Sunday, October 5, 2008

Llewellyn Lives!

Just posted on the University of Chicago's Law Faculty Blog is a downloadable mp3 recording of an undated lecture from Karl N. Llewellyn's family law course, taught sometime during his tenure at Chicago (1951-62). I've been listening; the sound quality is good, and the substance--a pre-feminist, functionalist analysis of the family--is, shall we say, arresting. For example, one concern Llewellyn takes up is how the family reconciles the conflicting orders of the "Court of Pa" and the "Court of Ma." The solution, he explains, with a reference to appellate courts organized into divisions, is to sit in plenary session--nominally, as the "Court of Us," but, practically, as the "Court of Pa," with "Ma" appearing as either the prosecutor or counsel for the defense. The Wayback Machine, indeed!

I'd be happy to post notices of other such audio treasures, if their keepers will let me know as they become available.

Update: Having finally finished listening to the lecture, I believe I erred in describing it as being from a family law course. It's definitely a part of a first-year course and probably from Elements of the Law. As for internal evidence of the date, Llewellyn refers to "Bill Douglas's" recently expressed views on the Third World; I don't know the little books Douglas wrote on the Supreme Court well enough to identify to which Llewellyn was referring. Another clue: the lifting of intrafamilial immunity in tort was quite recent when the lecture was given.

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