Dawson, p. 29-31: Why Not Reliance?

 

Most contract breach cases award expectation damages.However, there seem to be a few cases where reliance damages are favored.Why donít we usually go with reliance?

 

Sharp, Promissory Liability (pt. 1)

7 U.Chi.L.Rev. 1, 20-21 (1939)

 

Sharp argues that reliance is a lot harder to prove than expectation, and so if you want to ensure good contracts from a policy standpoint itís more practical to use expectation.

 

Sharp also argues that when we donít get what weíre promised, our feelings are hurt.Sharp says there is an interest in protecting against the stress of broken promises that is best enforced with expectation damages.

 

Finally, Sharp notes that a modern economy based on credit needs remedies based on expectation because of the risk and uncertainty involved in changing markets.

 

Dawson, Restitution or Damages?

20 Ohio St.L.J. 175, 187-188 (1959)

 

Dawson says that expectation damages prevent promisors from being tempted by gain through breach of contract.Reliance is used in some states when a vendor is going to sell land but discovers the title to the land isnít clear.In other states, expectation is used because, it is argued, vendors should not be encouraged to engage in ďspeculation without riskĒ.

 

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