Suffolk University Law School was founded in 1906 and is located in the heart of downtown Boston. The school is dedicated to educating students of all backgrounds and circumstances, helping them to thrive in an increasingly diverse, global and technologically dependent society. The school's Business Law & Financial Services Concentration emphasizes teaching and scholarship not only in traditional corporate structures, but also in alternative non-corporate forms of organization that are becoming the norm in small businesses, emerging high-tech industries, and financial services. Its faculty members include nationally regarded experts in limited liability company, partnership, tax, and securities regulation, including Carter G. Bishop, a reporter for four separate uniform business organization law projects sponsored by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, co-author with the late Larry E. Ribstein of Unincorporated Business Entities, 4th Edition (LexisNexis, 2009).

Sponsored by: Suffolk University Law School

"Math Behind Financial Aspects of Partnership Distribution Waterfalls" Free Download
Tax Notes, Vol. 145, p. 305, 2014
Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 399

BRADLEY T. BORDEN, Brooklyn Law School

This report reviews the basic financial concepts that apply to provisions commonly used in real estate partnership waterfall distributions. It discusses how those provisions are susceptible to other interpretations and often include superfluous and potentially confusing language. It concludes with specific recommendations for improving the definitional portion of distribution waterfalls.

"Contractual Freedom and Family Business" Free Download
Research Handbook on Partnerships, LLCs and Alternative Forms of Business Organizations (Robert W. Hillman and Mark Loewenstein eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, Forthcoming)

BENJAMIN MEANS, University of South Carolina School of Law

This chapter argues for a conception of contractual freedom that places renewed emphasis on the importance of default rules and background equitable principles as tools for facilitating the parties’ business relationship. In other words, contractarianism should not be seen as synonymous with contract; a meaningful freedom of contract is broader and more complex than the proverbial blank sheet of paper on which to draft and a deferential court willing to enforce the results, however nonsensical. Declaring contract king does not establish that it is actually capable of governing its realm. Rather, to facilitate the underlying contractual values of personal autonomy and welfare maximization, it may be better to guide the parties’ relationship with well-crafted default rules and reasonable equitable constraints.

In a family business, for instance, a contractarian framework is typically insufficient to support the expectations of family participants. As is true of any closely held business, contracts in family businesses establish relationships rather than the terms of specific, bargained-for exchanges, and the parties cannot be expected to anticipate and adequately address all eventualities that may occur over time. For family businesses, relational aspects are particularly significant: the time horizon stretches across generations, objectives often include more than simple profit maximization, and business dealings involve emotional consequences for the participants that also need to be acknowledged. Instead of adhering to a false assumption that the parties to a business venture are capable of negotiating adequate protections for themselves and likely to do so, contract law should offer a resource — a set of principles that credit the parties’ negotiated bargain in full context but that also compensate for what they cannot anticipate or adequately address.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Suffolk University Law School

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts related to LLCs, close corporations, partnerships, and other private enterprises. This includes the law, economics, history and policy of closely-held corporations and non-corporate firms, including partnerships, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, joint ventures, and similar entities both in the US and around the world. Specific topics include private law matters such as governance, fiduciary duties, formation, litigation, arbitration, choice of law, exit, dissolution, transfer, creditors' rights, and limited liability. They also include public law matters such as bankruptcy, employment discrimination, securities regulation, competition law, and professional regulation. Articles may also focus on types of businesses or other relationships that commonly organize as limited liability companies, close corporations, partnerships or other unincorporated business entities, including venture capital, professional services, real estate, finance, family firms, domestic relationships and public-private enterprises.


To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.

Distribution Services

If your organization is interested in increasing readership for its research by starting a Research Paper Series, or sponsoring a Subject Matter eJournal, please email:

Distributed by

Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), a division of Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)



Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for LSN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Corporate Law: LLCs, Close Corporations, Partnerships, & Other Private Enterprises eJournal

Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

William D. Warren Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Augustus E. Lines Professor of Law, Yale Law School, Fellow, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Fair Business Practices Professor of Law, University of California, Davis - School of Law

Professor of Law, Duke University - School of Law

William B. Graham Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Professor of Law, Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law Jack G. Clarke Business Law, Cornell Law School - Jack G. Clarke Business Law Institute

Swanlund Chair, Director, Illinois Program in Law and Economics, University of Illinois College of Law