Time Is On My Side

–From Bert Jones, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Date of event: 1956

Your Palsgraf piece in the ABA Journal took me back to my Torts I class at the University of Oklahoma in 1956. When we got to THE CASE, we stayed on it for what seemed like a very long time. One day the professor, Harold Wren (one of the best teachers I ever had at any level), commented that the case had obviously had considerable influence nationwide. He began discussing a Wisconsin case as an example of how courts were following what Cardozo and Andrews had done. I sort of blurted out “Couldn’t have influenced Wisconsin.”

Whereupon Professor Wren had me rise and asked “Why not, Mr. Jones?” I said, “Well, sir, Palsgraf was decided in 1928 and the Wisconsin case you mentioned was in 1924.” He quickly checked his notes, turned and made a large number 1 on the blackboard, turned back and said, “One for you, Mr. Jones.” Thankfully, he did so with a smile!

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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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