Mastering Contract Law explores the basic principles and purposes of contract law, including a discussion of background principles and traditions of private ordering. The book explains contract formation, interpretation, and the requirement of written evidence for enforcement of certain types of promises. It explores the themes and doctrines of reliance, restitution, and the importance of public policy in contract law. Chapters include all of the areas of contract law typically covered in the first-year course, including the bargained-for exchange, unenforceable contracts, performance and breach, obstacles to performance, modification, pre-contractual obligation, remedies and damages, and stakeholders other than contracting parties, including the third-party beneficiary doctrine, delegation and assignment.
The organization of the book reflects the five sequential questions that frame the thought processes of lawyers and judges dealing with contracts issues. For example, before considering whether a party's conduct amounts to a breach, a judge would answer the question whether the parties had indeed formed a contract. In addition to explaining the major cases traditionally covered in contracts classes, the authors present common-sense examples and hypotheticals in order to link student intuitions about fairness and competition to the law of contracting.