Legal Muse

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At a Loss

with 4 comments

At dinner tonight, I tried to explain Contract Law to Sam. I began by extolling the millions of interpretations of whether a hypothetical sign across the street could actually form a contract with the consumer who views it, and if the store that the sign is in is contractually bound to sell those Maine lobsters for 4 dollars to the consumer.

She stops me after 3 different interpretations or so:

Sam: “I guess that’s the thing that I hate about law. There are so many different interpretations.”

Bill: “That’s what makes it awesome! You just have to argue your viewpoint best.”

Sam: “Yeah, but it’s hard to argue with stupid people.”

My only relevant response was “Well, I think this will make a good blog post.”


Written by DMN

August 31, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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4 Responses

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  1. Thats what makes it a problem – the right answer doesn’t win, the “best” argument wins. Especially in front of an activist judge and a jury selected for its lack of legal knowledge and ease of being influenced.


    Back to Beer.

    – T. Ohhe

    T. Ohhe

    September 1, 2008 at 10:33 am

  2. i agree with both of you. it is hard to argue with stupid people, and also it made a good blog post. beyond that, i have nothing substantive to contribute.


    September 1, 2008 at 12:47 pm

  3. Well, it’s not as bleak as you think Tom. Best arguments are based on legal principles that this country was founded on – most of them being tried and true for centuries.

    It’s simply the result of when two people get in a fight and sue each other. Most likely, each side has fairly legitimate points, based upon their particular point of view. When this happens, would you rather have someone “make up” the “right” answer (because you know that will be different for everyone, and epitomizes the activist judge example you cited), or would you rather have reasoned argument, fleshing out the points of views while being analyzed against these principles, and ultimately being decided based upon based on what reasonable people think is best?

    In other words, there’s rarely a right answer, and having someone make up that right answer arbitrarily is exactly the wrong thing.

    Dave –

    As usual, you’re right.


    September 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

  4. Let me clarify that he was trying to explain the EXCITEMENT of Contract Law to me, and I wasn’t buying it.


    September 1, 2008 at 6:33 pm

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