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The second edition engages students and holds their attention through the use of modern examples and current events. The book’s careful selection of principal cases keeps the best of the classic opinions familiar to professors and adds contemporary disputes that students readily grasp, such as issues of contractual excuse due to the coronavirus pandemic. The opinions are sculpted to ensure robust discussion—from formation involving the heavy metal band Megadeth to mistake arising out of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Cases are animated and students challenged with engaging problems and examples based on actual cases better narrated than excerpted, such as the sale of Banksy’s self-destructing artwork and the disputed ownership of a valuable T-Rex fossil. Ethical issues and transactional drafting issues are raised throughout the text. Problems and cases are reflective of diversity, aided by the modern focus of the book. Notes and questions follow cases to prepare students for class discussion, and all relevant Restatement and UCC materials are reproduced for convenient reference.

A complete Teachers' Manual contains briefs for every case, suggested lesson plans, audiovisual clips, complete analysis of the problems and examples, as well as thoughts on all notes and questions. PowerPoint slides are available, so classroom presentation is a turnkey operation. Contact the author to access the available PowerPoint slides.

Watch our recent webinar with author Miriam Cherry to learn more about teaching from the book.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 02/24/2021

Miriam A. Cherry, St. John's University School of Law


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  • New materials cover force majeur in the pandemic
  • Reorganization of the chapters to make them more modular
  • New Problems & Examples to support online Instruction
  • Increased focus on diversity and inclusion to normalize diversity within cases, examples, and problems
  • New material on smart contracts

Learn more about this series.

Praise for the First Edition:

“This text is terrific. Foundational contract decisions are presented in connection with contemporary opinions so the students can see how older common law decisions have enduring relevance to modern commercial disputes. The text is particularly helpful in illustrating how the common law develops. It is an ideal book to use for first semester law students.”
—Deborah R. Gerhardt, Associate Professor, UNC School of Law

“Students love this casebook! The smart selection of cases reminds readers that contract law is deeply rooted in stories. Whether it is two elderly sisters feuding over a winning lottery ticket, or a sophisticated commercial dispute between corporations, the selected cases deeply engage students. This is a casebook for contemporary times. Old favorites are here (carbolic smoke balls and hairy hands), as well as new cases involving popular culture. (Did Paris Hilton break a promise to promote a film? Did Maya Angelou agree to license her works for use in greeting cards?) The cases address both the UCC and common law, and range from the small-scale (a contract to sell a food truck business) to the large (a city seeking to enforce an alleged promise by GM not to move an automotive factory). The scope and variety of contracts is thoroughly satisfying and guaranteed to generate lively class discussion.”
—Lenora Ledwon, J.D., Ph.D., Law and Literature: Text and Theory; co-editor of Law and Popular Culture: Texts, Notes and Questions
Professor of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law

Contracts: A Real World Casebook is a triumph. Combining interesting cases that captivate students’ attention, clear and concise descriptions of the doctrinal components of Common Law Contracts, and policy questions designed to spur students to think about contracts problems as they appear in everyday life, this book has been a delightful tool for introducing one of the most complex subjects in the first year curriculum to new law students. What I like best about Cunningham and Cherry’s casebook is it gives professors multiple cases and resources from different perspectives to help law students understand the multiplicity of perspectives that contracts can be approached through. The notes section and the teachers’ manual as well offer helpful guidance for structuring discussion in a way that keeps the class interesting to new students and demonstrates the inherent tension in play in the Contracts course. Highly recommended!”
— Marc L. Roark, Visiting Professor of Law, Southern University Law Center

Student Testimonials

“As a first-year law student, I quickly learned that a good textbook can make all the difference for a class. Contracts: A Real World Casebook breaks down complex legal concepts in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand, I especially love the hypothetical examples at the end of each chapter because they were often based on pop culture!”
—Sinead McGonagle, 1L Student

“The book provided a logical method for learning contract law. The book offers clear, up to date, cases along with numerous examples and sample problems. I especially liked the fire extinguisher problem that helped me figure out how to work through the details of the very confusing battle of the forms.”
—Brad Pryor, 1L Student

“The examples and notes in the book helped me learn contracts because I knew they were based on real world problems. The case about two sisters who won the lottery and the letter they wrote to each other especially stuck out in my mind as emotionally touching, and reminded me that the law we are learning applies to real life situations.”
—Lamees Horani, 1L Student