A Look at a New Approach to Consumer Contracts

January 4, 2024
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Our special guest is Andrea Boyack, Professor, University of Missouri School of Law. We first discuss the principles that underlie our current system of consumer contracts and the system’s role in promoting transactional efficiency and other objectives. Prof. Boyack then provides her views on why the application of traditional contract law to the modern consumer contract context is not in the best interests of consumers and offers a different approach to consumer contracts in which a consumers can shape the terms of their contracts. In particular, she explains how this approach would treat a consumer’s choice to do business with a company as legally distinct from assent to particular terms in the company’s contracts.  Prof. Boyack also shares her views on the recent Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts. We conclude with a discussion of the controversy that surrounds arbitration provisions, how Prof. Boyack’s new approach to consumer contracts would impact the use of such provisions, and what legal changes would be necessary to implement her approach.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, hosts the conversation.

Prof. Boyack’s forthcoming article, “The Shape of Consumer Contracts,” is available here.

A transcript of the recording will be available soon. 

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