Willamette University College of Law
Prof. Bill Long
POSSIBLE PAPER TOPICS
The purpose of this page is to talk about the paper assignment which many of you may choose to do. My philosophy behind this assignment is that you may tend to learn and retain more if you take on a subject and explore it in depth than if you simply "cram" for an exam on dozens of UCC provisions that you will probably soon forget. If you do this paper, however, I expect you to be present and actively involved in the class, learning the Code, discussing cases and doing problems I assign.
Here is what you need to agree to do if you want to do a paper (10-15 page, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, due on the last day of class).
1. Sign up for a paper topic (more than one person may do the same topic) by the end of class on Monday, January 23.
2. Stay for the meeting of all doing a paper which will be the last 10 minutes of class on Monday, January 23. At this meeting we will discuss sources, methods and availability of resources.
3. Be willing to enter onto a master list the books you take out from the library so that others who might need those books and you can share as the semester progresses. That is, I want general availability of the whole library to everyone, though you can, of course, check out books.
4. I am especially interested in your writing an essay that explains the origin and meaning of a particular provision in Article 2, with full awareness of the case law that led to its formulation and its subsequent interpretation. As the list below shows, too, there will also be opportunties to write on several individuals who were important in the shaping of sales law in the US or other aspects of the history of Article 2.
Possible Paper Topics
1. The Rise and Fall of Article 2B in the 1990s. There could be several possible paper topics in this. Basically if you do this, you will learn about the process of Code revision from 1990 until 2003. Often you learn a great deal by reading about what people wanted to revise/amend. This dealt mostly with electronic commerce or commerce in the "digital age."
2. Karl Llewellyn and the Shaping of Article 2. Llewellyn is the "godfather" of the UCC and is a very interesting person in his own right. Scholars are assessing/reassessing the various influences on him as he developed the concept of the Code.
3. Professor Allen Kamp has written three long law review articles on the process of Article 2 formation from 1940-early 1950s. You could write about Kamp's approach to Article 2.
4. The Statute of Frauds--history, development, leading cases.
5. Understanding the Parol Evidence Rule
6. Unconscionability--a History.
7. What is a chose in action? Article 2 does not include choses in action, but you might have to know what one is to understand fully what Article 2 means.
8. The nature of Sealed Instruments (2-203). Very little good work has been done on these instruments.
9. The relaxation of the privity requirement in warranty law. Privity was a hugely important issue for the common law--you could only successfully sue if you were in "privity" with the party sued. But this distinction began to break down in the 20th century. This paper would tell the 'privity' story.
10. Samuel Williston and the historical development of Sales Law in America. Only one person has written a law review article trying to understand the general intellectual development and contribution of Williston to sales law, and that was just in 2005. Williston (1861-1963) was the author of the Uniform Sales Act (1908) and a significant treatise on sales law.
11. Soia Mentschikoff and the shaping of Article 2. She was Llewellyn's third wife, and was a significant legal scholar in her own right. She was the first female professor at Harvard Law School, and was among the first female deans of an American law school (U of Miami).
12. The evolution of the risk of loss provisions (2-509, 2-510).
13. The Battle of the Forms (2-207)--trying to explain it.
14. Article 2 in the age of electronic commerce.
15. A topic in Warranty Law--possibly some cases on defining the contours either of express or implied warranty.
16. The line between goods and realty in 2-107.
17. Hybrid transactions (i.e., transactions for goods and services) under the common law and the UCC.
As I come up with more topics, I will put them on this site. You are, of course, free to come up with a topic of your own. Because the papers cannot exceed 15 pages, they cannot be used as a 3d year paper, though they could easily lay the groundwork for such a paper.
Additional Paper Topics--Added 1/25/06
1. Tesoro and the remedy provisions of 2-708.
2. Oloffson and the problem of "cover."
3. Denny and the issue of warranty damages. This case led to the insertion of Cmt. 7 in 2-314 of Revised Article 2.
Copyright © 2004-2007 William R. Long