Professor to Students: Phone Lines Are Open

–From Steve Cumbie, Southern Methodist University School of Law, Date of event: Fall 2003

As those who are familiar with his casebook on bankruptcy law already know, Professor David Epstein is always good for a few laughs. Two years ago in my first-year Property class, we were discussing the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities.

Professor Epstein asked for a volunteer to determine whether a particular conveyance was valid. “Anyone? Anyone?” he asked a room full of people desperately trying to avoid eye contact.

After several seconds of very awkward silence in which it became quite obvious that no one had a clue, someone’s cell phone rang. Without missing a beat, Professor Epstein quipped, “Didn’t realize this was a call-in show. Maybe they know the answer. Put it on speaker.”

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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