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Alleviating MistakesReversal and Forgiveness for Flawed Perceptions$
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E. Allan Farnsworth

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276110.001.0001

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Alleviating Mistakes

Alleviating Mistakes

(p.8) (p.9) 1 Alleviating Mistakes
Alleviating Mistakes

E. Allan Farnsworth

Oxford University Press

Although there are mistakes that can be perceived as happy, for example one would be happy to experience a mistake such as Columbus' discovery of America, we have to realize that some mistakes are associated with grave and untoward consequences. In some cases, untoward consequences are avoided because there is a legal rule that does not turn on alleviating mistakes. As manifested by a rule of contract interpretation, alleviation, in the context of mistakes, is not the only available measure taken in avoiding the difficulties associated with such untoward consequences. While there are some unhappy mistakes that cannot be alleviated, this chapter discusses two different means for relief in dealing with such cases: reversal and forgiveness. Also, this chapter introduces the notion of inculpating mistakes.

Keywords:   happy mistake, unhappy mistake, alleviation, rule of contract interpretation, reversal, forgiveness, inculpating mistakes

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