Stuart Banner


I met Carol many years before Carol met me. In the fall of 1986 when I was starting my second year of law school I signed up to work on the law review, and my very first assignment was to check the accuracy of the footnotes in a manuscript called Crystals and Mud in Property Law. I wish I could say that Crystals and Mud changed my life, but that would be putting it too strongly. It did nudge my life in a new direction a little bit, though. I didn't know anything about what law professors wrote. I had been through a year of law school, and I had read lots of those edited opinions in casebooks, so I guess I must have expected scholarship to be the same - kind of boring, in that pugnacious harrumphing lawyerly style. Of course Crystals and Mud turned out to be exactly the opposite. It was fascinating stuff, but for me the main thing wasn't the substance but the style. It was written in the voice of a person you'd actually want to meet, someone who wasn't trying to win an argument at all costs, but rather a person who was clearly amused by the people and the events she was describing but who at the same time retained enough empathy for them and their predicament to want to understand why they did what they did. I wanted to write like this mysterious Carol Rose. And that's what I've been trying to do ever since.