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Contracts with Open or Missing Terms under the Uniform Commercial Code and the Common Law: A Proposal for Unification

Nellie Eunsoo Choi
Columbia Law Review
Vol. 103, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp. 50-73
DOI: 10.2307/1123702
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1123702
Page Count: 24
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Contracts with Open or Missing Terms under the Uniform Commercial Code and the Common Law: A Proposal for Unification
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Abstract

Historically, all contracts with open or missing terms were found void for indefiniteness unless there was partial performance. The Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C. or Code) departed from the common law and permitted the enforcement of sale-of-goods contracts with open or missing terms, provided that certain requirements were met. Today, the treatment of open- and missing-term contracts in the service context is inconsistent: Some jurisdictions apply the traditional common-law doctrine to hold such contracts invalid for indefiniteness, while others apply the U.C.C. analysis to hold such contracts enforceable. This Note considers the arguments supporting both the traditional common-law rule and modern U.C.C. approach. It argues that in light of modern commercial reality, the courts should apply the U.C.C. analysis to both sale-of-goods and service contracts. This unified approach would eliminate confusion in the current state of law and promote flexibility in commercial transactions for both goods and services.

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