As I mentioned in a post last week, ContractsProf Blog has been hosting an on-line symposium on Peggy Radin’s new book, Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights and the Rule of Law, which continues into next week. If you haven’t yet read Boilerplate, I highly recommend it. The book is no less than you would expect from Peggy Radin, which is to say: bold, thoughtful, and almost certain to be influential.
I’ll post something here, of course, once next week’s reviews (including my own) appear over at ContractsProf. But for those wanting a preview, the images included in this post should give a taste (click the liability waiver to enlarge, and you may have to zoom to read all of the text.) Those of you who know me, and are also familiar with Peggy’s work, will not be surprised to learn that we have very different views regarding the virtues of private ordering as compared to public solutions, particularly when it comes to substantive limitations on freedom of contract. But, as is the case with her work on contested commodities, Peggy forces us to think hard about the potential shortcomings of private ordering in certain contexts.
I remain largely unconvinced that substantive restrictions on freedom of contract are the best way to overcome those limitations, but Peggy has very thoughtfully shown the increasingly poor fit between many traditional contract law principles and modern day contracting practices. The issues raised by Boilerplate likely will continue to generate discussion over the coming years. In any event, read the book if you haven’t done so already, as well as this review by Omri Ben-Shahar, and stay tuned for further posts in the on-line symposium.
(The author, in Patagonia, after signing the above liability waiver)