The Law as a Time Capsule

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 15, 2010 in The 1L Life | Subscribe

Every now and then when I’m reading these casebooks, it really throws me for a loop to realize how incredibly old so many of our rules of law have gotten.

The obvious reference for a 1L is Property, where items like BlackAcre were first referenced nearly 4 centuries ago and most of the estate terminology was created around the same time.

But even in Civil Procedure many of the rules are orders of magnitude older than the current students of them. Consider, for example, that counterclaims were first codified in New York in 1852 (1.5 centuries ago). Or that the comparably “new” Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are closer to the 1-century mark than the 0-century one (created in 1938 / 0.7 centuries ago).

For all the talk of law evolving — which we know it undoubtedly has just looking at the opinions we study — it’s still interesting to see how many vestiges of it remain relatively untouched decade after decade after decade.

Just thought I’d share my bemusement :) Back to more CivPro before bed. Hope all of you are having a great start to the week! :D

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