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That Lady Duff-Gordon Rag (Wood v Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon)

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Uploaded on Dec 24, 2011

Born Lucy Sutherland, she married a Baronet and became one of the first celebrity fashion designers, enjoying success in the UK and France. Her American ventures were less successful, though, especially the effort to sell her designs through Sears and other mass retailers. Among other problems, she had already granted her American marketing rights -- including the right to half of the profits on each sale -- to a publicity agent, Otis Wood. ¶ When Mr Wood sued for the unpaid royalties, Lady Duff-Gordon defended on the ground that Wood had not explicitly PROMISED he would do anything in return, so Duff-Gordon's promise to Wood was unenforceable for lack of "consideration." New York's highest court disagreed, in a famous opinion by Judge Benjamin Cardozo,
¶ For a discussion of the case's historical context, see Victor P. Goldberg, "Reading Wood v Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon with Help from the Kewpie Dolls," in his book, Framing Contract Law: An Economic Perspective 43 (2006). Other useful discussions can be found in the symposium introduced by James J. Fishman, "The Enduring Legacy of Wood v Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon," 28 Pace L. Rev. 161 (2008); and in Mary Joe Frug, "Re-Reading Contracts: A Feminist Analysis of a Casebook, 34 American U. L. Rev. 1065, 1083-87 (1985).
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Words and music copyright (c) 2011 R.B. Craswell. For a karaoke version of this song, go here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=... For other songs from the first-year contracts class, go here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...
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Note: The advertisements shown here are reproduced from actual American newspaper ads during 1917 and 1918. The music cover on the title page is fictitious; the image is Louis Rhead's "La femme au paon" (woman with peacock), first published in L'Estampe Moderne (1897).

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