Monday, April 29, 2013
The contents show a rare glimpse into the opinion of an active Supreme Court justice on a matter before the U.S. Congress. Story was a longtime supporter of federal bankruptcy legislation. The first federal Bankruptcy Act, adopted in 1800, had been repealed in 1803. When this letter was written, Congress was considering a new bankruptcy bill, which Story clearly supported. His correspondent, William Tudor, had asked for Story's support in securing a position as a Commissioner of Bankruptcy under the new legislation, if passed. Story voices his support while noting that it's unclear who would have the power to make the appointment--the executive or the judiciary. In the end, the law that was the subject of the letter failed to pass, but another one that Story actually helped draft was ultimately passed by Congress in 1841.
The other pages of the letter are featured on our Facebook page. Those interested in Justice Story and his writings would enjoy visiting the beautiful digital suite on Story created by the special collections staff at the Harvard Law Library.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Professor Hoeflich will discuss his work, "“From Scriveners to Secretaries: Legal Document Production in Nineteenth Century America."
The Roundtable offers an opportunity for Boston College faculty and faculty from other area institutions, students, and members of the Boston College community to meet and discuss a pre-circulated paper in legal history. Meeting several times each semester, the Roundtable seeks to promote an informal, collegial atmosphere of informed discussion.
The talk will be held in the Law Library Conference Room (279), which is located behind the Rare Book Room. Please take a look at the current exhibit in the Rare Book Room, which features books on Roman law that were gifted to the law library by Professor Hoeflich in 2009 and 2012.
Refreshments will be served starting at 4:15pm, and the talk will begin at 4:30pm.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
This new acquisition is the second and final edition of Granville Sharp's Tract on Duelling, in which he rails against the legal acceptance of the practice of duelling. Sharp collects the writings of none less than Sir Edward Coke, Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice Holt, and Henri Bracton to support his argument. Sharp wrote pamphlets on a variety of topics, and many, including this one, are quite impassioned. He goes right to the point in his Preface, writing that
"[t]he intention of the following Tract is to prove that the plea of sudden Anger cannot remove the imputation and guilt of Murder, when a Moral Wound is willfully given with a weapon:
That the indulgence allowed by the Courts to voluntary Manslaughter in Rencounters, and in sudden Affrays and Duels, is indiscriminate, and without foundation in Law:
And that the impunity in such cases of voluntary Manslaughter is one of the principal causes of the continuance and present increase of the vase and disgraceful practice of Duelling."
Sharp ends the tract with even stronger language, stating that it is disgraceful that the protectors of duelling "still persist in the unreasonable and unjust practice of punishing lesser crimes with more severity than the crying Sin of voluntary Manslaughter, which, as I have already proved in my preface, is absolutely unpardonable in this World, by the Law of God!"
Monday, March 18, 2013
Dating from 1536, Professor Hoeflich’s collection of over 500 titles includes both seminal and lesser-known works on Roman, civil, and canon law in Latin, German, French, and English. The collection is both broad and deep, reflecting his knowledge of and passion for Roman law, bibliography, and the bookmaker’s art. All of us at the Boston College Law School and Law Library are profoundly grateful to Professor Hoeflich for his generous donation.
The exhibit was curated by Laurel Davis, Curator of Rare Books/Legal Reference Librarian. It is largely based on a 2011 exhibit by Karen Beck, now Curator of Special Collections at Harvard Law Library. The current exhibit includes many books that were previously displayed, but it also incorporates some lovely works from Professor Hoeflich’s most recent gift.
Please visit the exhibit webpage to view photos of selected items from the recent gift, as well as the exhibit handout! The physical exhibit will remain on display throughout the spring semester.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Ms. Fleming will be discussing her draft paper, entitled "The Rise and Fall of Unconscionability as 'The Law of the Poor.'”
The event begins at 4:30PM in the Rare Book Room and is an opportunity for Boston College faculty and faculty from other area institutions, students, and members of the Boston College community to meet and discuss this paper. Refreshments will be available starting at 4:15. Parking on the Boston College Law School campus requires a visitor's permit. If you will be able to join us, please let Judy Yi know in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Judy will e-mail a copy of the paper to those who can attend. You can also direct any further questions to Judy.
As is the usual practice for the Roundtable, Ms. Fleming will start by speaking for 10-20 minutes about the project, e.g., what prompted her interest in the project, major points, difficult questions that she is struggling with, etc. Then we have a more general conversation with the group as a whole, present questions and comments, and so forth.