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Book Review: The Law of Unincorporated Associations and Business Trusts, 33 Yale Law Journal 449 (1924)


In business, as in almost every other form of human endeavor, the modern tendency sets strongly in the direction of collective action. The group succeeds the individual because men realize that combining resources of property or brain or muscle increases the power of the individuals within the group. It may also offer some other advantage, such as diminishing the individual risk of loss. So business is coming more and more to be done by associates. The operative facts of association, i.e. the terms agreed upon by the associates, their number, their compliance or non-compliance with corporation laws, their methods of doing business, etc., determine the legal relations which arise between the associates and between the associates and outsiders. If the facts give rise to certain legal relations, we call the associates partners. If another set of legal relations are created, we call the associates a corporation. When the association takes the form which has come to be known as the Massachusetts Trust, the legal consequences may be still different.

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