Thursday, August 27, 2009

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have had Prosser as your Torts professor?

Well, now you can get a little bit of a sense of what it would have been like... Professor Chris Robinette from Widener Univ. School of Law had a student recently whose grandfather had Prosser for Torts at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1938-39. The student had his grandfather's notebook for the class, which Prosser taught while working on his hornbook now known as "Prosser on Torts." Interestingly, the student's grandfather, Leroy S. Merrifield, went on to became a Torts law professor himself at George Washington University Law School. Prof. Robinette studied the notebook and wrote a law review article about it. As he points out, "the notebook provides the thoughts of an eminent torts scholar, in the process of creating arguably the most influential hornbook on torts, as channeled by a student who would go on to become a Torts professor." And now, the good news: we all have the unique opportunity to see the actual notebook! Thanks to the magic of digital photography and the work of Berkeley law archivist William Benemann, the notebook is now available online here. Go there, check it out and spend some time reading a piece of Tort law education history. Thanks to Chris Robinette for the link!

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