Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor of LawPhone: (410) 706-3923
BA, 1985, Wellesley College
JD, 1990, Northwestern University
Martha M. Ertman is the Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor. She teaches Contracts, Commercial Law and Contract Drafting courses and writes about the role of contracts and mini-contracts she calls "deals" in family relationships.
Professor Ertman’s new book, Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families, published by Beacon Press in 2015, seeks to reach a broad audience by blending memoir with family law stories about exchanges in reproductive technology, adoption, cohabitation, and marriage.
Her other law review articles and book chapters uncover the often-hidden role of contracts and deals in the legal rules governing the value of homemaking labor; what she calls "Plan B" baby-making through reproductive technologies; and polygamy; her book Rethinking Commodification: Cases and Readings in Law and Culture (with Joan Williams) (NYU Press 2005) explores the reach of markets into all areas of our lives.
Public presentations of her work on contracts and same-sex marriage include a New America Foundation reading, an online symposium on Concurring Opinions, and articles on Slate.com, Salon.com, and the Women=Books blog. She has also been interviewed by WYPR, Newstalk, and Keeping Democracy Alive.
Before joining the Maryland Carey law faculty in 2007, Professor Ertman taught at University of Utah and University of Denver law schools, and has also been a visiting faculty member at the universities of Michigan, Connecticut, and Oregon. Before entering academia, she clerked for the Honorable Peter H. Beer, a U.S. district court judge in Louisiana, and practiced law in Denver and Seattle.
Love's Promises: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families (2015). [Abstract]
Editor, Rethinking Commodifcation: Cases and Readings in Law and Culture (2005) (with Joan C. Williams). [Abstract]
Love and Contracts in Don Quixote, in Don Quixote: Interdisciplinary Connections 251 (Matthew D. Warshawsky & James A. Parr eds., 2013). [Full Text]
The Productive Tension between Official and Unofficial Stories of Fault in Contract Law, in Fault in American Contract Law 132 (Omri Ben-Shahar & Ariel Porot eds., 2011). [Full Text]
The Upside of Baby Markets, in Baby Markets: Money and the New Politics of Creating Families 23 (Michele Bratcher Goodwin ed., 2010). [Abstract]
The Story of Reynolds v. United States: Federal "Hell Hounds" Punishing Mormon Treason, in Family Law Stories 51 (Carol Sanger ed., 2007) [Full Text]
Private Ordering Under the ALI Principles: As Natural as Status, in Reconceiving the Family 284 (Robin Fretwell Wilson ed., 2006). [Full Text]
The Business of Intimacy: Bridging the Private-Private Distinction, in Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society 467 (Martha Albertson Fineman & Terence Dougherty eds., 2005). [Full Text]
Marital Contracting in a Post-Windsor World, 42 Florida State University Law Review 479 (2015).
Unexpected Links Between Baby Markets and Intergenerational Justice, 8 Law & Ethics of Human Rights 271 (2014). [Full Text]
The Legacy of Jane Larson: The Politics of Practicality and Surprise, 28 Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society 207 (2013). [Full Text]
Exchange as a Cornerstone of Families, 34 Western New England Law Review 405 (2012). [Full Text]
Race Treason: The Untold Story of America's Ban on Polygamy, 19 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 287 (2010). [Full Text]
Book Review, For Both Love and Money, The Far Reach of Viviana Zelizer’s The Purchase of Intimacy, 34 Law & Social Inquiry 1017 (2009). [Full Text]
Mapping the New Frontiers of Private Ordering, 49 Arizona Law Review 695 (2007). [Full Text]
Accepting the Court’s Invitation, 57 Journal of Legal Education 159 (2007). [Full Text]
Legal Tenderness, 18 Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 545 (2006) (reviewing Feminist Perspectives on Contract Law (Linda Mulcahy & Sally Wheeler eds., 2005)). [Full Text]
The Elasticity of Contract, 18 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 202 (Supp. 2006). [Full Text]
What's Wrong with a Parenthood Market? - A New and Improved Theory of Commodification, 82 North Carolina Law Revew 1 (2003). [Full Text]
Love and Work: A Response to Vicki Schultz's Life's Work, 102 Columbia Law Review 848 (2002). [Full Text]
Marriage as a Trade: Bridging the Private/Private Distinction, 35 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 79 (2001). [Full Text]
The ALI Principles' Approach to Domestic Partnership, 8 Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy 107 (2001) [Full Text]
Changing the Meaning of Motherhood, 76 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1733 (2001). [Full Text]
Contract Sports, 48 Cleveland State Law Review 31 (2000). [Full Text]
Oscar Wilde: Paradoxical Poster Child for both Identity and Post-Identity, 25 Law & Social Inquiry 153 (2000). [Full Text]
Commercializing Marriage: A Proposal for Valuing Women's Work Through Premarital Security Agreements, 77 Texas Law Review 17 (1998). [Full Text]
Reconstructing Marriage: An InterSEXional Approach, 75 Denver University Law Review 1215 (1998). [Full Text]
Vive no Différence, 91 Northwestern University Law Review 642 (1997). [Full Text]
Contractual Purgatory for Sexual Marginorities: Not Heaven, but Not Hell Either, 73 Denver University Law Review 1107 (1996). [Full Text]
Denying the Secret of Joy: A Critique of Posner's Theory of Sexuality, 45 Stanford Law Review 1485 (1993). [Full Text]
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was featured in "Love on the Dotted Line," in the August 2015 edition of the Washingtonian (no link available).
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was quoted in the article "Ertman on Post-Windsor Marital Contracting" on lsolum.typepad.com
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was quoted in the article "Marriage Is a Human Institution; It Doesn't Come in One Shape That Fits Everybody" on psmag.com
Martha Ertman of the School of Law appeared on the Rick Smith Show segment "Author Martha Ertman Explains Family Contracts and How They Change with Same Sex Marriage"
Martha Ertman of the School of Law appeared on the Amy Beth Arkawy segment, "Re-Defining Marriage & Family w/ Law Professor & Author Martha Ertman" on blogtalkradio.com
Martha Ertman of the School of Law is quoted in the National Law Journal article "Law Professors See 'Tremendous Historical Import' of Ruling." (registration required)
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was profiled in The Daily Record article "Contracts for 'Plan B' families."
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was mentioned in the article "Online Symposium: Ertman's 'Love's Promises, How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families'" on concurringopinions.com
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was interviewed for the Public Radio Exchange segment, "Love's Promises."
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was interviewed for WYPR's Maryland Morning Segment "How Contracts Can Shape Family Relationships."
Martha Ertman of the School of Law gave a talk on her book "Love's Promises" at New America in Washington D.C.
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was interviewed for the Newstalk podcast segment, "Love & Contracts" with Sean Montcrieff.
Martha Ertman of the School of Law was interviewed for the Keeping Democracy Alive podcast segment "Same Sex Marriage May Strengthen Marriage."
Martha Ertman of the School of Law discussed same-sex marriage recognition in "A Not So Slippery Slope" on the Women=Books blog.
Martha Ertman of the School of Law authored the Slate.com article "Contracts Don't Make a Family Any Less Natural."
Martha Ertman of the School of Law authored the Salon.com article "You cheat, you pay: How new contracts are changing love and religion forever."