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In my 40 years of practice, I have consistently found that practitioners do not understand the area of the law dealing with liquidated damages and stipulated sums provisions. Yes, they can quote the hornbook law of Williston. And they can advise that the parties have a broad right to stipulate in an agreement the number of damages recoverable in the event of a breach, especially in circumstances where the actual damages likely to flow from the breach would be difficult to estimate or prove. But the requisite familiarity with these concepts does not end there. Indeed, it is hardly the beginning.

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