The Restatement of the Law of Contracts (Second) is an influential legal treatise that sets forth the principles governing the formation, interpretation, and enforcement of contracts in the United States. Written by the American Law Institute, the Restatement (Second) has been widely adopted by courts and legal scholars as a leading authority on contract law.
The Restatement (Second) is organized into chapters that cover different aspects of contract law. Chapter 1 sets forth the basic principles of contract formation, including offer and acceptance, consideration, and the capacity of parties to contract. Chapter 2 covers the interpretation of contracts, including rules for resolving ambiguities and determining the intent of the parties. Chapter 3 addresses the enforceability of contracts, including issues such as duress, fraud, and mistake.
One of the key features of the Restatement (Second) is its emphasis on the objective theory of contract formation. Under this theory, the formation of a contract is determined by the reasonable understanding of the parties, rather than their subjective intentions. This approach has been widely adopted by courts and is considered a cornerstone of contract law.
Another important aspect of the Restatement (Second) is its treatment of remedies for breach of contract. Chapter 13 sets forth the standard remedies of damages and specific performance, as well as other remedies such as restitution and reformation. The Restatement (Second) also recognizes the role of equitable remedies in certain situations, such as when a contract involves a unique object or service.
Overall, the Restatement of the Law of Contracts (Second) is an essential resource for anyone involved in contract law, from lawyers to business owners. Its clear and comprehensive guidelines provide a framework for understanding the complex principles of contract formation, interpretation, and enforcement. Furthermore, its widespread adoption by courts and legal scholars ensures that the principles set forth in the Restatement (Second) will continue to shape the development of contract law for years to come.