Unconscionability and Franchise Litigation

October 11, 2006
Boston, MA

Ingrained in our legal system is "freedom of contract," a concept originating in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and "based upon the natural law principle that it is ‘natural' for parties to perform their bargains or pacts."  In tension with freedom of contract stands the equitable doctrine of unconscionability, which has been around, in one form or another, since antiquity.  Scholars have traced the concept back to Roman law.  English courts began publishing opinions applying the doctrine as early as 1625, and United States courts still cite an English unconscionability case that is over 250 years old.

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