Contract Law in Action: COVID and the Casebook

Temple University Beasley School of Law

April 21, 2023

9:00AM – 5:00 PM ET.

Temple Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School will host a workshop April 21, 2023 at Temple (Philadelphia) focusing on recent changes in Contracts pedagogy and law: (i) the effect of the last few years on the delivery of Contracts teaching materials (e.g., what is the role of the Contracts casebook?); and (ii) how, in early hindsight, have our predictions about COVID and Contract doctrine, documented in a 2021 issue of Law and Contemporary Problems, played out?

Anticipated speakers/participants will include Ed Cheng (Vanderbilt), Sarah Dadush (Rutgers), Pamela Foohey (Cardozo), Bob Hillman (Cornell), Dave Hoffman (Penn), Marissa Jackson (Richmond), Thomas Joo (UC Davis), Kish Parella (W&L), Dylan Penningroth (Berkeley), Mitra Sharafi (Wisconsin), Andrew Schwartz (Colorado), Gordon Smith (BYU) and Rip Verkerke (UVA), among others.

Please register for this event by Friday, April 14, 2023.


The COVID-19 pandemic taught us a great deal about the role and teaching of Contracts.  Many feared widespread breach and litigation; others worried about how to teach the law of promising (and breach) through a flat screen.  Some of us worried about both.

With memories still fresh, we wanted to gather those who participated in those discussions, and to welcome newcomers, to assess what we thought in the moment, and where we think COVID’s lingering effects will take Contracts scholarship and teaching.

On the educational side, we have learned that we can do many (but not all) things virtually or remotely.  The pandemic appears, for example, to have accelerated a trend toward the disaggregation of educational content in general.  Now, we use (consciously or not) videos, podcasts, YouTube clips and other online content to supply or supplement content for Contracts class.  Indeed, there are now free and freemium materials from which one could teach an entire Contracts course. And, given increased focus on racial injustice as it manifests in various legal and social systems, many who teach Contracts seek to reckon more deliberately with the legacy of structural racism and inequality.

On the theory/doctrine/practice side, it appears that many of our worst systemic fears about COVID were not realized.  While there was (and remains) plenty of litigation, the vast majority of problems appear to have been resolved consensually, whether through standstills or workouts or the like.  Yet, some of those resolutions were better than others.  Many front-line workers (here and abroad) may have been left with the very short end of the stick, for example.

For those of you who may have participated in the Contract and COVID (K-COVID) workshops hosted by Temple (or contributed to the resulting symposium issue of Law and Contemporary Problems, Contract in Crisis), this will be an opportunity to discuss developments since then.  We also welcome and encourage new or aspiring Contracts teachers (and those who may be new to these issues) to join us.

This will be a continuation of the Kidwell Lecture, which has historically been held every year or so at Wisconsin, named in honor of Professor John Kidwell.  Speakers including Lisa Bernstein, Cathy Hwang and (most recently) Rachel Rebouché have presented Contracts scholarship in the “law in action” tradition (or critiquing it).  

Event Materials

To read and download the available papers from the Contract Law in Action: COVID and the Casebook workshop panelists, please click here.

To download the event program and panelists biographies, please click here.


To register, please provide your name and email address below. There is no charge for registration. Registration deadline is Friday, April 14, 2023.

Limited financial aid in the form of a travel fellowship will be available for junior/pre-academy scholars with a demonstrated interest in the subject matter who wish to attend in person. Please see below*, then indicate request as provided in registration form.  Although this will in hybrid format, we have a strong preference for participation in person. 

*Kohn-Kidwell Fellows.  We welcome applications for financial aid in the form of an honorarium not to exceed $500, for participants who wish to attend in person, have a demonstrated interest in the study or teaching of Contracts, and who are prior to, or in the early stages of, an academic career.  If you wish to apply to be a Kohn-Kidwell Fellow, please use the link above to provide the following information:


For those participating in person, the Workshop will be held in Shusterman Hall on the campus of Temple University, 1810 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122, mapped here.  Information on directions and parking is here.  Those participating remotely will receive a Zoom link.

After a light breakfast and check-in at 9:00, the expected panels and times are as follows:

Introductory Remarks, 10:00—10:15 am

Panel 1 The Future of Contract Law: Substance, Form & Format, 10:15—11:45 am

Panel 2 K-COVID2: Predictions about the Recent Past, 1:30-3:15 pm

Panel 3 Contracts: Law in Action, 3:30-4:45 pm 

Concluding Remarks, 4:45—5:00 pm

All times listed are Eastern. Breakfast, lunch and light refreshments will be served; a cocktail reception will follow.

We are excited to bring this Workshop together, and hope to see many of you there.