Boston University School of Law
Having read Jack Beermann and Fran Miller’s moving and insightful essays, I find myself unable to express in further words how wonderful Mark was and how much I miss him. I ask therefore that Jack and Fran allow me to join their celebration of Mark’s inimitable brilliance and generosity. What I offer today is a particular word of praise for an article by Mark which is not only my favorite, but also an extremely well regarded contribution to contract law scholarship: Modern Unilateral Contracts. 1 In this oft-cited and oft-quoted piece,2 published in this Law Review in 1983, Mark took issue with the conventional wisdom of the time. He showed that unilateral contracts did not belong at the far margins of contract law, where Karl Llewellyn and others would have them,3 but rather, very near the center, where they were doing major work for the little guy in a range of judicial proceedings.4 I will first highlight the impact, both doctrinal and jurisprudential, of this article at the time Mark wrote it. I will then move the clock to the present day and discuss the striking analytical value of unilateral contracts in the age of blockchains and smart contracts—a testament to Mark’s insight and evergreen legacy.
Then and Now: Mark Pettit’s Modern Unilateral Contracts in the 1980s and in the Age of Blockchains,
Boston University Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/576