Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
580 Massie RdCharlottesville, Virginia 22903
This class examines exchanges and transactions that are traditionally repugnant, and sometimes illegal. Importantly, what constitutes a repugnant transaction is culturally dependent, changing over time and across cultures. For example, typical repugnant transactions in modern western societies include organs, blood, babies, sexual relations, votes for money, and a wide range of other issues.
This class will explore the topic of taboo trades (e.g. prostitution, marijuana, paying college athletes) through the production of a weekly podcast in with a guest scholar, lawyer, or regulator. Students will read relevant work of the guest and develop questions and content for the podcast. Two students will be "guest producers" for each podcast and take the lead in selecting questions and materials, and help conduct the interviews.
This course exposes students to an increasingly-common legal question in the wake of Covid-19: when will parties be excused from performance due either to contractual provisions (e.g. force majeure) or common law doctrines such as impossibility, impracticability, and frustration?
Each course segment will consider in depth a foundational tenet of contract law, but applied to a new and modern fact pattern. For example, does an agreement to exchange one kidney for another (as in the increasingly common kidney paired donation) involve consideration? Is it void as against public policy? What is the obligation of airlines, hotels, and third-party providers (such as Expedia) to honor "mistake fares?"