St. Mary's Law Journal


The historical explanation for the adoption of the conditional sales acts is woefully lacking. How and why the first conditional sales acts arose are investigated. Grant Gilmore, when presenting his theory, confessed ignorance concerning the origins of the conditional sale transaction, first known as Holmes’ notes. The failure of traditional legal historians to explain the passage of the conditional sales acts encourages inquiry into their legislative history to find an explanation. Pre-Act American decisions provide clues regarding the ratification of the acts. The courts provided three explanations for their passage: to treat the conditional sale as a chattel mortgage, to protect good faith purchasers, and to prevent vendee fraud.


St. Mary's University School of Law