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Journal of Tort Law

Founded by Coleman, Jules

Editor-in-Chief: Robinette, Christopher

Editorial Board Member: Geistfeld, Mark A / Goldberg, John / Perry, Ronen / Sharkey, Catherine M. / Witt, John / Zipursky, Benjamin

2 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.42

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.241
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.170

Online
ISSN
1932-9148
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The Prosser Letters: Scholar as Dean

Christopher J. Robinette / Kyle Graham
Published Online: 2017-08-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jtl-2017-0014

Abstract

Examining a previously unexplored trove of letters, this article sheds new light on the thinking and work of William L. Prosser, the past century’s leading torts scholar. In these letters to family written while dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Prosser candidly describes his approach to scholarship; the development of his casebook, the second edition of Prosser on Torts, and some of his most well-known and influential articles. Moreover, Prosser provides his often-cynical impressions of the legal process; his views of his peers at Berkeley and at other institutions; and his work as dean. The letters also demonstrate some of Prosser’s limitations, including his craving for attention, a sometimes petty personality, and racial and ethnic biases. In all, the letters capture a scholar at the zenith of professional accomplishment in his field, who nevertheless showed signs of the insecurity that would later trigger his resignation from the Berkeley deanship and retreat from the forefront of torts scholarship.

Keywords: William Lloyd Prosser; tort law; legal history; legal education; California State Senate Committee on Un-American Activities; Dean as Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-08-03

Published in Print: 2017-08-28


Citation Information: Journal of Tort Law, ISSN (Online) 1932-9148, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jtl-2017-0014.

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© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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