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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule" Author Passes

This has nothing specific to do with estate planning or financial planning; however, it is worth noting. The author of the 1975 law review article, a semi-parody, The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule, William Stevens, passed away. His passing prompted an article in the New York Times on December 11, 2008:

“The dynamics of the common law and the development of one of the most important technical rules of baseball, although on the surface almost completely different in outlook and philosophy, share significant elements,” he wrote.

Published as a semi-parodic “aside” in June 1975, “The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule” quickly achieved legal fame, in part because nothing like it had ever appeared in a major law review, in part because of its concise, elegant reasoning. It continues to be cited by courts and legal commentators. It is taught in law schools. It is credited with giving birth to the law and baseball movement, a thriving branch of legal studies devoted to the law and its social context. It made lawyers think about the law in a different way.


(Hat tip: Prof. Beyer of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof. Blog)