A Property Law Instructor Looks at the Contract Law Course
18 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012
Date Written: Fall 2000
This essay acknowledges the similarities between teaching courses in contract and property law, particularly in the opportunities the two courses offer to explore non-adversarial dispute resolution techniques, as well as ethics and professional responsibility issues confronted daily by transactional lawyers. Exposing first year students to such issues early on and providing them with an opportunity to engage in dialogue about resolving problems peacefully is why the author encourages beginning a contracts course at the front end of a transaction with promises, rather than remedies. Placing the initial focus on promises is also a useful way of emphasizing the importance of careful reading of cases and careful drafting of legal documents. The essay contains specific examples of how alternative dispute resolution techniques can be added to a course by highlighting the case, Pigg v. Haley. Also, the author suggests introducing students to the variety of roles lawyers play by working with negotiation and mediation exercises in the area of landlord-tenant lease transactions.
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