The Rose of Aberlone
Norman Otto Stockmeyer
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Chronicle (Historical Society of Michigan, Winter 2009)
This is the story behind “The Case of the Barren Cow,” a landmark legal dispute seemingly between two nineteenth-century Michigan farmers over a barren cow. But as this article reveals, many commonly held beliefs about the case are mistaken. In fact, the parties were prosperous businessmen, there was little reason to think the cow was barren, and although the seller won his appeal the buyer ended up with the cow. Nevertheless, the case remains one of the great contributions to contract law and law-school lore.
Keywords: mutual mistake, landmark cases, legal education
Date posted: June 13, 2012
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