• Until We’re Not All Realists Anymore: Wilkie v. Auto-Owners Insurance and Michigan’s Neo-Formalist Jurisprudence of Contract Interpretation

    Author(s):
    Daniel Barnhizer
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/xnw6-wt93
    Abstract:
    The phrase, “we are all [legal] realists now,” as Michael Green notes, has been “so often said that it has become a cliché to call it a ‘cliché.’ ”1 Except when we are not, as the Michigan Supreme Court indicated in a series of cases beginning with Wilkie v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co.2 in 2003 and culminating with Rory v. Continental Inssurance Co.3 in 2005. Although this Essay focuses on Wilkie, this line of cases not only provides significant pedagogical benefits in terms of teaching contract interpretation but also demonstrates the power of jurisprudence to control development of legal doctrine. Moreover, these cases indicate, in Michigan at least, that formalist concepts still have a place in modern contract law and jurisprudence.
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    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 weeks ago
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