The Future of Fault in Contract Law

Robert A. Hillman

Cornell Law School

August 1, 2012

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-34

According to judicial opinions, the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, and some analysts, the reasons for failing to perform a contract, whether willful, negligent, or unavoidable, have little or no bearing in determining contract liability. Contract liability is said to be “strict,” meaning that the reasons for nonperformance are irrelevant in determining the injured party’s rights. In this Article, I argue that the reasons for failing to perform, which focus on whether non-performance is the promisor’s fault, are crucially important in the resolution of many, perhaps most disputes under contract law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: contract, fault, strict liability

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Date posted: August 2, 2012 ; Last revised: September 26, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hillman, Robert A., The Future of Fault in Contract Law (August 1, 2012). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-34. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2121374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2121374

Contact Information

Robert A. Hillman (Contact Author)
Cornell Law School ( email )
Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-4902 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)
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