Scott Burnham

(406) 239-2233


  • LL.M. New York University School of Law, 1981
  • J.D. New York University School of Law, 1974
  • M.A. Teacher’s College, Columbia University and Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1971
  • B.A. Williams College, 1968


Adjunct Professor Burnham teaches Contracts and Commercial Law. He teaches from the perspective of a practicing attorney, emphasizing preventive law rather than litigation.

Before he began his teaching career, Professor Burnham practiced in New York City from 1975-1981. He was on the faculty at The University of Montana School of Law from 1981-2010 and was the Curley Professor of Commercial Law at Gonzaga from 2010-2016.

He has been a visiting professor at the law schools at the Santa Clara University, the University of Tennessee, Western New England College, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Hawaii, Memphis, Ohio State, Cardozo, Arizona Summit, and Vytautas Magnus in Lithuania. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, he has taught at the University of Montevideo in Uruguay and was a consultant at Can Tho University in Vietnam.

He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and is on the Board of Directors of CALI (Computer Assisted Learning Instruction) and the NCBE Contracts Drafting Committee.



  • Drafting and Analyzing Contracts (Carolina Academic Press 4th ed. 2016). This work received the 1987-88 Preventive Law Prize administered by The National Center for Preventive Law. The work has been translated into Latvian and Chinese.
  • Q&A Contracts (Carolina Academic Press 2d ed. 2015)
  • The ABCs of the UCC: Article 1 General Provisions (ABA 2d ed. 2013)
  • The Glannon Guide to Sales (Aspen Law 3d ed. 2017)
  • The Glannon Guide to Secured Transactions (Aspen Law 3d ed. 2017)
  • Contract Law for Dummies (Wiley 2011). The work has been translated into Farsi.
  • State Bar of Montana, Commercial Law Practice Manual, author of chapters on Introduction to Uniform Commercial Code, Article 1, Article 2, Usury, Plain Language, and co-author of chapter on Bankruptcy (1996)
  • Contract Law and Its Application: Teacher’s Manual (5th ed., Foundation Press 1996) (with Arthur Rosett)
  • The Contract Drafting Guidebook (Lexis-Nexis 1993)

Law Reviews:

  • A Transactional Lawyer Looks at the Rules of Tournament Poker, 20 Gaming Law Review and Economics 9 (2016)
  • The Interstices of Copyright Law and Contract Law II: Finding the Terms of an Implied Nonexclusive License in the Absence of Joint Authorship, 62 Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA 223 (2015)
  • Are You Free to Contract Away Your Right to Bring a Negligence Claim?, 89 Chicago-Kent Law Review 379 (2014)Thoughts on the Withdrawal of Amended Article 2, 52 South Texas Law Review 519 (2011)
  • Blood Does Not a Contract Make: A Response to Professor Kim, 1 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 49 (2011)
  • The Language of Revised Article 9, 46 Gonzaga Law Review 215 (2010/11)
  • Incorporating the Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations in Article 2, 11 Duq. Bus. L.J. 217 (2009)
  • Transaction Skills Training: Contract Drafting – Beyond the Basics, Transactions: The Tenn. J. of Bus. L. (Spec. Rpt. 2009)
  • Is UCC Article 2 Facilitatory or Regulatory? 68 Ohio St. L.J. 57 (2007)
  • Let’s Repeal the Field Code! 67 Mont. L. Rev. 31 (2006)
  • The War over Arbitration in Montana, 66 Mont. L. Rev. 139 (2005)
  • Copyright in Library-Held Materials: A Decision Tree for Librarians, 96 L. Libr. J. 425 (2004)
  • How to Read a Contract, 45 Ariz. L. Rev. 133 (2003)
  • Contractual Relations in Small Business: Do the Benefits of a Custom-Made Contract Outweigh the Costs?, 7 Lewis & Clark J. of Small & Emerging Bus. L. 425 (2003)
  • Agricultural Liens in Montana under Revised Article 9, 63 Mont. L. Rev. 91 (2002)
  • Foreword to Symposium: Perspectives on the Uniform Laws Revision Process, 52 Hastings L.J. 603 (2001)
  • Debating the Field Code 105 Years Late, 61 Mont. L. Rev. 371 (2000) (with Andrew P. Morris and Hon. James C. Nelson)
  • Drafting in the Contracts Class, 44 St. Louis U. L.J. 1535 (2000)
  • Critical Reading of Contracts, 23 Leg. Stud. Forum 391 (1999)
  • The Interstices of Copyright Law and Contract Law: Finding the Terms of an Implied Nonexclusive License in a Failed Work for Hire Agreement, 46 J. Copy. Socy. of the USA 333 (1999). This work was selected for inclusion in the 2000 edition of the Intellectual Property Law Review, an anthology of the best intellectual property law review articles of the year, published by the West Group
  • What Attorneys Should Know About the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or, The 2 Do’s and the 200 Don’ts of Debt Collection, 59 Mont. L. Rev. 179 (1998)
  • Why Do Law Students Insist That Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code Applies Only to Merchants and What Can We Do About It?, 63 Brook. L. Rev. 1271 (1997)
  • The Parol Evidence Rule: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, 55 Mont. L. Rev. 93 (1994)
  • Teaching Ethics in the Contracts Class, 41 J. Legal Educ. 105 (1991)
  • The Regulation of Rent-to-Own Transactions, 3 Loy. Consumer L. Rep. 40 (1991)
  • Accord and Satisfaction in California – A Trap for the Unwary, 30 Santa Clara L. Rev. 473 (1990)
  • The Hypothetical Case in the Classroom, 37 J. Leg. Educ. 405 (1987)
  • Remedies Available to the Purchaser of a Defective Used Car, 47 Mont. L. Rev. 273 (1986)
  • A Primer on Accord and Satisfaction, 47 Mont. L. Rev. 1 (1986)
  • Contract Damages in Montana Part 2: Reliance and Restitution, 45 Mont. L. Rev. 1 (1984)
  • Contract Damages in Montana Part 1: Expectancy Damages, 44 Mont. L. Rev. 1 (1983)

Computer-Assisted Instruction:

  • Overview and Sources of Contract Law (CALI 2003)
  • Remedies Lessons: An Introduction to Contract Remedies, Specific Performance, Expectation Damages, Certainty, Foreseeability, Mitigation, Measuring Expectation: The Cost of Completion, Substantial Performance, Reliance, Restitution, Liquidated Damages, An Introduction to UCC Remedies, Seller’s Remedies When the Buyer is in Breach, Buyer’s Remedies When the Seller is in Breach (CALI 2003)
  • Conditions (CALI 2001)
  • Defenses to Contract Formation (CALI 2000). This lesson covers Void Voidable, and Unenforceable Contracts; Illegal Promises; Lack of Capacity; Duress and Undue Influence; Unjust Terms (Unconscionability); Fraud and Misrepresentation; Misunderstanding and Mistake; and The Statute of Frauds
  • Exploring a Contract (CALI 1999)
  • A Copyright Primer (CALI 1997). This program won second place in the Trautman Competition sponsored by CALI
  • ITT v. LTX: An Interactive Exploration of UCC Article 2 (CALI 1996)
  • The Parol Evidence Rule (CALI 1994)
  • Drafting a Contract – The Sale of Goods (CALI 1988)

Short Pieces:

  • Five Things I Learned Teaching at Concord Law School, AALS Section on Teaching Methods Newsletter, Winter 2008
  • A Day in the Life of the CLE Commission, Montana Lawyer, October, 2006
  • UM Law Students Counsel Real Clients, Montana Lawyer, February, 1997
  • “My Word is My Bond” – But You’d Better Get it in Writing!, Montana Lawyer, January, 1992
  • The Hazards of Using Plain English, 8 The Compleat Lawyer 46 (Summer 1991)
  • Development Note: A WordPerfect Macro for Westmate Software (with Robert G. Natelson), 40 J. Legal Educ. 392 (1990)


Lawyer Education:

  • Miscellaneous Provisions: Modification, ABA Annual meeting, Summer 2010
  • Ambiguity in Drafting and Use of Precedent, American Bar Association Section on Business Law Annual Meeting, Spring 2007, 2008, 2009
  • What Every Attorney Should Know About Copyright Law, Football CLE, September 1985, 1996, 2002, 2006, 2008
  • Ethical Considerations in Drafting Contracts, Football CLE, September 2004
  • Current Developments in Contracts and Commercial Law, Football CLE, October 2003