Restatement (Second) of Contracts
The Restatement of the Law of Contracts is one of the most well-recognized and frequently-cited legal treatises in all of American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

. Every first year (1L) law student in every law school in the United States is exposed to it, and it is probably the most-cited non-binding authority in all of U.S. common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 in the areas of contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

s and commercial transactions. It is a work without peer in terms of overall influence and recognition among the bar and bench, with the possible exception of the Restatement of Torts. The second edition was begun in 1962 and completed by the American Law Institute
American Law Institute
The American Law Institute was established in 1923 to promote the clarification and simplification of American common law and its adaptation to changing social needs. The ALI drafts, approves, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Principles of the Law, model codes, and other proposals for law...

 in 1979.

For an explanation of the purpose of a restatement of law, see Restatement of the Law
Restatement of the Law
In American jurisprudence, the Restatements of the Law are a set of treatises on legal subjects that seek to inform judges and lawyers about general principles of common law...


Use and commentary

Preeminent legal scholars and jurists have commented extensively on the Restatement, both in contrasting it with aspects of the first Restatement, and in evaluating its influence and effectiveness in reaching its stated objectives. It is in this context of direct review that one can find numerous arguments both favoring and criticizing some aspects of the Restatement as an independent source of legal scholarship.

Although several sections of the Restatement contained new rules which sometimes contradicted existing law, courts citing these sections have predominantly adopted the Restatement's view, citing them as a court would cite statute or code.

Far more common, however, is the practice of citing the Restatement to clarify generally-accepted doctrine in every major area of contract and commercial law. It is in this context of legal research that one can find the Restatement used as direct substantiation and persuasive authority, to validate the arguments and interpretations of individual legal practitioners.


Although the Restatement of Contracts is still an influential academic work, certain aspects have been superseded in everyday legal practice by the Uniform Commercial Code
Uniform Commercial Code
The Uniform Commercial Code , first published in 1952, is one of a number of uniform acts that have been promulgated in conjunction with efforts to harmonize the law of sales and other commercial transactions in all 50 states within the United States of America.The goal of harmonizing state law is...

. Specifically, the UCC has replaced the Restatement (Second) of Contracts in regard to the sale of goods. The Restatement (Second) of Contracts remains the unofficial authority for aspects of contract law which find their genus in the common law principles of the United States and, previously, England.

External links

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