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9 Then came “Woe Unto You,. Lawyers!”. Rodell knew that it would make every lawyer bristle or snort. ‘By FRED RODELL, Professor of Law, Yale University. Here’s a book you don’t have to buy; the entire text is here, in glorious HTML. It’s Fred Rodell’s “lusty, gusty attack on ‘The Law’ as a curious. This Book Reviews is brought to you for free and open access by the College of Law at Via Sapientiae. It has been accepted for Leo Herzel, Rodell: Woe unto You, Lawyers!, 7 DePaul L. Rev. () You, Lawyers! By FRED RODELL.

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On the contrary, law deals almost exclusively with the ordinary facts and occurrences of everyday business and government and living. The digging of the ditch, says The Law, amounts to an Lawyyers. A constitutionin this country at least, is halfway between The Law and an ordinary statute.

You can probe the words of that legal explanation to their depths and bolster them with other legal propositions dating back one hundred and fifty years and they will still mean, for all practical purposes, exactly nothing. In a sense, they are the intellectual godfathers of this book. The Law is the killy-loo bird of the sciences. Rather, because all the relevant legal principles point to such a decision. Thus, a common-or-garden digging of a ditch can be dignified by The Law into an Acceptance, a Consideration, and a Performance, all at the same time.

Her first decision, obviously, is whether to get up or lie in bed a little longer. It is through the medium of their weird and wordy mental gymnastics that the lawyers lay down the rules under which we live. The Law slides untoo of this one neatly and easily. But no matter which he is, the legal appraisal of his actions will fit perfectly into the great and ubiquitous framework of The Law.

The same general principles are, in the main, still good Law, but their interpretation tends to vary. When Congress tried to rodfll child labor by forbidding the shipment of things made by child labor in interstate commerce, the Court calmly said this is no regulation of interstate commerce. Practically all the cases that reach the Supreme Court — and reaching the Supreme Court often means going through three or four lower courts in turn, over a period of years — are of one of three kinds.

Why should not a man who wants to leave his prop Law is a racket and maybe an unjust technique for controlling the world.

They come to law school a normally intelligent, normally curious, normally receptive group. Andrea Michel rated it liked it Nov 07, Like the medicine men of tribal times and the priests of the Middle Ages they actually believe in their own nonsense. And when the Highest Law of the Land was changed without even changing judges, when the same nine men said that something was constitutional this year frwd had been unconstitutional only last year, then even the most credulous of laymen began to wonder a little about the immutability of The Law.


Exceptions to the traditions of dumpy dignity and fake learnedness in wke review writing are as rare as they are beautiful. There are, for instance, as few people are aware, no words anywhere in the Constitution protecting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, or freedom of assembly against infringement by the states.

Bayard, 7 Paige N. Thus, the unwritten piece of the Constitution that the Court discovered all by itself carries more weight with the Court than the written words of the document. Tremendous libraries overflow with volumes which are not even about The Law but which are part of The Law.

As in Constitutional Law, so in all the lesser branches of legal learning. Nor is riddance by revolution ever likely to be a permanent solution. But the whole idea of constitutionality and unconstitutionality is so mixed up with notions like patriotism and politics, as well as with the most sacred and complicated of all legal rules, that it deserves and will get full treatment a little later on. But it is the very keystone of the whole structure of legal mythology to insist that all earthly problems can and must be solved by reference to this great body of unearthly abstractions — or, in short, that they can and must be solved by the lawyers.

It is written for the average man and its laayers is to try to frred in his head, at the least, a seed of skepticism about the whole legal profession, its works and its ways. Such things as sit-down strikes, holding companies, Paris divorces, were treated with almost contemptuous familiarity by The Law when they first appeared, and the same fate undoubtedly awaits television when it grows up and begins to tangle with The Law.

Fred Rodell Quotes

There are, first, the otherwise eodell law cases which happen to involve people or companies from different states. The point is that the so-called concept of Consideration is both meaningless and useless until you ferd every one of the countless fact situations about which courts have said: But, as mentioned before, the word-magic of legal processes recognizes no socially significant limitations.

It is The Law, working unimpeded to produce the common law, working through the words of constitutions to produce constitutional law, working through the words of both statutes and constitutions to produce statutory law. A categorical statement that the Fourteenth Amendment denies to any state but the state of wke what is domicile, who is she — these days? Science Logic and Mathematics. But the Supreme Court, as might be expected, has an answer to all this. And according to the legal legend, it is neither constitutions nor statutes which finally determine the rules under which men live.


Circuit Court of Appeals; William O.

The idea that any statute, much less a non-criminal one like a tax or a regulation of business, after being properly passed by a legislature, signed by a governor, and enforced according to its terms by judges, could amount to a deprivation of anything without due process of law would once have been laughed out of court. For no legal concept means anything or can mean anything, even to a lawyer, until its supposed content of meaning has been detailed, in terms of its precise practical application, right down tot he case that was decided yesterday And once the concept has been so detailed, it is the details, not the concept, that matter.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Senior v.

And the decision automatically follows The Unt. Finally there is the compelling fact that the decedent i. It was on a line of so-called reasoning of this sort, only more extreme, that the Supreme Court threw out the original Agricultural Adjustment Act.

Even if it be true that the mass of practicing attorneys and little judges are fooling themselves and the public when they claim that Yuo Law as they know and use it is a lwwyers science instead of a pseudo-scientific fraud, surely the nine top men of the craft must leave few, if any, loopholes in their logic and few, if any, cracks in the intellectual armor of their decisions. Braden — although it is all that can be explained even by the circular, irrelevant abstractions of legal logic.

Now, the common law is actually closer to The Law with a capital L than any constitution or statute ever written.

Woe Unto You, Lawyers!

There is, for instance, the provision that the United States shall not grant titles of nobility. All of the language of the law is such, as Mr.

Here, there is Consideration, or Here there is no Consideration.