oral incentive?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Lessig's Contracts : One Thread

Throughgood and Brooklyn Gas both seem to be based on the idea that a party that contracts with an illeterate layman has an obligation to ensure that the layman understands the agreement. when it was later shown that the layman was confused- the court held him not obligated. It seems to me that the court is creating an ex ante incentive to have oral agreements if contracting with an illiterate layman. But then you have to consider the fact that statue of frauds requires property sales to be in writing. I concede that most illiterate laymen won't have a lot of property to sell- but when they do- does the court encourage oral agreements- or is it simply protecting layman who attempt formality but fail?

-- Anonymous, November 18, 1998

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