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My initial reaction, when I was invited to comment on Professor
McKean's paper,' was one of blank astonishment, since I could think
of no lawyer in the United States-indeed, in the free world-less
qualified than myself for such an assignment. In speculating on what
the committee on arrangements could have had in mind the only plausible
explanation I have been able to come up with is this: it was decided
that the Conference would be enlivened by a contribution from
a lawyer who knew nothing-and was known to know nothing-either
about economic theory or about current legal trends in what has
come to be called Products Liability. In preparing to discharge the
assignment, I could, of course, have undertaken a crash program of
reading myself into some degree of familiarity with at least the legal
aspects of the problem. I concluded, however, that such a course was
not desirable: I would, had I followed it, have been derelict to the
trust which the committee reposed in my ignorance. My function is
evidently to comment, in a childlike fashion, on these mysteries-more
or less, it may be, like the little boy who, rightly or wrongly, cried out
in mid-procession that the Emperor had no clothes on.

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