Understanding Contracts is designed for use by first-year law students in their contracts course. The text explains common law principles of contract law using cases and examples that students commonly encounter in this first-year course. It also explains and illustrates Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which deals with sales of goods that are frequently covered in contracts. It includes material on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, appropriate to a basic course in contracts and on modern statutes regarding electronic contracting. The fifth edition describes key provisions of the recently adopted Restatement on the Law of Consumer Contracts and includes discussions of recent decisions dealing with consumer arbitration clauses.
Understanding Contracts was written to help law students with what is likely to be one of their most challenging first-year courses. It explains how key concepts apply in several recurring basic fact patterns similar to those students will encounter in the course. It then builds on those fact patterns to explain how the law is more difficult to apply in business transactions with more complex facts. A key feature of Understanding Contracts that is not found in other similar books is its conscious incorporation of basic explanations of the common business practices to which the law of contracts applies. This feature helps students, many of whom have not had any background in the business world, understand contract law in the business settings in which it frequently applies. The book also provides detailed topic headings that students can use to develop their own comprehensive course outline.
. . . both a very serious work of scholarship and provides a great deal more coverage than students need for course purposes. But that is not a bad thing. It is a learned, comprehensive treatment of the material, a readable hornbook with narrative discussions of relevant caselaw and hypos. . . . I could recommend this book to my students with the utmost confidence that they would learn a great deal from it, and it would help them to firm up their grasp of contracts doctrine. . . . In addition to being an excellent and detailed compendium of contracts doctrine, the book also provides useful examples, some drawn from case law, some hypothetical, and one can always use a fresh case or hypo to help illustrate some nook or cranny of a well-traveled doctrine."
— ContractsProf Blog