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The Restatement of the Law of Contracts, 42 Yale Law Journal 643 (1933)

Abstract

The publication of the completed Restatement of the Law of Contracts makes officially available the first fruit of the gigantic project to "clarify, unify and simplify our common law" undertaken ten years ago by the leading figures of the American bar, organized in a wholly unique and original manner into "The American Law Institute." Beautifully bound in red leather in two volumes of clear type on a small page with 609 sections and 1129 pages, exclusive of index and table of contents, and with a price appropriate to its sumptuous setting, the "restatement" has been given every advantage which mechanical skill can afford. It appears with the acclaim of bench and bar, an acclaim justified by the ambitious nature of the project and the devoted labors which have gone into its making. Its appearance is an important event in our law, deserving of the most careful and intelligent appraisal of which the profession is capable. The very magnitude of the project and the number and professional standing of its protagonists do, however, tend to prevent such appraisal. One is tempted either to embalm it in words of general and fulsome praise or to indulge in humor at the expense of its more ponderous phases, depending upon one's previous emotional stimuli. In what follows I shall pay the endeavor the sincerest compliment in my power by giving to it the best thought that is in me. Particularly am I anxious to approach it in this spirit because the first official volumes confirm a sincerely held opinion which I have shared with others, that in spite of significant accomplishments (of which the Chief Justice of the United States rightly selects as the most important the collaboration of all members of the profession in joint endeavor for law improvement) the Institute, by reason of the narrow limits of an artificial formula of expression which it has chosen to respect, is rendering its main product of less value than its many important by-products and of less significance than its careful fabrication deserves.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1933

Keywords

The Restatement of the Law of Contracts, 42 Yale Law Journal 643 (1933)

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