Date(s) - 11/18/2015
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
222 East 41st Street (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves)
New York, NY 10022, ,
Presented by Professor James R. Maxeiner
Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a common law country of precedents where until the 20th century statutes had little role. Not so.
From the earliest days of the Republic, Americans have sought statutes for the people. Jefferson raced home from Philadelphia in 1776 to draft his Revisal of Virginia laws that foreshadowed Napoleon’s codes. Madison assisted him. At the nation’s centennial in 1876 Americans celebrated that “the great fact in the progress of American jurisprudence … is it tendency towards organic statute law and towards systematizing of law.” Ten years later, in 1886, the newly founded American Bar Association resolved: “The law itself should be reduced … to the form of a statute.” America’s code history—long forgotten, even suppressed—is now, thanks to digitization, available on everyone’s laptop. A modern code system could still be our destiny.
Professor James R. Maxeiner is the Associate Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law of the University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to U.S. law degrees, he holds a Ph. D. in law (Dr. jur.) from the University of Munich. He has been an AFLA member for more than thirty years. When in practice in New York he wrote the AFLA Newsletter.