Lawyers, Law and Contract Formation
19 Pages Posted: 19 May 2000
Date Written: 2000
Significant recent empirical research in commercial law involves interviewing participants in commercial transactions. This comment posits that, in evaluating the findings of these studies, we should pay attention to whether those interviewed were lawyers or nonlawyers. Most people have a tendency to overstate their importance to the work that they do. Thus, one would expect that lawyers would overstate the importance of law (or at least the need for them to manage the law) whereas nonlawyers would have a bias toward understating law's significance. This suggests that lawyers are more likely to view expenditures on negotiating contract terms than are nonlawyers. Professor Dan Keating's recent work on the "battle of the forms" is consistent with these conclusions.
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