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DiveIN Case Discussion Series: Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co.

Friday, January 29, 2021

10:30 AM-11:30 AM

This spring, we invite all members of the Kline Law community to join us for our new DiveIN Case Discussion series. Each month this semester, a member of our faculty will lead a discussion about a case — perhaps one that is taught in class for specific doctrinal reasons, but which also reflects deep inequities that aren’t fully acknowledged in the classroom setting. These case discussions are a chance for us to create space to engage in those unfinished conversations, by examining the selected cases with an equity lens, in particular an anti-racism lens, and discussing together the full implications that we find within.

Our first case discussion will be led by Professor Chapin Cimino on Friday, January 29.

Case Description:

If you have ever clicked “I agree” without ACTUALLY reading all those “terms and conditions,” then you are lucky you haven’t found yourself in the position of the plaintiff in an (in)famous contracts case, Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. There, as the court wrote, a woman of “limited education” with multiple children on public assistance purchased a stereo that even the salesman from the store knew she couldn’t afford. What does the case have to do with race? Nothing — if you simply read the various court opinions in the cases. But, of course, it does.

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