Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Accidental Blogger ... and the Accidental Legal Historian

Now that April Fool's Day is over, I can -- with all seriousness -- say thanks to Mary Dudziak and Dan Ernst for inviting me to join as a guest blogger last month. It's been great fun. I never knew I had it in me. Which leads me to my final post ...

If I am an accidental blogger, I am also an accidental legal historian. I teach in a History department and in graduate school it never really crossed my mind to get a J.D. -- probably much to the dismay of my professors, one of whom once pointed out my annoying habit of confusing the words "judicial" and "juridical." A fascination with the sources led me backwards into the law as a subject of study, and a rich set of resources for teaching. And now here I am, writing in my most recent paper about collateral estoppel.

As (I think?) the Legal History Blog's first non-lawyer blogger, I hope that I can encourage more historians in history departments to use the tools and insights of legal history, and to talk to legal historians, particularly at the meetings of the American Society for Legal History. The papers are excellent, the discussions lively, and until the economic downturn, the receptions were lavish.

And don't worry ... you can always look collateral estoppel up in the dictionary.