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Restitution: Unjust Enrichment

This lesson is intended for students who have studied restitution in class, and who wish to expand and refine their knowledge of the topic. The lesson deals with the basics of restitution (what constitutes "unjust enrichment"), and how is it measured. Little attempt is made to deal with more sophisticated aspects of restitution such as tracing, equitable liens, constructive trusts, etc.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Discuss the importance of the 1760 case Moses v. MacFerlan.
2. State the definition of restitution from the Restatement of Restitution.
3. Analyze the term "unjust enrichment," that depends heavily on factual context.
4. Explain the two questions courts ask in restitution cases.
5. Discuss how in determining whether an unjust enrichment has occurred, a court is making a policy judgment about what is fair.
6. Explain the underlying principle of unjust enrichment.

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