Professor Corbin relegated collective agreements to the periphery of contract law. His treatise briefly sketched the rights and duties created by collective agreements in a single section, placed without explanation in the chapter on "Illegal Contracts," and throughout the work the application of contract rules and principles to collective agreements was either casually mentioned or wholly ignored.' Professor Corbin's justification for this neglect was that collective agreements were only mar-ginally relevant to the central concerns of his treatise: A collective bargain differs very greatly from the ordinary bargain of commerce, the parties to which are comparatively few, and the subject matter and purposes of which are generally very limited. The collective bargain has many features of a fundamental organizing statute, whose broad provisions control, in some degree, the activities of many individuals who may have had little or no part in its drafting and who may even have been bitterly opposed to the draftsmen. The collective bargainers cannot foresee all of the problems that are sure to arise and cannot provide for the in-numerable details of the future administration of the bargain.... This treatise does not attempt the analysis and discussion of collective bargains. They cannot be treated with advantage separately from the general subject of Labor Relations and Labor Legislation.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Summers, Clyde W., "Collective Agreements and the Law of Contracts" (1969). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 3914.