One-Legged Contracting

13 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2019

See all articles by Ian Ayres

Ian Ayres

Yale University - Yale Law School; Yale University - Yale School of Management

Gregory Klass

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: November 8, 2019


This response to Robin Bradley Kar & Margaret Jane Radin, Pseudo-Contract and Shared Meaning Analysis, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 1135 (2019), makes three broad points. It criticizes as arbitrary and essentializing Kar and Radin’s insistence of shared meaning as the core of contracting. It argues that even if shared meaning were the sine qua non of contracting, their proposal fails to achieve it because it does not assure that the terms would be cooperatively communicated. And it argues that their proposed enforcement standard would in practice severely limit freedom of contract and likely reduce consumer welfare. There is a good argument that the law of contract requires updating to take account of new technologies of consumer contracting. But Kar and Radin’s proposed reform does not address the core risks to consumers, and would quite possibly do more harm than good.

Keywords: contracts, consumer contracts, boilerplate

Suggested Citation

Ayres, Ian and Klass, Gregory, One-Legged Contracting (November 8, 2019). Harvard Law Review Forum, Vol. 133, p. 1, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Ian Ayres

Yale University - Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)
203-432-2592 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale School of Management

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
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Gregory Klass (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States


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