Synopses & Reviews
Restitution is the body of law concerned with taking away gains that someone has wrongfully obtained. The operator of a Ponzi scheme takes money from his victims by fraud and then invests it in stocks that rise in value. Or a company pays a shareholder excessive dividends or pays them to the wrong person. Or a man poisons his grandfather and then collects under the grandfathers will. In each of these cases, one party is unjustly enriched at the expense of another. And in all of them the law of restitution provides a way to undo the enrichment and transfer the defendants gains to a party with better rights to them. Tort law focuses on the harm, or costs, that one party wrongfully imposes on another. Restitution is the mirror image; it corrects gains that one party wrongfully receives at anothers expense. It is an important topic for every lawyer and for anyone else interested in how the legal system responds to injustice.
In Restitution, Ward Farnsworth presents a guide to this body of law that is compact, lively, and insightfulthe first treatment of its kind that the American law of restitution has received. The book explains restitution doctrines, remedies, and defenses with unprecedented clarity and illustrates them with vivid examples. Farnsworth demonstrates that the law of restitution is guided by a manageable and coherent set of principles that have remarkable versatility and power. Restitution makes a complex and important area of law accessible, understandable, and interesting to any reader.
and#8220;Every good lawyer knows that thereand#8217;s a standard set of argumentative moves that are repeatedly made in different legal settings.and#160; Farnsworthand#8217;s book is chock full of the kind of tools that every legal analyst should have in his or her back pocket.and#160; This ambitious book is likely to spur a lively debate about what exactly are the essential tools of legal analysis.and#160; While some will grouse that their pet tool was excluded, the books points toward a new way of organizing the first-year curriculum.and#160; Farnsworth is forging a new pedagogical canon.and#8221;
and#8220;This is one of those rare books that will actually raise the level of analysis at every law school in the country.and#160;A must-read not only for students just beginning law school, but indeed for anyone who could use a reminder of how diverse and powerful the legal toolkit really is.and#8221;
and#8220;This book is a very accessible introduction to the major ideas of modern legal thinking and useful survey of current thinking in the field.and#160; It covers an extraordinarily broad range of topics in a limited space and is very clearly written, studded with interesting examples and observations. It can profitably be read by law students, lawyers, and lay people with an interest in the legal system.and#8221;
and#8220;The Legal Analyst
provides an engaging and enlightening introduction to the most essential concepts of legal reasoning. In exceptionally clear prose, Ward Farnsworth walks the reader through concepts such as the Coase Theorem, the Prisonerand#8217;s Dilemma, and Property Rules and Liability Rulesand#8212;peeling away the fog of confusion that often envelops them to reveal the deep and startlingly simple insights that they offer. The reader comes away from the book with a toolkit of ideas that can be used to take apart and examine almost any legal issue.and#8221;
and#8220;This is an outstanding book that occupies a significant and unique niche in the literature of jurisprudence and legal methodology. Farnsworth introduces students and practitioners alike to basic methods of legal analysis across a broad range of disciplines. This book should become the ultimate and#8216;toolkitand#8217; for those new to the profession.and#8221;
“Immensely important. Farnsworths book is a major contribution to the field, providing a succinct, clear, and theoretically informed summary of the doctrine. I have little doubt that it will be of frequent use at law schools, courtrooms, and law offices alike, thus providing support to the belated revival of restitution in the United States.”
"Farnsworths Restitution offers a fresh look at an underappreciated subject. The analysis is intuitive, full of common sense, and elegantly written and organized. It is traditional in the sense that it takes legal duties and categories seriously, but it is novel in its willingness to set aside esoteric subjects and doctrines in order to produce a concise treatment. I recommend the book to every law student as an example of how to think about a subject that too often falls between the cracks."
"Farnsworths terrific book covers an amazing amount of material on the law of restitution in a concise, insightful, and appealing fashion. It should contribute greatly to bringing this important branch of the law out of the shadows."
"There has never been a good short introduction to the law of restitution and unjust enrichment. There is now, and its terrific—clear, conversational, sophisticated in its analysis, and with remarkable depth for its 186 pages."
“Farnsworth does a terrific job of describing restitution and explaining when it is used and applied. . . .This is a terrific book exploring an often neglected legal concept. . . . Highly recommended.”
There are two kinds of knowledge law school teaches: legal rules on the one hand, and tools for thinking about legal problems on the other. Although the tools are far more interesting and useful than the rules, they tend to be neglected in favor of other aspects of the curriculum. In The Legal Analyst, Ward Farnsworth brings together in one place all of the most powerful of those tools for thinking about law.
From classic ideas in game theory such as the and#8220;Prisonerand#8217;s Dilemmaand#8221; and the and#8220;Stag Huntand#8221; to psychological principles such as hindsight bias and framing effects, from ideas in jurisprudence such as the slippery slope to more than two dozen other such principles, Farnsworthand#8217;s guide leads readers through the fascinating world of legal thought. Each chapter introduces a single tool and shows how it can be used to solve different types of problems. The explanations are written in clear, lively language and illustrated with a wide range of examples.
The Legal Analyst is an indispensable userand#8217;s manual for law students, experienced practitioners seeking a one-stop guide to legal principles, or anyone else with an interest in the law.
About the Author
Ward Farnsworth, who clerked for both Judge Richard A. Posner and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, is professor of law and Nancy Barton Scholar at the Boston University School of Law. He is the coauthor of Torts: Cases and Questions.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Restitution, Tort, and Contract
Chapter 2. Mistakes
Chapter 3. Conferrings
Chapter 4. Takings
Chapter 5. Failed Contracts
Chapter 6. Money Remedies
Chapter 7. Equitable Remedies
Chapter 8. Defenses