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Concerning Cause and the Law of Torts: An Essay for Harry Kalven, Jr., 43 University of Chicago Law Review 69 (1975)


In 1960 I walked into an office at The University of Chicago Law School. There I found Walter Blum and Harry Kalven. They had just read a draft of what was to become my first article. Harry greeted me with: "it's all wrong . . . but I wish I had written an article like that when I was your age!" This began the debate. Blum and Kalven delivered the Shulman Lectures at Yale, Public Law Perspectives on a Private Law Problem—Auto Compensation Plans; I struck back in Fault, Accidents and the Wonderful World of Blum and Kalven; but they had the last laugh in The Empty Cabinet of Doctor Calabresi. I believe that the law of torts benefited from that hard fought polemic. I know that I, as a young scholar, could not have had a tougher, or more loving, initiation to scholarship. Fifteen years have passed and Harry is no more. Because I think that he would disagree with this paper as much as he did with my first, I gratefully dedicate it to his memory.

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