Peter A. Alces

Peter A. Alces

Rita Anne Rollins Professor of Law, Emeritus
Degrees: J.D., University of Illinois; A.B., Lafayette College
Email: [[paalce]]
Office phone: (757) 876-6987
Areas of Specialization

Commercial Law; Contract Law; Law & Neuroscience; Products Liability Law; Torts

Teaching Interests

Commercial Law; Contracts; Torts; Law & Neuroscience; Products Liability

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Joined the faculty in 1991. Cabell Research Professor of Law from 1997-1998, 2012-13, and 2017-2018; Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence in 2012. Practiced law in Chicago and taught at the University of Texas Graduate School of Business and the University of Alabama School of Law. Has been a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Washington and Lee University, Washington University, and University of Texas law schools.

Author of Trialectic: The Confluence of Law, Neuroscience, and Morality; The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience; A Theory of Contract Law: Empirical Insights, and Moral Psychology; Commercial Contracting; The Law of Suretyship and Guaranty; Bankruptcy: Cases and Materials; Cases, Problems and Materials on Payment Systems; The Commercial Law of Intellectual Property; Sales, Leases and Bulk Transfers; The Law of Fraudulent Transactions; and Uniform Commercial Code Transactions Guide. Author of articles in the Northwestern, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, Fordham, California, Texas, and William & Mary law reviews, and the Emory, Ohio State and Georgetown law journals.

Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, 1991-2005. Member of the American Law Institute and Association of American Law Schools' Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law; Advisor to Restatement (Third) of the Law of Suretyship and Guaranty.

Scholarly Publications
  • Trialectic: The Confluence of Law, Neuroscience, and Morality (U. of Chicago Press 2023).
  • The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience (U. of Chicago Press 2018).
  • A Theory of Contract Law: Empirical Insights and Moral Psychology (Oxford U. Press 2011).
  • Commercial Contracting (Lexis 2d ed. 2008) (co-author).
  • Commercial Contracting (Lexis 2004) (co-author).
  • Cases and Materials on Bankruptcy (West Publishing Company 2d ed. 2001) (co-author).
  • The Law of Suretyship and Guaranty (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1996) (annual supplement).
  • Cases and Materials on Bankruptcy (West 1995) (co-author).
  • The Commercial Law of Intellectual Property (Little, Brown & Co. 1994) (co-author) (annual supplement).
  • Payment Systems (West Publishing Company 2d ed. 1993) (co-author) (comprehensive revision of Commercial Paper and Alternative Payment Systems, 1987).
  • Sales, Leases, and Bulk Transfers (Matthew Bender 1989) (co-author).
  • The Law of Fraudulent Transactions (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1989) (Semi-Annual Supplement).
  • Uniform Commercial Code Transaction Guide, four volumes (Callaghan 1988) (Commercial Paper, Bank Collections, and Letters of Credit) (1990 supplement to treatise).
  • Commercial Paper and Alternative Payment Systems (Matthew Bender 1987) (co-author).
Articles and Book Chapters
  • Nohwere, 63 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1079 (2021) (with Sapolsky) (Law and Neuroscience Symposium) (solicited).
  • The Gap, in Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Science of Punishment (Routledge 2021).
  • Neuroscience Changes More Than You Can Think, U. Ill. J.L. Tech. & Pol'y 141 (2017) (with Davies).
  • The Death of Consent, in Comparative Contract Law: British and American Perspectives (DiMatteo & Hogg eds., Oxford U. Press 2016).
  • Reply to Hogg, "Saying What We Mean: Fundamental Structural Language in Contract Law," in Comparative Contract Law: British and American Perspectives (DiMatteo & Hogg eds., Oxford U. Press 2016).
  • The Minimum Content of Natural Contract Law, in Current Issues in Commercial Contracts: Transatlantic Perspectives (Cambridge U. Press 2013).
  • Contract IS Context, 45 Wake Forest L. Rev. 903 (2010) ("Contract in Context" Symposium) (solicited).
  • They Can Do What?!, 26 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 1099 (2010) (with Greenfield) (Consumer Finance Symposium) (solicited).
  • Is it Time for the Restatement of Contracts, Fourth?, 11 Duq. Bus. L.J. 195 (2009) (with Christopher Byrne) (Revised Article 2 of the U.C.C. Symposium) (solicited).
  • Unintelligent Design in Contract, 2008 U. Ill. L. Rev. 505 (2008).
  • Carrying a Good Joke Too Far, 83 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 879 (2008) (with Hopkins) (U.C.C. Article 3 & 4 Symposium) (solicited).
  • Guerilla Terms, 56 Emory L.J. 1511 (2007).
  • The Moral Impossibility of Contract, 48 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1647 (2007) (Law and Morality Symposium).
  • On Discovering Doctrine: "Justice" in Contract Agreement, 83 Wash. U. L.Q. 471 (2005).
  • The Unruliness of Rules, 101 Mich. L. Rev. 2037 (2003) (reviewing Larry Alexander & Emily Sherwin, The Rule of Rules: Morality, Rules, and the Dilemmas of Law) (essay review).
  • Contract Reconceived, 96 Nw. U. L. Rev. 39 (2001).
  • Regret and Contract "Science," 89 Geo. L.J. 143 (2000) (essay).
  • Commercial Codification as Negotiation, 32 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 17 (1999) (with David Frisch).
  • Defending Truth, 78 Tex. L. Rev. 493 (1999) (with Cynthia V. Ward) (reviewing Daniel A. Farber & Suzanna Sherry, Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law, Oxford U. Press, 1997) (essay review).
  • If You Don't Have Anything Good To Say …, 15 Bankr. Dev. J. 383 (1999) (reviewing Karen Gross, Failure and Forgiveness: Rebalancing the Bankruptcy System) (solicited) (book review).
  • W(h)ither Warranty: The B(l)oom of Products Liability Theory in Cases of Deficient Software Design, 87 Cal. L. Rev. 269 (1999).
  • When Y2K Causes "Economic Loss" to "Other Property," 84 Minn. L. Rev. 1 (1999) (with Aaron Book).
  • Commenting On "Purpose" In the Uniform Commercial Code, 58 Ohio St. L.J. 419 (1997) (with David Frisch).
  • On the UCC Revision Process: A Reply to Dean Scott, 37 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1217 (1996) (with David Frisch).
  • Abolish the Article 9 Filing System, 79 Minn. L. Rev. 679 (1995) (U.C.C. Article 9 Filing Symposium) (solicited).
  • Introduction to The Revision of Article 2 of the Uniform Commerical Code Symposium, 35 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1299 (1994) (symposium article).
  • Reinventing the Wheel, 35 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1405 (1994) (with Marion W. Benfield) (U.C.C. Article 2 Revision Symposium).
  • Toil of the Firestarters, 92 Mich. L. Rev. 1707 (1994) (reviewing Julius G. Getman, In The Company of Scholars) (book review).
  • Clearer Conceptions of Insider Preferences, 71 Wash. U. L.Q. 1107 (1993), excerpted in Charles Tabb, Bankruptcy Anthology (Anderson 2001).
  • Independence, Interdependence, and the Suretyship Principle, 1993 U. Ill. L. Rev. 447 (1993) (essay).
  • Reconsidering Consideration in the Restatement (Third) of Suretyship, 34 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1053 (1993) (Suretyship Symposium).
  • Rethinking Professor Westbrook's Two Thoughts About Insider Preferences, 77 Minn. L. Rev. 605 (1993).
  • Roll Over, Llewellyn?, 26 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 543 (1993) (Uniform Commercial Law Symposium) (solicited).
  • Personal Property Leasing: Article 2A of the U.C.C., in New York Practice Guide: Business and Commercial Law, Ch. 19 (Matthew Bender 1992).
  • An Agenda for Reform of the U.C.C. Article 9 Filing System, 44 Okla. L. Rev. 99 (1991) (with Robert Lloyd) (U.C.C. Article 9 Symposium) (solicited), excerpted in Jordan, Warren & Walt, Secured Transactions in Personal Property (Foundation Press 2000) and Jordan & Warren, Commercial Law (Foundation Press 1992).
  • Bank Liability for Fiduciary Fraud, 42 Ala. L. Rev. 475 (1991) (with Marion Benfield) (U.C.C. Articles 3, 4, and 4A Symposium), excerpted in Rubin & Cooter, The Payment System: Cases, Materials and Issues (West 2d ed. 1994).
  • Fraud Bases of Bulk Transferee Liability, 63 Temp. L. Rev. 679 (1990), excerpted in Dolan & Ponoroff, Basic Concepts in Commercial Law: Cases and Materials (West 1998).
  • Statutory Personal Property Lease Law in Alabama, 42 Ala. L. Rev. 101 (1990) (with P. Cade Newman).
  • The Confluence of Bulk Transfer and Fraudulent Disposition Law, 41 Ala. L. Rev. 821 (1990) (U.C.C. Article Symposium), reprinted as modified in Callaghan's Commercial Law Annual (1991), excerpted in Harris & Miller, The Emerging New Uniform Commercial Code (ALI-ABA Course of Study Materials, 1990).
  • Surreptitious and Not-So-Surreptitious Adjustment of the U.C.C., 39 Ala. L. Rev. 559 (1988) (U.C.C. Article 2A Symposium) (Introductory Essay).
  • Generic Fraud and the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, 9 Cardozo L. Rev. 743 (1987) (U.F.T.A. Symposium) (solicited).
  • Personal Property Leasing: Article 2A of the U.C.C., in New York Practice Guide: Business and Commercial Law, Ch.19 (Matthew Bender) (Matthew Bender 1987).
  • Toward a Jurisprudence of Bank-Customer Relations, 32 Wayne L. Rev. 1279 (1986), excerpted in Rubin & Cooter, The Payment System: Cases, Materials and Issues (West 1989).
  • A Critical Analysis of the New Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, 1985 U. Ill. L. Rev. 527 (1985) (with Luthor Dorr).
  • A Jurisprudential Perspective for the "True" Codification of Payments Law, 53 Fordham L. Rev. 83 (1984).
  • The Efficacy of Guaranty Contracts in Sophisticated Commercial Transactions, 61 N.C. L. Rev. 655 (1983).
  • Unexpired Leases in Bankruptcy: Rights of the Affected Mortgagee, 35 U. Fla. L. Rev. 656 (1983).

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