackacre, mason fruit jars, Carbolic smoke balls, and Shirley MacLaine, . . . in that world it is refreshing to have a book that brings modernity onto the stage of legal education. While Professor Cunningham pays due deference to the above-mentioned old chestnuts, what is so stimulating about his book is that he highlights how today's contract law bears upon the likes and business dealings of everyone from Bernard Madoff and Donald Trump to Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton, and 50 Cent, too. Likewise, he identifies and understands the real-world contexts of modern contract law involving everything from electronic transactions and confidentiality of information, to agreements re season tickets subscriptions for sports events, to entertainment contracts, to Amazon's provider contracts, to any variety of contemporary non-disclosure agreements, et cetera. In all of these ways and many others, Contracts in the Real World stands alone as a work that ushers the law of contracts into the world of the living.
- Ronald K.L. Collins
Harold S. Shefelman Scholar, University of Washington, School of Law

"Cunningham explores contract issues by utilizing a series of contemporary and interesting contract cases, many involving celebrities, and uses them to explain contract law issues. [Makes] cases and concepts come alive and feel more relevant."- Matthew Mantel,
University of Houston Law Library

Book Description

This book explores the complexities of contracts in a real world context through a series of engaging real life stories that journey across contract law's dynamic terrain, equipping readers with the vehicle to glimpse its majesty and appreciate its utility.

More About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham: the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor at George Washington University Law School and Director of GW's Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF) in New York.

Cunningham is the author of numerous books including The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America (in collaboration with Buffett, a thematically arranged collection of his writings), The AIG Story (written with Hank Greenberg) and Contracts in the Real World: Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter (Cambridge University Press 2012).

Cunningham's research appears in leading university journals, including those published by Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Vanderbilt and Virginia; his op-eds have run in the Baltimore Sun, the Financial Times, the National Law Journal, the New York Daily News and the New York Times. He blogs at Concurring Opinions.

On Amazon, Cunningham has often been ranked one of the top 100 authors in the category of business and investing. He lives in New York City and Washington DC with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

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There was a tremendous amount of research done for the book.
James F. Barry
As a lawyer who has gone to the business side a decade ago, the book provided an excellent refresher coupled with an update on the evolution in contract law.
Bill Somnium
I have enjoyed reading the stories of contracts presented in this book.
Bud Labitan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ronald K. Collins on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Lawrence Cunningham's new little book on contract law packs a big wallop of law in many modern settings. Unlike the tried and tired books on the law of contracts, this one is both stylistically engaging and substantively fascinating. In a world where contract law, as presented in the standard casebooks, is largely situated in the quicksand of the past, CONTRACTS IN THE REAL WORLD is a long overdue and illuminating alternative. That is, in a academic field where the coin of the realm is case law about matters such as Blackacre, mason fruit jars, Carbolic smoke balls, and Shirley McLane, . . . in that world it is refreshing to have a book that brings modernity onto the stage of legal education. While Professor Cunningham pays due deference to the above-mentioned old chestnuts, what is so stimulating about his book is that he highlights how today's contract law bears upon the likes and business dealings of everyone from Bernard Madoff and Donald Trump to Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton, and 50 Cent, too. Likewise, he identifies and understands the real-world contexts of modern contract law involving everything from electronic transactions and confidentiality of information, to agreements re season tickets subscriptions for sports events, to entertainment contracts, to Amazon's provider contracts, to any variety of contemporary non-disclosure agreements, et cetera. In all of these ways and many others, CONTRACTS IN THE REAL WORLD stands alone as a work that ushers the law of contracts into the world of the living.

An increasing number of law professors are critical, and rightfully so, of the appellate-court-centric perspective offered in so many law school courses and texts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Somnium on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Professor Cunningham has written an eminently readable book for the business executive who would like to or needs to understand legal concepts and their roots. As a lawyer who has gone to the business side a decade ago, the book provided an excellent refresher coupled with an update on the evolution in contract law. What is very unique about this book is its anchor in modern day, front-page legal issues. How much more memorable to assert in a dispute where someone notes "accord and satisfaction" or "payment in full" on a payment "that didn't work for Lady Gaga and it won't work here" than to get into discussions about the meaning of legitimate dispute. Or, better yet, turning to your attorney who you may be concerned is not being entirely thorough and saying, "I don't want a Frank/Jamie McCourt discussion over who owns the LA Dodgers because someone at your firm mixed up the exhibits." As a business person making the statement, you are sure to get attorneys' attention. My favorite line in the book in the chapter on remedies and intentionally breach compensation: "Political winds or Congressional whims are irrelevant to whether a contract may be excused or should be terminated. Contract law thus takes a pragmatic position -- neither being stingy nor lavish with excuses, but providing a tailored set of legitimate exits." Business Development and contracts folks should stick this book in their must read pile and refer back to it every now and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Martucci on May 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In my contracts class we had the typical casebook and learned the concepts from 100-year old decisions. This book was a great supplement in that it put the issues in a relevant, more interesting, and modern context, making them easy to grasp and apply to fact patterns on the exam. Great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bud Labitan on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed reading the stories of contracts presented in this book. They are well organized; and they are easy to read cases that help illustrate the important concepts used in old and new business contract formation. Therefore, I am happy to recommend this book to all interested individuals. Also, I am recommending this book as a supplementary text to the Business Law courses in all MBA programs.

Prior to reading this book, I thought that I had produced the best business book of 2012, "Moats : Competitive Advantages of Buffett & Munger Businesses." However, I now say to friends that "Contracts In The Real World" by Larry Cunningham is the best business book of 2012, and mine is the second best.

After recalling the amount of reading that we did in business school, I am also hoping that "Contracts In The Real World" can also be made into an audio cd and or audible.com product download. I would like to hear the author read these stories/cases. And, I would like to be able to review cases by switching audio tracks that match each chapter.

Bud Labitan, author of books on investment decision framing and decision making.
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