By Professor Ian Ayres
How can a promise be a lie? resolution: while the promisor by no means meant to accomplish the promise. Such incidences of promissory fraud are usually litigated simply because they could bring about punitive damages awards. And an insincere promisor can also be held criminally accountable. but courts have supplied little assistance approximately what the scope of legal responsibility could be or what facts can be required. This book—the first ever dedicated to the research of promissory fraud—answers those questions. full of examples of insincere promising from the case legislations in addition to from literature and pop culture, the publication is an imperative consultant if you happen to perform or educate agreement law.
The authors discover what gives you say from the views of philosophy, economics, and the legislation. They establish 4 leader blunders that courts make in promissory fraud instances. and so they supply a thought for a way courts and practitioners should still deal with promissory fraud cases.
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Extra resources for Insincere Promises: The Law of Misrepresented Intent
Consider the statement “I promise to quit smoking,” uttered by Alice to her vehemently antismoking fiancé, Bob. ” Taken in context, it says that Alice is so likely to quit smoking that Bob’s aversion to being married to a smoker should not keep him from marrying her. In such situations, the statement “I promise to x” should be interpreted to say that Pp Ն Pp*. Courts that adhere to the categorical interpretation risk overlooking material representations of the above sort. 46 The plaintiffs leased a building from the defendants to be used as a bar.
But for our purposes, it is more interesting to observe that a definite-probability representation functions in the same way that the representation of an intention to perform does—to assure the promisee that he can safely rely on the promisor’s performance. And we can imagine an alternative promissory practice in which, rather than implicitly saying that the promisor intended to perform, the very act of promising represented that the probability of performance was at least a certain value, say at least percent.
We call this majority view the categorical interpretation. In most cases, this assumption remains unspoken, though it can be seen at work in the fact that courts typically ignore the representation inquiry altogether. Under the categorical interpretation, the mere fact that the defendant made a promise is enough to prove that she represented an intention to perform. ”2 We argue in this chapter that the categorical interpretation is both overinclusive and underinclusive. It is overinclusive because it is not clear that every promise represents a present intent to perform.