Intent to Charge for Unsolicited Benefits Conferred in an Emergency: A Case Study in the Meaning of 'Unjust' in the Restatement (Third) of Restitution & Unjust Enrichment
38 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2011 Last revised: 11 May 2013
Date Written: September 17, 2011
This Article is a legal and jurisprudential case study that attempts to shed light on the use of the word "unjust" in the law of restitution as it has been reinterpreted by the new Restatement (Third) of Restitution & Unjust Enrichment. The particular case studied is the legal meaning of the term "intent to charge" in the law’s treatment of claims for unsolicited benefits conferred in emergencies. The author conducts a thought experiment involving the use of a sworn "Declaration of Intent to Charge for Benefits Conferred" to illustrate certain ambiguities and difficulties in the way the new Restatement deals with this legal category. The Article exploits the thought experiment and the difficulties it uncovers in order to advance the author’s primary purpose, which is to retrieve dialectically a certain necessary independence for the idea of justice in the development of the substantive law of unjust enrichment.
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