r6_philly wrote:I beg to differ. The ED contract is only bound to the application for Fall 2010 cycle since it is a component of the Fall 2010 application. When fall 2011 starts there will be a new contract superceeding this current one. The ED is bound to admission offers, and since your admission offer will not be valid past Fall 2010, you cannot except 2010 ED contract to be binding to the 2011 admission cycle. You will need to enter a new contract for the next cycle. I am just a 0L but this how all of our business contracts have worked. When no expiration date was specified in the contract our binding contracts remains valid only for the term of our product (in the case of admission should only be the current cycle). I could be wrong but I don't see how this can be binding on next year.
1. if you don't honor your admission offer (by not sending deposit or enrolling), your offer will be revoked. How can they bind you to an offer that is no longer valid
2. in the contract, the specified penalty is "Failure by admitted Early Decision applicants to honor
their aforementioned commitments will result in Columbia revoking its offer of admission." So the consequence of breaking the contract is to lose your offer only. People/businesses break contracts all the time. You just lose what you are supposed to lose. You can technically have your offer revoked, then initiate new applications and be accepted elsewhere (the odds of succeeding is very low obviously being so late by then)
The only penalty you will suffer under this contract language will be handed out only by CLS. I don't see how it hurts you elsewhere other than the fact that you broke a contract.
I have not and will not apply ED, so please don't think I am unethical or something, our business deals with non-compete and other similar issues so just making observations
1) Your offer being revoked does not free you from further penalties or action. It does not say "your offer will be revoked but we will take no future action and you are free to enroll elsewhere after your offer is revoked." In fact that reading is highly illogical because it means there are no teeth to the contract. Why wouldn't someone apply to Columbia ED and also to Harvard? If they get into Harvard and breach the Columbia ED contract, there's no punishment to them under your theory. This brings me to point 2:
2) Schools do share lists of ED acceptances. Other schools will be made aware you formed a binding ED contract and they'll be able to figure out you breached it if you keep trying to enroll there. This is assuming Columbia doesn't directly notify those schools that you breached a contract with them.
3) You're right that if you do something to get your offer revoked, you no longer have a binding contract with them. You've breached and your relationship with the school is pretty much over. However, what you're failing to consider is that the school can notify other law schools that you breached the contract. The Columbia contract specifically states that they will share names of accepted ED candidates with peer schools. Yes, you can probably find a less prestigious school that will not care or not be told, but the top law schools all communicate regularly and they all care.
4) The plain language does not indicate that the contract is only meant to apply for the current cycle. I concede that you may be correct that it will be interpreted to only apply to the current cycle, but that's only a possibility and not something you should be asserting nearly so strongly without proof it is normally interpreted that way. That's very dangerous to rely on because if you're wrong the person that trusts your statements has destroyed their chances at a proper legal education.
Also, your interpretation is kind of weak. It only applies to the current cycle because if accepted you can only attend in that cycle? That's simply not true. You can defer matriculation after being accepted and start in a later year. In that sense the contract can clearly apply to future cycles; if you need to defer and attend in a later year they can give you the option of deferring and still keep you within the terms of the contract.
The plain language of the contract indicates an intent to enroll at Columbia, period
, and that th school will enforce this by sharing contract information to other schools. Anyone who thinks they can simply blow off a contract like this with no repercussions at other schools is incredibly naive.