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Encyclopedia > Learned Hand
Billings Learned Hand

Learned Hand in 1924 Image File history File links Size of this preview: 453 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (701 × 928 pixel, file size: 56 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...


In office
1924 – 1951
Nominated by Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Julius Marshuetz Mayer
Succeeded by Harold Raymond Medina

In office
1909 – 1924

Born January 27, 1872(1872-01-27)
Albany, New York
Died August 181, 1961

Billings Learned Hand (January 27, 1872August 181, 1961) — usually called simply Learned Hand — was a famed American judge and an avid supporter of free speech, though he is most remembered for applying economic reasoning to American tort law. Hand is generally considered to be one of the most influential American judges never to have served on the Supreme Court of the United States. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts: District of Connecticut Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York District of Vermont The Second Circuit hears argument at the Thurgood Marshall U... John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. ... Julius Marshuetz Mayer (September 5, 1865 - November 20, 1925) was a lawyer and judge in the United States. ... Harold Raymond Medina, Sr. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the following counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. ... is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Albany. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Freedom of speech is the right to freely say what one pleases, as well as the related right to hear what others have stated. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... Not to be confused with torte, an iced cake. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries  Atlas  Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym...

Contents

Biography

Born in Albany, New York, he attended The Albany Academy before training in philosophy at Harvard College, studying under William James, Josiah Royce and George Santayana. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and later obtained a degree from Harvard Law School as well. Hand started practicing law in Albany, and taught at Albany Law School, before moving on to New York City. He later spent his free time at his vacation house in Cornish, New Hampshire, where he enjoyed the close friendship of novelist J.D. Salinger. For other uses, see Albany. ... The Albany Academy is an independent college preparatory day school for boys in Albany, New York, USA, enrolling students from Early Childhood (age 3) to Post-Graduate. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... Harvard Yard Harvard College is the undergraduate section and oldest school of Harvard University, founded in 1636. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Josiah Royce (November 20, 1855, Grass Valley, California. ... George Santayana George Santayana (December 16, 1863, Madrid – September 26, 1952, Rome), was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. ... The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an honor society which considers its mission to be fostering and recognizing excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. ... Harvard Law School (colloquially, Harvard Law or HLS) is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. ... Albany Law School is an ABA accredited law school based in Albany, New York. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Cornish is a town located in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. ... Jerome David Salinger (born January 1, 1919) is an American author best known for The Catcher in the Rye, a classic coming-of-age story that has enjoyed enduring popularity since its publication in 1951. ...


Hand served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1909 to 1924 (see Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, 244 F. 535 (S.D.N.Y. 1917)), and on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1924 until 1951. Hand served as the Chief Judge (previously known as the "Senior Circuit Judge") of the Second Circuit from 1939, when he succeeded Martin Manton, until 1951. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the following counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. ... 244 F. 535, (S.D.N.Y. 1917), is a First Amendment case decided in 1917 that addressed advocacy of law violation. ... // The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court... The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts: District of Connecticut Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York District of Vermont The Second Circuit hears argument at the Thurgood Marshall U... Chief Judge is a title that can refer to the highest-ranking judge of a court that has more than one judge. ... Martin Thomas Manton (August 2, 1880 - November 17, 1946) was a United States federal Judge in New York City who is best remembered for having resigned and served time in prison for accepting bribes while in office. ...


Hand's cousin, Augustus Noble Hand, was also a judge and also served on both the Southern District and the Second Circuit courts substantially during Learned's tenure at each. Augustus Noble Hand (July 26, 1869–October 28, 1954) was an American judge who served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and later on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. ...


Influence

Hand's judicial opinions are frequently considered classic formative statements of American contract and tort law. One of his most famous tools, commonly referred to as the calculus of negligence, first appeared in United States v. Carroll Towing, 159 F.2d 169 (2d Cir. 1947). The case was concerned with civil tort liability in a case alleging damage after a boat-owner's failure to adequately secure his vessel at harbor. A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... Not to be confused with torte, an iced cake. ... In the United States, the calculus of negligence or learned hand rule is a term coined by Judge Learned Hand and describes a process for determining whether a legal duty of care has been breached (see negligence). ... United States v. ...


The calculus requires that financial liability should be imposed for a negligent tort only if the burden of preventing the injury does not exceed the magnitude of the injury multiplied by its likelihood of occurring. The rule, also sometimes referred to as the "Hand Test," is most notable for its economic approach to a legal rule; an approach that is the foundation of the law and economics school of legal thought. The Hand Formula finds negligence when the actor's burden (B) is less than the probability (p) of harm, multiplied by the degree of loss (L). Law and economics, or economic analysis of law is an approach to legal theory that applies methods of economics to law. ... Negligence is a legal concept usually used to achieve compensation for accidents and injuries. ...

B < p × L

Like many others in the law and economics school, most notably Judge Richard Posner, Hand was also influenced by philosophical pragmatism. Richard A. Posner Richard Allen Posner (born January 11, 1939 in New York City) is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. ... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ...


In 1944, Judge Hand delivered an address at a patriotic rally in New York City's Central Park. The address, entitled The Spirit of Liberty, is one of Hand's most famous utterances. In it, he famously described the spirit of liberty as "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." He also made the pragmatic observation that "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Central Park is a large public, urban park (843 acres, 3. ...


One of the most famous quotes that Judge Learned Hand is known for is: "There is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible."


In another famous quote regarding the U.S. income tax law, Judge Hand wrote:


"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes[. . . . ]" Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934). The irony in the Gregory case was that after giving the reader a very taxpayer friendly quote, Judge Hand disregards the taxpayer's convoluted transactions taken to avoid the tax despite following the correct form required by statute, thus giving impetus to the substance over form doctrine.


Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor in the Watergate Scandal, and philosopher of law Ronald Dworkin each served as law clerks for Hand. Archibald Cox, Jr. ... A special prosecutor is a lawyer from outside the government appointed by the attorney general or Congress to investigate a federal official for misconduct while in office. ... The Watergate scandal was a 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at a Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C. by members of Richard Nixons administration and the resulting cover-up which led to the resignation of the President. ... Philosophers of law ask what is law? and what should it be? Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. ... Ronald Dworkin (born 1931) is an American legal philosopher, and currently professor of Jurisprudence at University College London and the New York University School of Law. ... In the United States, Canada and Brazil, a law clerk is a person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions. ...


Additional quotations

  • "Right knows no boundaries and justice no frontiers; the brotherhood of man is not a domestic institution."2
  • "Heretics have been hated from the beginning of recorded time; they have been ostracized, exiled, tortured, maimed, and butchered; but it has generally proved impossible to smother them; and when it has not, the society that has succeeded has always declined."3
  • "In the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy."4
  • "How long shall we blunder along without the aid of unpartisan and authoritative scientific assistance in the administration of justice, no one knows; but all fair persons not conventionalized by provincial legal habits of mind ought, I should think, unite to effect some change."5
  • "There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally. ... As nearly as we can, we must put ourselves in the place of those who uttered the words, and try to divine how they would have dealt with the unforeseen situation; and, although their words are by far the most decisive evidence of what they would have done, they are by no means final."6
  • "If the prosecution of crime is to be conducted with so little regard for that protection which centuries of English law have given to the individual, we are indeed at the dawn of a new era; and much that we have deemed vital to our liberties, is a delusion."7
  • "It is of course true that any kind of judicial legislation is objectionable on the score of the limited interests which a Court can represent, yet there are wrongs which in fact legislatures cannot be brought to take an interest in, at least not until the Courts have acted."8
  • "Political agitation, by the passions it arouses or the convictions it engenders, may in fact stimulate men to the violation of the law. Detestation of existing policies is easily transformed into forcible resistance of the authority which puts them in execution, and it would be folly to disregard the causal relation between the two. Yet to assimilate agitation, legitimate as such, with direct incitement to violent resistance, is to disregard the tolerance of all methods of political agitation which in normal times is a safeguard of free government."9
  • "It is still in the lap of the gods whether a society can succeed which is based on 'civil liberties and human rights' conceived as I have tried to describe them; but of one thing at least we may be sure: the alternatives that have so far appeared have been immeasurably worse."10
  • "A self-made man may prefer a self-made name."11
  • "For myself it would be most irksome to be ruled by a bevy of Platonic Guardians, even if I knew how to choose them, which I assuredly do not."12
  • "The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen and the far-spread magazine, rules the country."13
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Learned Hand

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

References

  • Gunther, Gerald (April 12, 1994). Learned Hand : the man and the judge, with a foreword by Lewis F. Powell, Jr., New York, NY: Knopf. ISBN 0-394-58807-X LCCN 93-22868 LCC KF373.H29 G76 1994. 
  • Marcia Nelson, The Remarkable Hands: An Affectionate Portrait (Federal Bar Foundation 1983)
  • Marvin Schick, Learned Hand's Court (Johns Hopkins 1970)
  • Chirelstein, Marvin (January 1968). "Learned Hand’s Contribution to the Law of Tax Avoidance". Yale Law Journal 77 (3): 440–474. ISSN 0044-0094 LCCN 29-10103. 

New York, New York redirects here. ... The Library of Congress Control Number or LCCN is a serially based system of numbering books in the Library of Congress in the United States. ... Library of Congress reading room The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... The Library of Congress Control Number or LCCN is a serially based system of numbering books in the Library of Congress in the United States. ...

Notes

  • Note 1: Some online sources report Hand's date of death as August 14. This article uses August 18, which is the date given in the Federal Judiciary Center profile of Judge Hand as well as in many other sources.
  • Note 2: In an address delivered on May 20, 1961, shortly before his death
  • Note 3: From a lecture entitled "A Fanfare for Prometheus" delivered on January 29, 1955
  • Note 4: From the Oliver Wendell Holmes lecture delivered at Harvard in 1958
  • Note 5: From the decision in Parke, Davis & Co. v. H. K. Mulford Co., 1911
  • Note 6: From the decision in Guiseppi v. Walling, 144 F.2d 608(C.C.A.2, Jun 27, 1944)
  • Note 7: From the decision in United States v. Di Re, 1947, reversing a lower court opinion about evidence illegally obtained
  • Note 8: In a letter to Louis D. Brandeis, dated January 22, 1919
  • Note 9: From the decision in Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, 1917
  • Note 10: From a lecture entitled "A Fanfare for Prometheus" delivered on January 29, 1955
  • Note 11: Commenting on Samuel Goldfish changing his name to Samuel Goldwyn, as quoted in Lion's Share by Bosley Crowther, 1957
  • Note 12: Hand, The Bill of Rights 73 (1958).
  • Note 13: Copps, supra note 44.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Learned Hand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (486 words)
Hand is generally considered to be one of the most influential American judges who never served on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The rule, also sometimes referred to as the "Hand Test," is most notable for its economic approach to a legal rule; an approach that is the foundation of the law and economics school of legal thought.
Hand's cousin, Augustus Noble Hand, was also a judge and also served on both the N.Y. Southern District and the Second Circuit courts substantially during Learned's tenure at each.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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