Boston University School of Law

JD856 Restitution and Unjust Enrichment


A survey of the modern U.S. law of restitution and unjust enrichment, organized around the new "Restatement Third, Restitution and Unjust Enrichment," scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2010 and published some time in 2011. Our syllabus will combine selections from the Restatement with selected cases. "Restitution" in this context refers to an independent cause of action based on the claim that the defendant has been unjustly enriched at the expense of the plaintiff. The action in restitution often involves characteristic equitable remedies, such as constructive trust, subrogation, and rules of "tracing." Restitution is a basic "building block" subject, like contract and torts, with potential application to transactions across every part of the private legal spectrum. Students who have never heard of it before (except possibly in their Contracts class) are usually surprised to see how many interesting topics it involves. Course materials will be made available through a course website.