Poll on Famous Torts Cases and Judges
posted by Lawrence Cunningham
Would readers take a quick poll on famous torts cases and judges stemming from my work “Cardozo and Posner: A Study in Torts” (noted here and here)? Those judges are the first and second most consequential on tort law measured by opinion frequency in 20 current Torts casebooks. Both are legendary judges with particular recognition in the law of torts.
Cardozo’s torts opinions are canonical: 10 appear in the books, 7 in at least 1/4 of them, and all but 1 appear in at least 3 books. Posner’s opinions enjoy more sporadic interest: 25 opinions appear in the books, only 2 in at least 1/4 of them, and 20 appear in only 1 or 2 books.
My analysis inter-acts these opinions, in their practical, theoretical and pedagogical contexts, to hypothesize explanations for this differential status. A simplified version of the thesis: Cardozo’s traditional doctrinalism, supplemented using old-fashioned rhetoric, wins out over Posner’s contemporary economic supplementation of legal reasoning.
Out of curiosity, I list below the 10 Cardozo opinions and a sampling of Posner opinions and wonder if readers would comment whether they recognize the opinions and, if so, what stands out about them.
A. BENJAMIN CARDOZO
1. Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.
2. Martin v. Herzog
3. MacPherson v. Buick Motor
4. Pokora v. Wabash Railway
5. Murphy v. Steeplechase Amusement
6. H.R. Moch v. Rensselaer Water Co.
7. Ultramares v. Touche, Niven
8. Adams v. Bullock
9. Wagner v. Internation Railway
10. Glanzer v. Shepherd
B. RICHARD POSNER
1. Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. v. American Cyanamid
2. Haynes v. Alfred Knopf
3. Desnick v. ABC
4. Kemezy v. Peters
5. Wassell v. Adams
6. McCarty v. Pheasant Run
7. Davis v. Conrail
8. Greycas v. Proud
9. Orthmann v. Apple River Campground
10. Stoleson v. United States
NB1: I don’t propose to use resulting information in the article but responses may influence analysis.
NB2: it may be helpful if commenters say whether they are current/recent law students, lawyers, law profs, or non-law types.
Thanks to those willing to comment!