2000 Conference

Princeton, New Jersey :: Woodrow Wilson School
October 19 – 21, 2000

This year the ASLH convention was in Princeton, at the Nassau Inn. The Woodrow Wilson School was a host for the Princeton conference.

The following information is available online:


Conference Program:

::  PROGRAM  ::
Princeton, New Jersey  ::  Woodrow Wilson School
October 19 – 21, 2000

Friday, Session 1A: 8:45am-10:15am
Criminal Law in Italy, Ancient and Medieval
Chair: Bruce Frier, Department of Classics
University of Michigan
Paper 1: “When Did the Romans Invent Homicide?”Andrew Riggsby, Department of History
University of Texas

Paper 2: “Criminal Law in Medieval Bologna: A Lasting Pattern”

Sarah Blanshei
Agnes Scott College

Comment: Laura Stern, Department of History 
University of North Texas

Friday, Session 3A: 2:00pm-3:30pm

Before and Beside the Common Law
Chair: Cynthia Neville, Department of History
Dalhousie University

Paper 1: “A Common Law Mentality in Anglo-Saxon England”

Bruce O’Brien, Department of History & American Studies
Mary Washington College

Paper 2: “Law as Theatre in Early Medieval Ireland”

Robin Stacey, Department of History
University of Washington

Paper 3:”Was Norman Law Common Law?”

Emily Z. Tabuteau, Department of History
Michigan State University

Comment: Chair

Saturday, Session 2A: 10:30am-noon

Confidentiality and the Canon Law
Chair: Charles Donahue 
Harvard Law School

Paper 1: “Keeping the Client’s Secrets: An Ethical Obligation of Medieval Advocates”

James A. Brundage, Department of History 
University of Kansas

Paper 2: “The Privacy of Inward Spiritual Experience: The Case of Joan of Arc in the Nullification Trial, 1455-1456”

Blair D. Newcomb 
(University of Richmond)

Comment: Robert C. Figueira, Department of History 
Lander University

Saturday, Session 3A: 1:15pm-2:45pm

Truth, Justice, and the Carolingian Way:
Courts and
the Articulation of Power in Early Medieval Europe
Chair: Thomas Francis Head, Department of History 
Hunter College

Paper 1: “”Why Go to a Court? Self-interest and the Courts in Early Carolingian Bavaria”

Warren Brown, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences 
California Institute of Technology

Paper 2: “What Was Supposed to be True in a Carolingian Oath?”

Geoffrey Koziol, Department of History 
University of California, Berkeley

Comment: Adam J. Kosto, Department of History 
Columbia University

Friday, Session 1B: 8:45am-10:15am

Land Expropriation and Proof of Possession
Chair: Steven Wilf 
University of Connecticut Law School

Paper 1: “Translating Property: Mexican Land Grants and the Contest over Land in the American West”

Maria Montoya, Department of History 
University of Michigan

Paper 2:”Land Expropriation in Northern Mexico, 1856-1910″

Fredrich Katz, Department of History 
University of Chicago

Paper 3: “The Transformation of Legal Geography in an Ethnocentric State: The Making of the Israeli Land Regime, 1948-1970”

Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, Faculty of Law 
Haifa University

Comment: Carol Rose 
Yale Law School

Gregory S. Alexander 
Cornell Law School

Friday, Session 4B: 3:45pm-5:15pm

The Common Law in the British Empire
Chair: Martin J. Wiener, Department of History 
Rice University

Paper 1: “`A Moral Conquest More Striking’: Law, Custom and Codification in Mid-Nineteeth Century British India”

Sandra M. den Otter, Department of History 
Queen’s University

Paper 2: “Ruling Strangers: Common Law and the Development of Colonial Criminal Justice in the British Mediterranean”

Thomas W. Gallant, Department of History 
University of Florida

Paper 3: “Law and Sexuality in the British Empire”

Phillippa Levine, Department of History 
University of Southern California

Comment: Peter Karsten, Department of History 
University of Pittsburgh

Saturday, Session 3B: 1:15pm-2:45pm

Historical Perspectives on the Death Penalty–England and America

Chair: Thomas A. Green 
University of Michigan Law School

Paper 1: “Making the `Bloody Code’: Forgery Legislation in Eighteenth- Century England”

Randall McGowen, Department of History 
University of Oregon

Paper 2: “Origins and Consequences of the Electric Chair and the Gas Chamber”

Stuart Banner 
Washington University School of Law

Comment: James Oldham 
Georgetown University Law Center

Michael Meranze, Deparment of History 
University of California, San Diego

Saturday, Session 2B: 10:30am-noon  

Mind in the Dock: Responsibility in Nineteenth-Century English Law

Chair: Susanna Blumenthal 
University of Michigan Law School

Paper 1: “Crime and Culpability: Victorian Approaches to Criminal Agency”

Joel Eigen, Department of Sociology 
Franklin & Marshall College

Paper 2: “Making Medicine Legal: Credibility and Display in the Nineteenth-Century English Courtroom”

John Carson, Department of History 
University of Michigan

Comment: Dana Rabin 
(University of Illinois)

Allyson May 
(Independent Scholar)

Saturday, Session 4B: 3:00pm-4:30pm

Crime, Violence and the Law in England
Chair: David Sugarman, Department of Law 
Lancaster University

Paper 1: “One Strike and You’re Out: The Impact of the Black Act on Armed Crime in England”

Joyce Malcolm, Department of History 
Bentley College

Paper 2: “The Shadow of the Gallows: Murder, the Death Penalty, and the Long Road to Abolition in Post-War England, 1945-65”

Victor Bailey 
(University of Kansas)

Comment: Greg Smith, Centre of Criminology 
University of Toronto

David Lieberman 
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Saturday, Session 3D: 1:15pm-2:45pm

The Bill of Rights and the Uses of History
Chair: Sandra F. VanBurkleo, Department of History 
Wayne State University

Paper 1: “The Confounding of Natural Rights and the American Bill of Rights”

Donald Lutz, Department of Political Science 
University of Houston

Paper 2: “”Law Professors Doing History and History Professors Doing Law”

Akil Amar 
Yale Law School

Comment: Michael Les Benedict, Department of History 
Ohio State University

Kermit Hall 
North Carolina State University

Friday, Session 4D: 3:45pm-5:15pm

The Genealogy of Inequality
Chair: Stanley N. Katz, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs 
Princeton University

Paper 1: “The Long Lingering Shadow: Law, Liberalism, and Cultures of Racial Hierarchy and Identity in the Americas”

Robert Cottrol 
George Washington Univ. Law School

Paper 2: “Civil Rights, Progress Narratives and the Production of `Good Blacks’ in the Immediate Post-Bellum South”

Katherine Franke 
Fordham University Law School

Paper 3: “The Asymmetrical Obligations of Citizenship”

Linda K. Kerber, Department of History 
University of Iowa

Comment: Reva Siegel 
Yale Law School

Friday, Session 1D: 8:45am-10:15am

The Constitutional Significance of American Expansion
Chair: Alex Aleinikoff 
Georgetown University Law Center

Paper 1: “Getting from 11 to 50 (plus Puerto Rico): Integrating American Expansionism into the Canon of Constitutional History”

Sanford Levinson 
University of Texas Law School

Paper 2: “Making the Same Mistake Twice: The Doctrine of Territorial Incorporation as a Constitutional Theory of Secession”

Christina Burnett 
(University of Oklahoma College of Law)

Comment: Melvin Urofsky, Center for Public Policy 
Virginia Commonwealth University

Friday, Session 2D: 10:30am-noon

Karl Llewellyn Reconsidered
Chair: N.E.H. Hull, Rutgers-Camden Law school

Paper 1: “Karl Llewellyn on Family Law”

Hendrik Hartog, Department of History 
Princeton University

Paper 2:” “Karl Llewellyn on Constitutional Law”

John Harrison 
University of Virginia Law School

Comment: Mary Anne Case 
University of Chicago Law School

John Henry Schlegel 
SUNY Buffalo Law School

Saturday, Session 1C: 8:45am-10:15am

After the New Deal: 
Liberal Lawyers, Labor and the State
Chair: Victoria Saker Woeste 
American Bar Foundation

Paper 1: “The Ideal and the Actual in the State: Willard Hurst at the Bureau of Economic Warfare”

Daniel R. Ernst 
Georgetown University Law Center

Paper 2: “Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.: The Old New Dealer and the Union Democracy Movement”

Michael E. Parrish, Department of History 
University of California, San Diego

Comment: Nelson Lichtenstein, Department of History

University of Virginia 
Randall Hall

Katherine Stone 
Cornell Law School

Friday, Session 2C: 10:30am-noon

Law, Religion, and Gendered Systems of Social Authority: 
Case Studies from Colonial and Antebellum America
Chair: Cornelia Dayton, Department of History 
University of Connecticut

Paper 1: “Dangerous Conversations: Blasphemy in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts”

Kristin Olbertson, Department of History 
University of Michigan

Paper 2: “An Informal Court of Public Opinion: Gendered Justice in Antebellum South Carolina”

Elizabeth Dale, Department of History 
University of Florida

Comment: Bruce Mann 
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Sharon Block, Department of History 
University of California, Irvine

Saturday, Session 1D: 8:45am-10:15am

Natural Law Thought in British North America
Chair: Philip Hamburger 
University of Chicago Law School

Paper 1: “Conscience and Law in the Middle Colonies”

Greg Roeber, Department of History 
Pennsylvania State University

Paper 2: “Thomas Jefferson and the Natural Law Tradition”

David Konig, History Department 
Washington University

Paper 3: “The Influence of Natural Law on Early America Political and Legal Culture”

Craig Yirush 
(Johns Hopkins University)

Comment: Anthony Pagden, Department of History 
Johns Hopkins University

Friday, Session 4A: 3:45pm-5:15pm

The Economic Analysis of Legal History
Chair: Geoffrey P. Miller 
New York University Law School

Paper 1: “Drifting Apart? Legal History, Economic History, Law & Economic Analysis”

Ron Harris, Faculty of Law 
Tel Aviv University

Paper 2: “The Selection of Thirteenth-Century Criminal Disputes for Litigation”

Daniel Klerman 
University of Southern California Law School

Paper 3: “”The Bondsman’s Burden”

Jenny Wahl, Department of Economics 
Carleton College

Comment: William W. Fisher, III 
Harvard Law School

Friday, Session 2B: 10:30am-noon

Canada and Australia:
Sister Colonies with (Somewhat)
Divergent Legal Histories
Chair: Ian Holloway, Faculty of Law 
University of Western Ontario

Paper 1: “Storied Executions: The Last Men Executed in Australia and Canada”

Carolyn Strange, Centre of Criminology 
University of Toronto

Paper 2: “Law for the Beaver, Law for the Kangaroo: Inscribing Britishness in Canada and Australia”

W. Wesley Pue 
University of British Columbia School of Law

Paper 3: “Women’s Legal History in Canada and Australia: A Case for Comparison”

Constance Backhouse 
University of Ottawa School of Law

Comment: CHAIR

Friday, Session 3B: 2:00pm-3:30pm

Law and Society in Imperial Russia
Chair: William G. Wagner, Department of History 
Williams College

Paper 1: “The Elaboration of Rules of Practice and the Professionalization Project: Lawyers in Late Imperial Russia”

Susan Zayer Rupp, Department of History 
Wake Forest University

Paper 2: “How Much Crime is Enough? Criminology in Late Imperial Russia”

Z. Ronald Bialkowski 
(University of California, Berkeley)

Paper 3: “The Response of Russian Society to the Basic Principles of 1862: The Zamechaniia of 1862 and Public Opinion”

Cheri C. Wilson, Department of History 
Loyola College

Comment: CHAIR

Saturday, Session 1B: 8:45am-10:15am

Learning About Culture Through Law in the South Atlantic
Chair: Lawrence Rosen, Department of Anthropology 
Princeton University

Paper 1: “Republicanism Through Law: Juan Bautista Alberdi and Argentina”

Jeremy Adelman, Department of History 
Princeton University

Paper 2: “Barbarous Raiding and Civilized Ransom: Cultural Lessons from Captive Rescue in the South Atlantic”

Lauren Benton, Federated History Department 
NJIT and Rutgers University–Newark

Paper 3: Which Law and Culture?: Christian Colonialism and Afromestizo Cultural in Colonial Mexico

Herman L. Bennett, Department of History 
Rutgers University

Comment: CHAIR

Saturday, Session 4A: 3:00pm-4:30pm

Roundtable on Legal Formalism: 
Comparative Historical Perspectives
Chair: Stanley L. Paulson 
Washington University School of Law

Discussants: Christoph Schonberger 
University of Frankfurt

Patrick J. Kelley 
Southern Illinois University School of Law

Alexander Somek 
University of Vienna


Saturday, Session 1A: 8:45am-10:15am

Law, Learning, and Judgment in Early Stuart England: 
Reading Measure for Measure
Chair: Allen D. Boyer 
New York Stock Exchange, Enforcements Division

Paper 1: “Law and Equity in Measure for Measure and in the Debates of James I, his Parliaments, and Edward Coke”

Louise Halper 
Washington and Lee University School of Law

Paper 2: “Family Law as Prenuptial Negotiation”

Catherine McCauliff 
Seton Hall University School of Law

Paper 3: “Measured Judgments? Histories, Pedagogies, and the Possibility of Equity”

Penny Pether 
(Washington College of Law, American University)

Comment: David Millon 
Washington Lee School of Law

Saturday, Session Early Morning A: 7:30am-8:30am

Ideas and Institutions in Israeli Law
Chair: Eben Moglen 
Columbia University School of Law

Paper 1: “Awakening a Sleeping Beauty: 52 Years of Israeli Constitutional Revolution”

Shulamit Almog and Ariel L. Bendor, Faculty of Law 
Haifa University

Paper 2: “Debt Forgiveness in the Jewish Tradition and Modern Day Israel”

Rafi Efrat, Department of Business Law 
California State University, Northridge

Comment: CHAIR  

Friday, Session Early Morning B: 7:30am-8:30am

Legal Cultures of Colonialism and Nationalism
Chair: Brian Owensby, Department of History 
University of Virginia

Paper 1: “”Colonial Rule in India and the Imperial Discourse of Justice: The Prosecutorial Speeches of Edmund Burke in the Impeachment Trial of Warren Hastings”

Mithi Mukherjee 
(University of Chicago)

Paper 2: “Andres Bello’s Footnotes: The Formation of the Nation-State and International Law in Nineteenth-Century Latin America”

Liliana Obregon 
(Harvard Law School)

Comment: CHAIR

Friday, Session Early Morning A: 7:30am-8:30am

Family Law in the Ancient World
Chair: Edward Harris, Department of Classics 
Brooklyn College

Paper 1: “”The Enslavement of Freeborn Children in the Roman Empire”

Judith Evans Grubbs, Department of Classical Studies 
Sweet Briar College

Paper 2: “Paternal Control of the Family in the Roman Empire”

Eva Cantarella 
New York University Law School

Comment: CHAIR

Friday, Session 4C: 3:45pm-5:15pm

Intellectual Biography and Intellectual History: 
The Example of Gilded Age Legal Thought
Chair: William P. LaPiana 
New York Law School

Paper 1: “The Three Tenors of Classical Legal Thought: Joel Bishop, Francis Wharton, and John Chipman Gray”

Stephen A. Siegel 
DePaul University College of Law

Paper 2: “What the Separation of Church and State Misses: Justice Brewer and the Bible”

Linda Przybyszewski, Department of History 
University of Cincinnati

Paper 3: “James Coolidge Carter and Mugwump Jurisprudence”

Lewis A. Grossman 
Washington College of Law, American University

Comment: Thomas C. Grey 
Stanford Law School

Saturday, Session 2D: 10:30am-noon

Money, Contract, and Capitalism in Early America
Chair: Harry N. Scheiber 
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Paper 1: “Currency Policies and Legal Development in Colonial New England”

Claire Priest 
(Yale University)

Paper 2: “Constituting Capitalism: From Political Economy to the Law of the Market”

Christine Desan 
Harvard Law School

Comment: Christopher L. Tomlins 
American Bar Foundation

Sean Wilentz, Department of History 
Princeton University

Saturday, Session 4D: 3:00pm-4:30pm

Constructing Postwar Rights in World War II America
Chair: Mary L. Dudziak 
University of Southern California Law School

Paper 1: “Equal Pay for Democracy: Race, Gender, and Rights in World War II”

Eileen Boris 
University of Virginia

Paper 2: “The Four Freedoms, the Atlantic Charter, and the Reinvigoration of U.S. Rights Discourse, 1941-1946”

Elizabeth Kopelman Borgwardt 
(Stanford University)

Paper 3: “The Making of Post-War Civil Rights: The Thirteenth Amendment, Racial Equality, and Labor Rights in World War II”

Risa Goluboff 
(Princeton University)

Comment: William E. Forbath 
University of Texas Law School

Friday, Session 3C: 2:00pm-3:30pm

Marriage, Courtship and the State in Nineteenth-Century America
Chair: J. Herbie DiFonzo 
Hofstra University Law School

Paper 1: “Divorced or Dismissed: Legal Remedies to Marital Violence in Antebellum Boston”

Eliza Clark, Program in the History of American Civilization 
Harvard University

Paper 2: “Justifiable Provocation: Violence Against Women in Essex County, New York, 1799-1860”

Sean T. Moore 
(University of Connecticut)

Paper 3: “Husbands, Wives, and the Law in the Chinese-American Community in the Late-Nineteenth Century”

Todd M. Stevens 
(Princeton University)

Paper 4: “Law, Love, and Courtship in Nineteenth-Century America: The Case of Pollard v. Breckinridge(1894)”

Melissa J. Ganz 
(Yale University)


Friday, Session 1C: 8:45am-10:15am

Beyond the Letter of the Law: 
Physical Space and Material Environments in Legal History
Chair: Barbara Welke, Department of History 
University of Minnesota

Paper 1: “The Public Space of Law: Massachusetts Courthouses and the Architecture of Professionalization, 1750-1830”

Martha J. McNamara, Department of History 
University of Maine

Paper 2: “Bed, Board, and Hearth: The Common Law of Innkeepers and the Legal Construction of Public Space in 19th-century America”

Andrew K. Sandoval-Strausz 
(University of Chicago)

Paper 3: “Lawyers, Books, and Paper”

Michael H. Hoeflich 
University of Kansas School of Law

Comment: Thomas Edward Brennan, Department of History 
U.S. Naval Academy

Saturday, Session Early Morning B: 7:30am-8:30am

Rethinking Foundational Cases in Federal Indian Law
Chair: Lindsay Robertson 
University of Oklahoma College of Law

Paper 1: “`An Indian Cannot Get a Morsel of Pork’: A Retrospective on Crow DogIn re Blackbird, Tribal Sovereignty, Indian Poverty, and Federalism”

Sidney L. Harring 
City of New York Law School, Queens College

Paper 2: “The Ghost of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock Stalking the Land”

C. Blue Clark, Department of History 
Oklahoma City University

Comment: Jill Norgren, Department of Government 
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
University Graduate Center, CUNY

Saturday, Session 4C: 3:00pm-4:30pm

Lawyers in the American West, 1820-1920
Chair: Gordon Bakken, Department of History 
California State University, Fullerton

Paper 1: “Legal Apprenticeship in the Office of Calvin Fletcher”

A. Christopher Bryant 
(University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Law)

Paper 2: “Legal Argument in the Opinions of Montana Territorial Chief Justice Decius S. Wade”

Andrew P. Morriss 
Case Western University Law School

Paper 3: “Western Women Lawyers, Defense of the Criminally Accused, and the Invention of the Public Defender”

Barbara Allen Babcock 
Stanford Law School

Comment: CHAIR

Friday, Session 3D: 2:00pm-3:30pm

The People’s Sovereignty in 19th-Century Constitutional Politics
Chair: Keith E. Whittington, Department of Politics 
Princeton University

Paper 1: “The Struggle Over the People’s Sovereignty Before the Civil War”

Chritian G. Fritz 
University of New Mexico School of Law

Paper 2: “Reconceiving the Fourteenth Amendment’s Founding”

Wayne D. Moore, Department of Political Science 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Paper 3: “A Revolution Too Soon: Woman Suffragists, the Right to Vote and the Living Constitution, 1869-1874”

Adam Winkler 
(University of California, Los Angeles)

Comment: Mark E. Brandon, Department of Political Science 
University of Michigan

Tony A. Freyer 
University of Alabama School of Law

Saturday, Session Early Morning C: 7:30am-8:30am

South Carolina Redeemers in Court:
The Criminal
Justice System and the Establishment of White Supremacy
Chair: Christopher Waldrep, Department of History 
San Francisco State University

Paper 1: “The 1878 Election Cases and the Collapse of Federal Enforcement Efforts in South Carolina”

Lou Falkner Williams, Department of History 
Kansas State University

Paper 2: “Post-Reconstruction Justice in South Carolina: The Prosecution of Francis Lewis Cardoza”

W. Lewis Burke 
University of South Carolina School of Law

Comment: Donald G. Nieman, Department of History 
Bowling Green State University

Friday, Session Early Morning C: 7:30am-8:30am

American Criminal Justice in the Early 20th Century
Chair: Richard Hamm, Department of History 
SUNY Albany

Paper 1: “”The Politics of Criminal Law in Progressive New York”


Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting:


:  2000 Board of Directors Meeting  ::
Princeton, New Jersey  ::  Woodrow Wilson School
Thursday, October 19, 2000

The meeting began at 7:40 p.m.

Opening Remarks

Tom Green, president of the Society, opened the meeting by introducing new members of the board of directors and chairs of committees, Chuck Grench, the new editor at UNC Press who will work with the Society on its Studies in Legal History series, and Jack Pratt, secretary/treasurer-elect for the Society.


The minutes of the 1999 meeting were approved as they appeared in the summer newsletter.

Committee Reports
2000 Local Arrangements Committee

Stan Katz, chair, and Dirk Hartog were in charge of local arrangements.  The Board expressed its gratitude for their excellent work.  

2000 Program Committee

Chuck McCurdy, chair, thanked the members of the committee for their work, especially Janet Loengard.  He noted that the committee had achieved its goal of having half of the sessions be devoted to non-U.S. topics.  The committee’s other principle for selection had been to disfavor presenters who had presented at the previous meeting in Toronto.  The committee had rejected several panels, each of which would be referred to the program committee for 2001.  The Board expressed great appreciation for Chuck’s work and for that of the entire committee.

2001 Local Arrangements Committee

Vicky Woeste, chair, reported that the committee had successfully arranged for the next conference to be held at the Allegro hotel, 180 West Randolph St., Chicago, with a room rate of $149 per night.  The committee had also identified two hotels, with a room rate of $119 per night, for overflow and for those who would prefer a less expensive rate – Quality Inn, 1 South Halsted; and Congress Plaza, 520 South Michigan.  For each hotel, there are reasons that the Society may want to arrange for shuttle service to provide transportation.  The board discussed the pros and cons of paying for shuttle service.  After that discussion, and discussion about the number of rooms that will be needed, Tom Green announced that he would work with the local arrangements committee, the executive committee, and the secretary/treasurer to determine whether it would be possible to book a larger number of rooms.  There was also discussion of the possibility of having the Society subsidize the room rates rather than pay for a shuttle service.  

The committee has obtained commitments from area institutions for financial support of the meeting – the American Bar Foundation, Northwestern Law School, DePaul Law School, and John Marshall Law School.

The chair also reported that Dick Hemholz had offered to combine the Society’s annual lecture with the University of Chicago’s endowed annual Fulton Lecture, with arrangements being made for transportation between the meeting hotel and Hyde Park, where the lecture and reception will take place.  The committee and the board expressed their gratitude for this contribution.

In addition to discussion about the hotels, the board also considered the possible impact of having the meeting at a later date – November 8-10, 2001.  (The 2002 meeting will be in San Diego, also at November date – 7-9.)  The consensus was that it was not possible to anticipate the impact of the change in advance of the meeting.

A question was asked about the possibility of the Society paying the travel expenses for speakers from outside the United States.  There was a brief discussion, but no resolution.

Committee on the Conference/Annual Meeting

On behalf of the chair, Craig Joyce, Dan Ernst presented the committee’s report.  As already noted, the next two conferences will be in Chicago (November 8-10, 2001) and in San Diego (November 7-9, 2002).  The committee invites suggestions for the site of the 2003 meeting, with Washington, D.C., having already been proposed.  The plan is to have that year’s site selected before the next meeting and a proposal for 2004 by the time of the meeting, to permit the Society to have three-four meetings planned in advance.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

The president announced that there was no report from the secretary/treasurer.  He noted that any report would be preliminary at best, since it would need to take into account income and expenses associated with the annual meeting.  Overall, however, the president reported that the Society was in good financial shape.  The board expressed its approval and thanks for the dedication and effort shown the Society by the secretary/treasurer, Don Nieman.

Publications Report

The chair, Les Benedict, for the committee proposed procedures to encourage an orderly transition in the editorship of the Society’s series Studies in Legal History when either or both of the present editors retire.  Following discussion, the board unanimously approved these resolutions:

1.  Editors of the Studies in Legal History series shall give at least eighteen months notice of their intention to retire, notice to be given at least six months prior to the next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Society.  Upon the direction of the president, the Publications Committee will begin the search for a new editor.  It will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors at the board’s next meeting.

2.  Retiring editors, incoming editors, and authors will consult about the transfer of responsibility for manuscripts in the process of publication, with the understanding that if an author or an incoming editor is not comfortable with a transfer, the retiring editor shall see the manuscript through to publication.

3.  The Publications Committee shall evaluate the performance of the editors once every five years, beginning in 2001.  The evaluation shall be completed before the meeting of the Board of Directors of that year and each five years thereafter.

The committee also proposed procedures for the replacement of the editor of Law and History Review(LHR) in the event of inability to complete a term of service.  After discussion, the board unanimously approved these resolutions:

1.  In the event the editor is unable to complete his or her term, the editor shall if possible give one year’s notice of resignation.  The Publications Committee shall notify the Board of Directors and, at the Board’s instruction, begin the search for a replacement, The new editor’s term will begin on January 1 of the year following his or her appointment by the Board and extend for five years thereafter.

2.  If circumstances make notice impossible, the Publications Committee, upon the instruction of the President, shall appoint an interim editor and undertake the search for a replacement, who will assume his or her responsibilities as soon as possible after appointment by the Board or the Executive Committee of the Board.  The new editor’s term will begin on January 1 of the year following his or her appointment and extend for five years thereafter.

Benedict and Chris Tomlins explained the committee’s proposal that the Society accept the invitation to the law and history review to participate in the History Cooperative as an Associate Member.  The gist of the proposal is that there be an initial three-year contract during which the Society can evaluate its participation.  The contract provides that all fees will go to the founding members of the cooperative, who are investing the capital to establish the system.  The contract leaves the LHR in complete control of its files and does not require the transfer of exclusive rights to electronic publication.  LHR, like each member journal, must pay the costs of preparing files compatible with the system.  Because the University of Illinois Press, one of the founding members of the Cooperative, is already the publisher of the LHR, the cost to us will be less than to others of similar size.  At the present size of the LHR, the cost will be approximately $1600-1700.  If the Review increases in size as expected, the cost will rise to approximately $2500 per year.  After discussion, the board approved the proposed contract.  

At the conclusion of the committee’s report, the board expressed its thanks for Les Benedict’s service as Chair of Publications, which concludes at the end of the year.

Law and History Review

Chris Tomlins presented a two-part report.  The first summarized the financial status of the Review, which is good; and the record of submissions and publication during the past year.  At the conclusion of this part of the report, the board unanimously approved a motion “to thank the outgoing editorial board, whose support of the Review has been unstinting and whose advice has been invaluable.”  

The second part of the report was the contract with the History Cooperative, which at present will not include back issues of the Review.

Surrency Prize Committee

The committee chair, Tahirih Lee, announced that the committee had unanimously chosen Norma Landau to receive the 2000 Surrency Prize for her article “Indictment for Fun and Profit:  A Prosecutor’s Reward at Eighteenth-Century Quarter Sessions,” in volume 17 of the Law and History Review.  The committee reported:  

Landau’s study of prosecutions in eighteenth century England’s Quarter Sessions is as compelling as a detective novel and an impressive piece of historical research to boot.  We loved her title, and her thesis, that these prosecutions used the criminal process to mask an attempt to corruptly siphon money from civil litigants.  And her presentation is so clear and accessible we could hardly believe she is working in such an obscure body of records (records that one of us has worked in and to whose obscurity on several levels she readily attests!).  Landau makes the excruciatingly difficult task of making such records meaningful to legal historians today seem easy.

Sutherland Prize Committee

Janet Loengard, committee chair, announced the committee’s unanimous decision to award the 2000 Sutherland Prize to Prof. John H. Langbein for his article “The Prosecutorial Origins of Defence Counsel in the Eighteenth Century: the Appearance of Solicitors,” which appeared in the Cambridge Law Journalvol. 58, part 2.  Because of the number of excellent articles under final consideration, the committee decided to award an honorable mention citation to Norma Landau’s article “Indictment for Fun and Profit: a Prosecutor’s Reward at Eighteenth Century Quarter Sessions,” which appeared in the Law and History Review, vol. 17, no. 3.

The citations for the awards read as follows:  

The Sutherland Prize Committee has made the unanimous decision to award the 2000 Prize to Professor John H. Langbein for his article “The Prosecutorial  Origins of Defence Counsel in the Eighteenth Century: the Appearance of Solicitors” which appeared in the Cambridge Law Journal for July, 1999.  Continuing his long-term examination of the development of procedure in criminal cases, Professor Langbein  gives a persuasive explanation for the decision of judges in the 1730s to reverse the practice of centuries and permit admission of defense council in non-treason cases.  The article utilizes extensive research in reports of State Trials, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, and contemporary tract literature to argue that it was pretrial practice, not the use of prosecution counsel at trial, which occasioned the change: increased use of prosecuting solicitors and the reward system led judges to attempt to even the balance between prosecution and defendant.  Through his work, Professor Langbein has once again enlightened us on the ways in which informal or unofficial alterations in practice may lead to widespread change in the entire structure of an institution.


The Committee also made the unanimous decision to award an Honorable Mention citation this year and interestingly enough, the award goes to another article on eighteenth-century criminal practice.  It is awarded to Norma Landau, “Indictment for Fun and Profit: A Prosecutor’s Reward at Eighteenth-Century Quarter Sessions” which appeared in the Law and History Review for September, 1999.  Using samples of Middlesex Bills of Indictment from across the eighteenth century, Professor Landau shows that many actions for nonfelonious offenses against the person, brought as criminal suits, had as their objection compensation or apology or both and were in fact treated by both prosecutor and the court of Quarter Sessions as essentially civil actions.  The article compels a rethinking of modern categories of “crime” and “criminal” as applied to the eighteenth century, illustrating the lack of definitive distinction between criminal and civil in the minds of both prosecutors and judges.

The Committee made two recommendations:

First, while nominations of an article or essay for the Sutherland Prize have always been possible and, indeed, in almost every year nominations have been received, the Committee would like both to encourage and regularize the process.  We think that there should be more publicity concerning the prize and that it should include the statement that nomination of an article written by either oneself or another person is encouraged.  The logical places for publicizing the policy — and the prize — would be the ASLH Newsletter and the ASLH web page, but there are other venues as well.  We think that a simple procedure for nomination should be set out as follows:

1.  We suggest that, where possible, a person submitting a nomination should send at least one copy of the article to the then-chair of the Sutherland Prize Committee.  Obviously, nomination is extremely useful in bringing to the attention of the Committee an article or essay which its members might not otherwise see because it is not readily available.  This would ensure its accessibility.

2.  We suggest that there be a cut-off date for nominations and, given the Committee’s schedule, we believe that the date should be no later than May 1.  This year’s Committee began work in February, because by summer the previous year’s issues of many journals are off library shelves and in binderies.  

Second, we are aware that by chance all three Committee members this year teach in history departments.  We believe that each succeeding Committee should have at least one member from a history department and one from a law school, with the third member chosen from either.  We think this will help to ensure inclusion of different viewpoints.  (We hasten to add that this should not be taken as a reflection on the current Committee, which worked hard to be as inclusive as possible and, we believe, succeeded admirably.)

Studies in Legal History

Dirk Hartog reported on behalf of himself and his co-editor, Thomas Green, that 2001 will be a banner year, with three new books scheduled for publication and seven manuscripts under advance contract.  The editors are presently considering approximately twelve new manuscripts each year.

With Lewis Bateman moving from UNC Press to Cambridge University Press, the series is now in the capable hands of Chuck Grench.  The editors and the board expressed their thanks to Lewis for his service to the series and to the members of the Society.


Chris Waldrep emphasized two parts of his report.  First, the developments of the H-Law web page, which now includes an archive of internet links, with the state supreme courts for all fifty states and state historical societies.  There is also now an index of Law and History Review, beginning with volume one and continuing to the date covered by LEXIS-NEXIS.  Second, H-Law is attempting to expand its subscription base, to reach graduate students and others.

Membership Committee

Bob Goldman, chair, reported that the committee is working on new ways to expand membership, with special attention devoted to graduate students and junior faculty, as well as faculty and students at historically black colleges and universities.

Committee on Documentary Preservation

Michael Churgin presented the committee’s report concerning successful litigation to gain access to parts of the Alger Hiss grand jury records.  Other parts of the report noted work with the National Archives concerning access to other records.

Honors Committee

At the suggestion of the committee, the board approved as a new corresponding fellow, Michael Stolleis, Director, Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History, in Frankfurt.

Nominating Committee

Victoria List, chair, reported on the committee’s work.  In the discussion that followed, the board noted the need to have the membership vote on a motion from last year to have a graduate student be one of the fifteen members of the board.  The vote should be conducted in conjunction with the winter newsletter.  If the motion is approved, then the nominating committee will have nominees ready for balloting during the summer.

Tom Green announced the results of the elections:
Board of Directors:
James Brundage, University of Kansas
Ariela Gross, University of Southern California
DeLoyd Guth, University of Manitoba
Charles McCurdy, University of Virginia
Barbara Shapiro, University of California, Berkeley

Nominating Committee
Tom Gallanis, Ohio State University
Sarah Hanley, University of Iowa

Surrency Prize Committee  
Richard Ross, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis
Hurst Memorial Committee

Avi Soifer reported for the committee on the successful establishment of the first Willard Hurst Legal History Institute, which will be in Madison, Wisconsin, June 11‑22, 2001.  The institute will be lead by Lawrence M. Friedman.  The application materials are available on the Society’s web site. 

Avi also reported that a gift from Frances Hurst, Willard’s widow, assured the institute’s future through the next decade.  The board approved the memorandum of agreement governing the fund established by that gift.  The board also unanimously approved this resolution:  

We hereby express our immense gratitude to Frances Hurst for her extraordinarily generous support of our ongoing effort to extend the great influence of Willard Hurst and his work through the Willard Hurst Legal History Institute.

2001 Program Committee

On behalf of Bill Novak, chair, Chris Tomlins distributed the names of the committee members and a draft call for papers.  Discussion about the program reflected general agreement on continuing the principles that had guided the 2000 program committee – a goal that the program should strive to balance U.S. and non-U.S. panels; that the committee should seek out programs in areas that would not otherwise be represented; that there should be a graduate student on the committee; and a preference against having panel members in successive conferences.
New Business

Collaboration with Law & Society Association in Consortium on Socio-Legal Scholarship

Chris Tomlins reported that there had been only modest activity.  The consensus of the board was that the Society should continue to await developments, holding itself out as willing to participate.

New Committee:  Future Projects Committee

Bill Nelson will chair this committee, charged in particular with developing proposals to help graduate students.

Lewis Bateman

On behalf of the executive committee, Tom Green moved that the board authorize the Society to make a gift of life membership to Lewis Bateman in gratitude to him for his efforts and many years of service with the Society’s program for publication of its Studies in Legal History.  Following discussion, the board unanimously approved the motion.

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.