University of Pittsburgh

Harry M. Flechtner

Professor of Law

Harry M. Flechtner, a six-time winner of the Law School's Excellence-in-Teaching Award, teaches and publishes in the areas of international and domestic commercial law, including sales and general contract law. His publications include a casebook co-authored with John Murray Jr., Sales, Leases and Electronic Commerce: Problems and Materials on National and International Transactions (now in its fourth edition), the 4th edition (2009) of John Honnold’s Uniform Law for International Sales under the 1980 United Nations Convention, and many chapters and articles focusing mainly on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”). Professor Flechtner teaches abroad frequently, including as a Visiting Professor at the University of Salzburg (Austria) in spring 2012 under a Fulbright Teaching and Research grant. He also writes and performs songs on commercial law topics (see "Links" below).

Professor Flechtner is a National Correspondent for the United States at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”), and has been cited by the Solicitor General of the United States as "one of the leading academic authorities” on the CISG. He was a member of the group of experts who created the original UNCITRAL Digest of Case Law on the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, and he served as Coordinator for the team of nine international legal academics that produced the updated 2012 edition of the Digest. Professor Flechtner acts as a faculty adviser to the Journal of Law and Commerce, published by University of Pittsburgh law students, and he has for many years coached the team from the University of Pittsburgh in the Willem Vis International Arbitration Moot. He speaks frequently on commercial law topics at symposia, workshops, and continuing legal education programs.

Education

  • JD, Harvard Law School
  • MA, Harvard University
  • AB, Harvard University
  • Links

  • The CISG Song
  • The "Mootie Blues"
  • Selected Publications

    Books:

    • UNCITRAL Digest of Case Law on the United Nations Conventions on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods (CISG), (2012 ed.).
    • Issues Relating to the Applicability of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-07Uniform Law For International Sales Under The 1980 United Nations Convention, John Honnold, 4th ed., (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, forthcoming).
    • Issues Relating to Exemption ('Force Majeure') Under Article 79 of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ('CISG'), U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-08, Uniform Law For International Sales Under The 1980 United Nations Convention, John Honnold, 4th ed., (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, forthcoming).
    • Drafting Contracts Under the CISG (Harry M. Flechtner, Ronald A. Brand & Mark S. Walter, eds., Oxford University Press, 2008.)
    • The Draft UNCITRAL Digest and Beyond: Cases, Analysis and Unresolved Issues in the U.N. Sales Convention (Franco Ferrari, Harry Flechtner & Ronald A. Brand eds., Sellier European Law Publishers, 2004).
    • John E. Murray & Harry M. Flechtner, Sales, Leases and Electronic Commerce: Problems and Materials on National and International Transactions (West Group 2d 2003).

    Scholarly Articles:

    • The U.S. Experience with the U.C.C. and the CISG: Some Insights for the Proposed Common European Sales Law, chapter in forthcoming book to be published by the Max Plank Institute containing papers delivered at a conference entitled “CISG vs. Regional Sales Law Unification” held at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg, Germany, May 11-12, 2012).
    • Decisions on Conformity of Goods under Article 35 of the U.N. Sales Convention (CISG): The ‘Mussels Case,’ Evidentiary Standards for Lack of Conformity, and the ‘Default Rule’ vs. ‘Cumulative’ Views of Implied Conformity Obligations, chapter in a forthcoming book containing papers delivered at a conference entitled “The New International Sales Law of Turkey: CISG” held at Istanbul Bilgi Univ. (Turkey, May 25-26, 2012).
    • Service Contracts in the United States (and from an Economic Perspective): A Comparative View of the DCFR’s Service Contract Provisions and Their Application to Hawkins v. McGeeRechtsvergleichung Und Rechtsvereinheitlichung, (Mohr Siebeck Publishers, 2010).
    • Globalization of Law as Documented in the Law on International Sales of Goods, 35 Nieuw Internationaal Privaatrecht: Meer Europees, Meer Globaal 541-560, (Erauw, J., Taelman, P. eds., Kluwer, 2009). On SSRN.
    • Excluding CISG Article 35(2) Quality Obligations: The “Default Rule” View vs. the “Cumulation” View, International Arbitration and International Commercial Law: Synergy, Convergence and Evolution (Liber Amicorum in Honor of Professor Eric Bergsten) 571-84 (Kluwer Law International, 2011).
    • The Future of the Sales Convention: In Defense of Diversity (Some Non-Uniformity) in Interpreting the CISG, Festschrift in Honor of Professor Ingeborg Schwenzer 30 (Büchler A., and Müller-Chen, M., eds., Bern: Stämpfli Verlag, 2011).
    • Selected Issues Relating to the CISG's Scope of Application, 13 The Vindobona Journal of International Commercial Law and Arbiration 91 (2009).  Available on SSRN.
    • Funky Mussels, a Stolen Car, and Decrepit Used Shoes: Non-Conforming Goods and Notice Thereof Under the United Nations Sales Convention (“CISG”), 26 Boston University Int’l L. J. 1 (2008). Available on SSRN
    • Zapata Retold: Attorneys' Fees Are (Still) Not Governed by the CISG, 26 J.L. & Com. 1 (2006-2007) (with J. Lookofsky). Available on SSRN.
    • Conformity of Goods, Third Party Claims, and Buyer's Notice of Breach: Articles 35-44 of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), (paper delivered Nov. 2006, Istanbul Bilgi Univ., to be translated into and published in Turkish, forthcoming).
    • Buyers' Remedies in General and Buyers' Performance-Oriented Remedies (25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), 25 J.L. & Com. 339 (2005). Also available on SSRN.
    • Nominating Manfred Forberich: The Worst CISG Decision in 25 Years?, 9 The Vindobona J. Int'l. Comm. L. & Arbit. 199 (2005) (with J. Lookofsky). Available on SSRN.
    • Substantial Revisions to U.S. Domestic Sales Law (Article 2 UCC), 4 Internationales Handelsrecht/Int'l. Comm. L.: Zeitschrift fur des Internationalen Warenkaufs und Vertriebs 222 (2004).
    • Viva Zapata! American Procedure and CISG Substance in a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, 7 The Vindobona J. Int'l. Comm. L. & Arbit. 93 (2003) (with J. Lookofsky).  Also available on SSRN.
    • Recovering Attorneys' Fees as Damages under the U.N. Sales Convention (CISG): The Role of Case Law in the New International Commercial Practice, with Comments on Zapata Hermanos v. Hearthside Baking, 22 Northwestern J. Int'l L. & Bus. 121 (2002).
    • Comparing the General Good Faith Provisions of the PECL and the UCC: Appearance and Reality, 13 Pace International Law Review 295-337 (Fall 2001).  Also available on SSRN.

    Presentations:

    • Presenter, “Ten Years of Decisions on the CISG Non-Conformity and Notice Provisions, with Comments on Burden of Proof,” Conference on Global Challenges of International Sales Law, (Nov. 2011).
    • Panelist “Perspectives on the Global Challenges of International Sales Law,” Conference on Global Challenges of International Sales Law, (Nov. 2011).
    • Presenter, “The U.S. Experience with Simultaneous Regional (UCC) and Global (CISG) Uniform Sales Law Regimes: Some Insights for the Proposed Common European Sales Law,” Conference on CISG vs. Regional Sales Law Unification, (May 2012).
    • Panel Chair, “Panel on Regional vs. International Uniform Sales Law in Africa and in Europe,” Conference on CISG vs. Regional Sales Law Unification, (May 2012).
    • Presenter, “Conformity of Goods under the U.N. Sales Convention (CISG): General Remarks on Article 35, its Case Law, and the Purposes of the Provision,” Conference on The New International Sales Law of Turkey: CISG, (May 2012).

    SSRN Author Page

    Awards and Honors

    • Excellence in Teaching Award (2003)
    • Excellence in Teaching Award (1997)
    • Excellence in Teaching Award (1995)
    • Excellence in Teaching Award (1989)
    • Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award (1997)

    Selected Professional Activities

    • National Correspondent for the United States, The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
    • Examiner's Analysis of Bar Questions, Pennsylvania Bar, Speaker, LL.M. program on International Business, Center for International Studies in Salzburg and Lazarski Univ. (Warsaw), "Why International Commercial Law Matters."

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