Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

Learning from Professor Llewellyn

Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

Learning from Professor Llewellyn

Article excerpt

In the sky of twentieth century legal scholars, Karl N. Llewellyn was Halley's comet. He was a founder of the legal realist movement; architect, chief reporter, and principal draftsman of the Uniform Commercial Code; renowned law teacher at Yale, Columbia, and Chicago; and author of more than a hundred articles and many books, including one that remains the definitive treatment of the appellate process. (1) As if that were not enough to make an interesting life, this American citizen was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class for valor as a German infantryman during World War I and wrote a book of pretty good verse. (2)

Even Llewellyn's casual writing blazes. Inscribed in the copy of The Common Law Tradition that he presented to Joe Barrett, a lawyer and fellow laborer in the UCC vineyard, is this:

   For our beloved Joe--angler, wrangler, seer, doer, seer-througher,
   doer-througher--who plays on men's strength.
   With love from house to house--Karl.

This installment of From the Library is Llewellyn on oral argument. A few days before his death, he addressed what must have been a packed hall of Indiana lawyers, and you can see him there up front: pacing a bit, gesturing, full of fire about how to make the most of oral argument. …

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