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When are promises legally enforceable? Contracts as formal promises [No. 86]

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Published on Jul 9, 2019

Are all promises legally enforceable? What difference is there between a moral obligation to honor a promise and a promise that is legally binding? Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law gives the rough social distinction that is made, then discusses the components of legally enforceable transactions, including quid pro quo and one-sided arrangements between parties.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

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RELATED LINKS

Curtis Bridgeman & John C.P. Goldberg, Do Promises Distinguish Contract from Tort?
http://suffolklawreview.org/wp-conten...

Richard A. Epstein, In Defense of the Contract at Will
https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/u...

Clarence D. Ashley, What Is a Promise in Law?
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1323874

Sherwin Rosen, Commentary, In Defense of Contract at Will
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1599555?...

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