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The Law Market 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 858-0000038316
ISBN-10: 0195312899
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Editorial Reviews


"The Law Market promises to add some much-needed clarity and common sense to a 'largely ignored field of law.'"--Harvard Law Review

"One of the most important metrics for evaluating the success of an academic work is the degree to which it sparks further questions...Evaluated along this dimension, The Law Market must be deemed a smashing success."--Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society's Practice Groups

"O'Hara and Ribstein's book is a breakthrough in legal scholarship. Recognizing that the unprecedented mobility of today's society gives economic actors substantial choice over the law that will govern their affairs, the authors analyze law as a product that is produced by states and marketed to consumers. The authors thereby identify a fundamental feature of contemporary business law that has until now been overlooked or only imperfectly understood. The book is chock-full of original insights into the operation of this 'market for law', and offers a valuable analysis of the pros and cons of this development from the standpoint of public policy." --Geoffrey P. Miller, New York University Law School

"O'Hara and Ribstein are the first to expose how the ability of private persons to choose the law that shall govern them - in business and in their personal lives - is transforming our legal system. Drawing on public policy and economics in an approachable, commonsense way, they sketch the implications of the law market for our world today, and show how its emergence calls for a careful balance between individual freedom and regulation to advance the public good. This book is a must-read, not only for lawyers with real-world clients but also for every corporate general counsel and legislative staff member grappling with our globalized law market." --Richard A. Nagareda, Vanderbilt University Law School

"This is a pathbreaking book - theoretically sophisticated and carefully applied. O'Hara and Ribstein's concept of the 'law market' captures an essential truth about the conflicts revolution, and their thesis carries profound implications for wide swaths of the law, ranging from international investment disputes to same-sex marriage." --Peter B. Rutledge, University of Georgia Law School

"The Law Marker significantly enriches the discussion about jurisdictional competition and enhances our understanding of the underlying forces."--American Journal of Comparative Law

About the Author

Erin A. O'Hara is Professor of Law, and Director of the Law & Human Behavior Program at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of The Economics of Conflict of Laws.

Larry E. Ribstein is Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Chair in Law, and co-Director of the Program on Business Law & Policy at the University of Illinois. He is the co-author of Business Associations and The Economics of Federalism.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195312899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195312898
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,555,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Peter McCluskey on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book describes why it has become easier for parties to a contract to choose which legal system will be applied to their contract, both in terms of the political forces that enabled choice and why it's good that choice is possible.

The political forces include the ability of some parties to physically leave a jurisdiction if they have inadequate choices about what law will be applied to them. Often enough those parties are employers that legislators want to remain in their jurisdiction.

The benefits include simple things like predictability of contract interpretation when the contract covers things that involve physical locations associated with multiple jurisdictions where there otherwise would be no reliable way to predict which court would assert jurisdiction over disputes. They also include less direct effects of providing incentives for legal systems to improve so as to attract more customers.

The book mostly deals with contracts between corporations, and is much more tentative about advocating choice of law for individuals.

The book provides examples showing that as with most markets, competition for law produces better law. But is also mentions more questionable results, such as competition for most effective tax shelters or the easiest terms for divorce (for divorce, the book suggests those who want divorce to be hard should try to arrange contracts that allocate assets in a way that discourages divorce; it would be harder for easy-divorce states to justify ignoring those contracts). There's also a risk that the competition will sometimes benefit lawyers rather than their clients, as clients often rely on lawyers to decide which legal system to use without having a practical way to check who benefits from some of those choices.
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