Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



This Comment surveys Wisconsin parol evidence cases decided from 1980 through mid-1991. Drawing upon a 1972 New York University Law Review article for its methodology, the Comment empirically examines whether it is useful to categorize Wisconsin decisions according to the business sophistication (i.e., “status”) of parties to the contract. The Comment concludes that status is important in Wisconsin parol evidence cases, despite the fact that courts rarely mention it as a factor. The data indicate that the nature of the proffered parol evidence is important as well.

The Comment suggests that the results of this law-in-action survey are useful to parties, attorneys, and courts alike – to parties and attorneys by improving their odds of prevailing on parol evidence issues, and to courts by giving them additional rationale with which to circumvent or uphold the rigid application of the parol evidence rule.