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Contracts Prof Hadfield USC Fall 2009 Office Room 436 Office Hours Wednesday 2 30 4 30 alternate weeks and by appointment Email ghadfield law usc edu Assistant Peggy Vadillo pvadillo law usc edu Course Outline This is a course about a fundamental way in which legal relations are organized through agreement And it is a course about what happens when people change their minds about what they agreed to and about what happens when they never really agreed but the law treats them as if they did We are going to read many cases many pages of a treatise about contracts many sections of the restatement of the law of contracts and many sections of a statute governing contracts Your goal is NOT to memorize all of this law It is to figure out the basic principles of contract law to recognize when a particular fact situation raises issues that these basic principles address to learn how to work with them to make fact specific and rhetorically rich arguments and counterarguments and to develop your capacity for judging what on balance are good and bad arguments in order to predict what a court might do if it heard these arguments and had to resolve the issue you identified It is very important to remember the goal is to learn a SKILL not to become a walking contracts treatise Farnsworth already wrote a pretty good one and you can look up what he wrote any time you need to now and throughout your career as a lawyer Incidentally Farnsworth on your shelf will be a good friend for many years to come By the end of the course you should be able to write an outline that consists of no more than 1 2 pages of basic principles to encapsulate the key concepts of contract law If it s longer than that you haven t looked deeply enough into the basics and you re more likely to be memorizing law instead of becoming a competent analyzer of contracting problems Remember this if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the quantity of information coming at you Come to me early for help with

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