9 Then came “Woe Unto You,. Lawyers!”. Rodell knew that it would make every lawyer bristle or snort. ‘By FRED RODELL, Professor of Law, Yale University. Here’s a book you don’t have to buy; the entire text is here, in glorious HTML. It’s Fred Rodell’s “lusty, gusty attack on ‘The Law’ as a curious. This Book Reviews is brought to you for free and open access by the College of Law at Via Sapientiae. It has been accepted for Leo Herzel, Rodell: Woe unto You, Lawyers!, 7 DePaul L. Rev. () You, Lawyers! By FRED RODELL.

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Corin Suta rated it it was ok Dec 30, It developed, as it always does, that there were sub-principles. Actually however, The Law time after time finds Consideration in an extremely unfair bargain — and fails to find Consideration frer the proposition looks relatively fair.

For the Law of Contracts rarely pays attention to surrounding circumstances. But the Court still says that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to tax the income from state bonds. Clifton – – The Classical Review 43 Consecrated fanatics are always more dangerous than conscious villains.

The reason the lawyers lead the line to the guillotine or the firing squad is that, while law is supposed to be a device to serve society, a civilized way of helping the wheels go round without too much friction, it is pretty hard to find a group less concerned with serving society and more concerned with serving themselves than the lawyers.

What was unconstitutional about that? Even when the words of a statute appear, at least to a no-lawyer, to have a perfectly plain and definite meaning, you can never be sure that a court will not up and say that those words mean something entirely different. Yet before rushing to a snap judgment, she must dispose of the principle which holds that anything which seems presently desirable is likely, in the long run, to be wrong. In order to demonstrate up to the hilt that the whole of The Law is a hoax, a balloon, a lot of empty words, it would presumably be necessary to take each principle and sub-principle and counter-principle of The Law in turn and divest each one of its dazzling legal trappings so that the non-lawyer could see that there was nothing inside any of them.


Jerome Hall, Book Review:Woe Unto You, Lawyers! Fred Rodell – PhilPapers

At rodsll, that is the legal way of putting it. Without piling up examples any further, it is, then, apparent that Consideration can mean the digging of half a ditch, it can mean a cigarette, it can mean a promise by a total stranger to give money to a church, or it can mean a piece of sealing wax on a sheet of paper. The changes are almost as good that he is basing his plea on one little clause out of one of the rodelll sections of that longest of all the amendments.

Woe Unto You, Lawyers! And certainly The Law, when it moves at all, does so by flapping clumsily and uncertainly along, with its eye unswervingly glued on yok lies behind.

Woe Unto You, Lawyers!

We find no reason for departing from it. If anyone should want, not untp, to know what on earth I am doing unot or trying to do — teaching law, he may find a hint of the answer toward the end of Chapter IX. Science Logic and Mathematics. Before I ever studied law I used to argue occasionally with lawyers — a foolish thing to do at any time. Only once an age do the non-lawyers get, not wise, but disgusted, and rebel.

For no legal concept means anything or can mean anything, even to a lawyer, until its supposed content of meaning has been detailed, in terms of its precise practical application, right down tot he case that was decided yesterday And once the concept has been so detailed, it is lawyerz details, not the concept, that matter.

That is why people rarely bother to read insurance policies or mortgages or acts of Congress. It reveals the Court at its most legalistic, its most vacuous, its most unsubstantial — though for that purpose any one of a thousand cases might have served equally well. Most legislators are lawyers; they make our laws.


This is what we — meaning the nine lawyers who then made up the Supreme Court, most of them now being dead — had to say: Railway workers were doubtless interested to learn that the Congressional outlawing of yellow dog contracts — contracts forbidding membership in a labor union — deprived the railroad companies of liberty and property without due process of law.

Most presidents, governors, commissioners, along with their advisers and brain-trusters are lawyers; they administer our laws. Now the digging of the ditch amounted to Performance too — another, and more or less obvious, legal concept — but that does not stop it from being an Acceptance at the same time.

Fred Rodell Quotes

This possibility was never more strikingly illustrated than when, less than a year after the Court called a New York minimum wage law for women unconstitutional, it called a Washington state minimum wage law for women constitutional — all because one man, Justice Roberts, voted on the other side.

Briefly, The Law is carried on in a foreign language.

Fletcher was purely a problem of the proper legal procedure in the federal courts under the federal statute governing such procedure. Thus, the common man is dead wrong when he thinks of law as a conglomeration of all the laws that are passed by legislatures and written down in books — even though it is true that practically all those little todell are phrased by lawyers in legal language. Chief Justice Taft, speaking for the lawyers, said it was intended to mean exactly nothing. But for months none of it clicks; there seems to be nothing dred take hold of.

But no matter which tred is, the legal appraisal of his actions will fit perfectly into the great and ubiquitous framework of The Law.