The Delaware campus law library is now on exam hours. We will be open until 2 a.m. every night through December 18th. Good luck with your exams!
The modern Delaware Bar exam has a reputation as one of the toughest in the nation. But today’s bar candidates can at least be thankful they no longer have to read The Story of the Law by John Maxcy Zane. From 1931 to around 1970, those wishing to be admitted to the bar had to first register as a law student and were required to read and pass an oral examination on The Story of Law, a survey of the history of Western law originally published in 1927. The Delaware State Bar Association’s official history claims it was “for many members of the Bar, … a horrible experience they have never forgotten.” In 1963 13% of candidates failed their examination on Zane.
In a 1987 article in The Delaware Lawyer, attorney William Prickett (whose father, William Prickett, Sr., was a member of the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners) called The Story of Law “that truly awful book.” He recalled his father’s explanation for the Board’s continued use of the book: first, the members of the Board were already familiar with Zane and didn’t want to spend the time to learn a new book well enough to conduct the exam, and second, many aspects of legal practice are tedious, so reading and understanding Zane was a good test of a lawyer’s ability to learn tedious and dull material.
The Story of Law does have its admirers. A review in the Pennsylvania Law Review called it “… a source of delight from cover to cover.” It was republished in a second edition by the Liberty Fund in 1998 with a new introduction and illustrations. The introduction to the new edition describes it as “… a learned and highly readable account of the shaping of Western law from the Neolithic age to the dawn of the twentieth century.”
If you would like to judge Zane for yourself, you can read the new edition online at the Liberty Fund website. Widener Law Library has a copy of the new edition available for borrowing. The first edition is in our special collections and can’t be borrowed but you can view it on HeinOnline.
Kinnane, Charles H., The Story of Law by John M. Zane, 78 U. Pa. L. Rev. 89.
Murphy, Earl Finbar, The Philosophy of Law in Historical Perspective by Carl Joachim Friedrich; The Story of the Law and the Men Who Made It-From the Earliest Times to the Present by René A. Wormser; Legal History, Law and Social Change by Frederick G. Kempin, 8 Am. J. Legal Hist. 89.
Prickett, William, Flunking the Bar, 6 Del. Law. 34 (Summer 1987)
Siebold, Dennis J. Admission to the Bar in The Delaware Bar in the Twentieth Century (Delaware State Bar Association, 1994)
Zane, John Maxcy, The Story of Law (Liberty Fund, 2nd ed. 1998)
Thanksgiving is coming up. The Delaware campus Widener Law Library will be closed on Thanksgiving and on shorter hours Thanksgiving weekend.
- November 26 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- November 27 CLOSED
- November 28 & 29 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- November 30 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For more information on library hours see our webpage.
In 1781 the state of Delaware passed a law (2 Del. Laws ch. 71) calling for an assessment to pay the debt from the American Revolution. Part of the taxes had to be paid in gold or silver coins, or in new banknotes. The act listed which coins were acceptable for paying the tax, including the Brazilian johannes (commonly called a Joe), the English or French Guinea, the moidore (also minted in Brazil), Spanish pieces of eight, and the Arabian chequin. You could not pay in German coins (probably because they were notoriously debased.)
More information on early coins in America:
- The coins of Colonial and Early America
- Coin and Currency in Early America
- Lasser, Joseph R. The Coins of Colonial America: World Trade Coins of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Williamsburg, Va: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1997.
Here is the list of all new books received in the law library in October 2014.
Here’s a sure sign that winter is approaching. We’ve closed the law library balcony for the season. It will reopen in the spring.
A few of my picks for recent most interesting articles by Widener Law faculty.
- Forthcoming in the Catholic University Law Review is The Natural Born Citizen Clause as Originally Understood by Mary Brigid McManamon.
- Luke Scheuer’s The ‘Legal’ Marijuana Industry’s Challenge for Business Entity Law, forthcoming in the William & Mary Business Law Review.
- Mental Disabilities and Duty in Negligence Law: Will Neuroscience Reform Tort Doctrine? by Jean Eggen. Forthcoming in the Indiana Health Law Review.
Check out the library’s new books http://blogs.lawlib.widener.edu/delaware/recent-library-acquisitions-list/
This weekend the Delaware campus law library will be on shorter hours for the Labor Day holiday. Please note we will be closed on Monday.
- August 29 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- August 30 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- August 31 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- September 1 CLOSED
Enjoy your holiday weekend! A complete list of library hours is on our website.
Delaware recently passed HB 345, the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act. Here is the bill itself and here is the legislative history. The new law is based on the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
There’s been a lot of coverage of the new law on technology news sites, many of which don’t seem to understand it. Some of the better articles can be found on: