Boilerplate: Legal Regulation of Adhesion ContractsContracts of adhesion, known as boilerplate, are pervasive in contemporary life. Yet mass-market boilerplate, which we hardly ever read, is problematic from the point of view of the underlying theory of contract, which involves agreement to a bargained-for exchange between two parties. In this seminar we examine the theories, practices, and legal status of boilerplate. How does boilerplate square with contract theory? Is enforcement of boilerplate justified by some version of consent by recipients? By economic efficiency? Is widespread use of boilerplate harmful to the rule of law and democratic ordering? Should boilerplate used between commercial parties be treated differently from boilerplate between a firm and consumers? How can we tell the difference between ?good? and ?bad? boilerplate? We will review current legal regulation of boilerplate, and consider possible new methods of boilerplate evaluation and oversight, including possible market and user initiatives, regulatory interventions, and improvement of adjudication.
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