Hastings Law Journal


Harry G. Prince


The American Association of Law Schools (“AALS”) Contracts Section listserv recently carried an online conversation that began with the question of whether anyone knew a case in which the court refused to enforce a contract because of its racial content. A lively and informative discussion ensued. One of the responses cited a case in which the court held that the refusal to contract based on race was wrongful, but the author went on to suggest she believed she had seen a case in an older edition of the Knapp casebook that held that an offer could be restricted on the basis on race. Shortly thereafter Professor Chuck Knapp confirmed that in the first edition of his casebook there had indeed been such a case, Maughs v. Porter, a 1931 Virginia Supreme Court decision. Professor Knapp went on to explain the holding in the case and its appearance, and subsequent disappearance, from the casebook. This brief exchange offers a number of insights about Professor Knapp’s stature and enduring contribution to the contract law academy. . .

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