10. Law


174.  Nicholas Statham (fl.1472).  Abridgment. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

Lawyers were accustomed to compile their own commonplace books to keep track of significant points, pleadings, and decisions, but these were for generally personal use. One lawyer, Nicholas Statham, made an abridgment of cases drawn from the manuscripts of English year books, the oldest legal records of the common law, which was ultimately printed in the last decade of the fifteenth century. Statham's Abridgment dealt with cases from the reign of Henry VI (1423-1461). Cases were arranged alphabetically by subject under such topics as jurisdiction, fines, disclaimer and damages. The copy on display shows how lawyers continued to add cases to the abridgment by covering the margins with notes. The abridgment format continued to be a useful tool for lawyers until the nineteenth century, when abridgements of reports ran to 24 volumes.

Purchased on the Carpentier Fund, 1917

175.  Johannes Andreae (d. 1348).  De arbore consanguinitatis, affinitatis et cognitionis spiritualis. Manuscript on paper,. Germany, November 24, 1483. Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, MS 8

The famous Bolognese authority on canon law, Johannes Andreae, wrote several treatises in regard to relationships considered too close for marriage. These were often illustrated with tree diagrams to facilitate understanding of the concepts of consanguinity, or blood relationships, affinity, or relationships by marriage, and spiritual relationships, those created through sacramental duties such as that of godparent. In this manuscript, the Arbor affinitatis (f. 7v) shows a person in an Italianate hat above the tree who may represent the author. The Arbor consanguinitatis (f. 3v) shows a pope above the tree, undoubtedly Innocent III. The work was often found bound after early printed copies of the great collections of canon law. The Burke Library has copies so bound, but this one came to New York with the library of Leander van Ess unbound, as it remains today.

Purchased with the Leander van Ess Collection, 1838

176.  Thomas Littleton (1422-1481).  Tenures. London: Richard Tottell, 1557. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Krulewitch Collection

This treatise on land tenure was the authoritative work on English landholding in all its complex forms: fee simple, fee tail, tenant at will, tenant by copy, tenant by the verge, in a vocabulary that preserves such legal terms as parcener, socage and frankalmoign. It was the book every law student read and every lawyer had to have from the time of its first edition in 1481 until the mid-nineteenth century. Many editions were printed in order to meet a great demand for the volume. Sir Thomas Littleton, Justice of the Common Pleas, wrote it as a book of instruction for his son, which may account for its refreshingly simple and direct style of writing, even if the terminology is technical. Littleton wrote in French, the language of the law, although English translations began to appear in the early sixteenth century. Copies of this book often contain annotations by lawyers who added references to decisions of cases. In addition, the book's compact form lent itself to portability.

Gift of General and Mrs. Melvin L. Krulewitch, 1970

177.  William III, King of Great Britain(1650-1702).  Anno regni Gulielmi III Regis Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae & Hiberniae, Decimo. London: Charles Bill and the Executrix of Thomas Newcomb, 1699. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

This book of English statutes belonged to Joseph Murray (1694-1757), a lawyer in colonial New York. A prominent and successful practitioner, Murray served on the vestry of Trinity Church from 1720 to 1726 and as warden until 1757. He was a member of the King's College Board of Governors since its foundation in 1754. Although married, he had no children and when he died in 1757, he bequeathed his library to the recently founded College, along with a considerable remainder of his estate. With enough money to import law books from England, Murray assembled an excellent library of law reports and treatises. Unfortunately the College library suffered plundering during the American Revolution resulting in the loss of many of Murray's gifts.

Gift of Joseph Murray, 1758

178.  Catherine II, Empress of Russia (1729-1796).  Nakaz Eia Imperatorskago Velichestva Ekateriny Vtoriya, Samoderzhitsy Vserossiiskiia dannyi Kommissii o sochinenii proekta novago ulozheniia. St. Petersburg: Akademii nauk, 1770. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

After coming to power in 1762, Catherine II traveled across Russia to meet her subjects. During her journeys, she was struck by the pressing need to create a uniform body of laws for her country. This book is a publication of her instructions to the Commission on the Code of Laws which she called into being and charged with that responsibility. Her instructions were printed in columnar style in four languages: Russian, Latin, German and French. Montesquieu'sDe l'esprit des lois and Cesare Beccaria's Dei delitti e della pene, an essay on crimes and punishments, strongly influenced Catherine's ideas. In this spirit, she envisioned Russia as a European country; she endorsed lofty concepts of equality; and she asked for administrative and judicial reforms in the structure of government. Although members of the Commission on the Code met for many sessions and debates over several months, they failed to codify any laws. In the end, privileges of the nobility were not curtailed, nor were there land reforms, nor freeing of the serfs. Catherine's attentions had been drawn to expanding the borders of her Empire, fighting wars with the Turks, and responding to internal unrest.

Acquired in 1937

179.  Ephraim Kirby (1757-1804).  Reports of cases adjudged in the Superior Court of Connecticut; with some determinations in the Supreme Court of Errors. Litchfield: Collier & Adam, 1789. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

This was the first publication of decisions of an American court, the Superior Court of Connecticut. Lawyers and judges faced a dilemma after the thirteen colonies won independence because there was no publication of American reports during the colonial period. Would lawyers continue to base their arguments on English law reports which were not widely available in the new nation? How could decisions of American courts be cited if they were not printed? Connecticut was first to address this problem. The legislature passed and act in 1784 requiring judges to submit written judgments which could be kept on file with the clerk of the court. Filing decisions, however, is not the same as publication for sale or distribution. It was the initiative of Ephraim Kirby, a private citizen who recognized the need and opportunity, who undertook the task of finding interested purchasers to subscribe to a volume of reports. Names of 230 subscribers listed in the back of the volume show that lawyers from Vermont and New York were interested to acquire reports from this court. Nor was it a simple matter for Kirby to assemble these reports. The court was ambulatory, meeting in New London, Hartford, Litchfield, Windham, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. The completed volume covers decisions from 1785 to 1788 and distinguished Kirby as the first reporter of court decisions in the United States.

180.  William Samuel Johnson (1795-1883).  Litchfield notebook of law lecture courses. Manuscript on paper. Litchfield, Connecticut, 1817. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Johnson Collection

The Litchfield Law School, established by Tapping Reeve in Litchfield, Connecticut, was the first law school in America. From its opening in 1774, the school trained more than 1,000 students before it closed in 1833. The course of instruction included lectures by Reeve, a graduate of Princeton College, and moot court sessions. Students transcribed Reeve's lectures into notebooks like this, which would later serve as useful reference works in the law office.

William Samuel Johnson (not the first president of Columbia College, but related to that family) received his A.B. from Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) in 1816 after which he read law at the Litchfield Law School. He began his practice in New York City and was later elected to the N.Y. State Senate in 1848, representing the sixth district in Manhattan.

Gift of William Samuel Johnson

181.  Georgios Kalognomos.  Enchiridion peri synallagmatikon. Athens: Philolaos, 1841. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

This manual on bills of exchange and contracts is one of the earliest law books to be printed in Greece. Greece had won its independence from the Ottomans only two decades earlier and was beginning to develop its own civil and commercial codes. Nothing is known about the author, who was a lawyer, except that he also translated books from French into Greek.

Acquired in 2003

182.  Benjamin N. Cardozo (1870-1938).  Communism. Autograph manuscript on paper, 66 pp., Senior Thesis, prepared for A.B. degree, Columbia College, 1889. RBML, Benjamin Cardozo Papers

Born in New York, Cardozo attended Columbia College, graduating in 1889, and Law School but left without taking a law degree. He served as counsel to other lawyers, and soon gained a reputation as a "lawyer's lawyer." He was elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1913, then a year later to the New York State Court of Appeals, becoming Chief Judge of the court in 1927.

Especially in commercial law, Cardozo's opinions carried great weight in New York and throughout the country. His decision in the landmark case of McPherson v. Buick Motor Co. (1916) changed the very nature of product liability law, making manufacturers directly liable to the consumer.

Cardozo argued that rules of law should be judged not by their antiquity or logic but by the extent to which they contributed to society's welfare. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Hoover in 1932 to succeed Oliver Wendell Holmes. Joining the liberal block headed by Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Harlan Fiske Stone, he voted to uphold much of the early New Deal legislation. In his six terms he showed promise of becoming one of the Court's great justices, but died before he could leave a significant corpus of opinions. His papers held by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library include his senior thesis, shown here, as well as his lecture notes kept as a student at Columbia, and his commonplace books.

Gift of the Estate of Benjamin N. Cardozo, 1938

183.  Hirobumi Itō (1841-1909).  Teikoku kenpō, Kōshitsu tenpan gige [Commentaries on the Constitution of the Empire of Japan and Imperial ordinance]. Tokyo: Kokka Gakkai, 1889. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research

The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, Japan's first constitution, was promulgated in 1889, after two decades of careful studies on the constitutions of the United States and Europe, in particular that of Germany. With this constitution Japan was to set forth the foundation of a modern state. However, the articles concerning the emperor and the state were still deeply rooted in Japan's old Shinto tradition. The Emperor is sacred and inviolable (Article III). The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution. (Article IV). Hirobumi Itō, who became the first prime minister of Japan in 1885, played a leading role towards the adoption of this monarchism. In this commentary wrote Itō, "The Sacred Throne of Japan is inherited from Imperial Ancestors, and it is to be bequeathed to posterity; in it resides the power to reign over and govern the State" (Itō, Miyoji, tr.Commentaries on the Constitution of the Empire of Japan). After the promulgation of the constitution, Kotarō Kaneko, a graduate of Harvard Law School and one of the draftsmen of the constitution, visited with the translated edition prominent legal scholars in Europe and the United States, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. The reactions were generally positive and approving. The Toshiba Library also houses the translated edition.

Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982

184.  Yatsuka Hozumi (1860-1912).  Kenpō Teiyō [Outline of the Constitution]. Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 1911. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research

"[T]he Emperor is the state." (p. 79, v. 1). This often-cited line eloquently summarizes Hozumi's view of the state. According to him there are two forms of state (kokutai), monarchical and democratic, depending on the bearer of sovereignty, and two forms of government (seitai), absolute and constitutional. The kokutai is eternal while the seitai is not. "In a society," he claimed, "there is from the start a heaven-sent leader." Within that framework, Japan's millenary imperial lineage constituted the "unbroken monarchical state. Hozumi's conservative views conformed to the intent of the constitution's authors, and helped him reach an influential position in academia as well as in the government. As with most prominent scholars of the time, Yatsuka Hozumi studied law in Germany for several years. Upon his return to Japan, he taught at the Imperial University of Tokyo from 1889 until his death in 1912. Kenpō Teiyō is considered his most important work. The book displayed is the second edition of the original published in 1910.

Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982

185.  Tatsukichi Minobe (1873-1948).  Kenpō satsuyō [Principles of the Constitution]. Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 1932. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research

Today Tatsukichi Minobe is one of the most respected legal scholars in the history of Japan. Educated in Germany, he represented the liberal constitutional views against views of his senior colleague at the Imperial University of Tokyo, Yatsuka Hozumi and his successor, Shinkinchi Uesugi. Minobe did not espouse the divinity of the emperor. He argued that the sovereignty resided in the state, of which the emperor is an organ (kikan). Though Minobe was not the first nor the only one to challenge Hozumi's theory, his "emperor-organ theory" was severely attacked when the military power ascended in the 1930's. As a result, his publications on constitutional law including Kenpō satsuyō were banned from the public in 1935. After World War II, however, his views gained much popularity. This is the fifth revised edition of Kenpō satsuyō, originally published in 1923.

Gift of the Family of Justice Jiro Tanaka, 1982

186.  Dwight's retirement folio. Manuscript folio. New York, Dempsey & Carroll, 1891. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

This hand-colored memento was presented to Theodore W. Dwight (1822-1892) upon his retirement as the first Dean of Columbia College School of Law. In 1858, Dwight had been called from the Law Department of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York by the Law Committee of Columbia's trustees to organize a department of law and jurisprudence at Columbia. As Professor of Municipal Law, Dwight directed the instruction and oversaw the expansion of the school for 33 years. At the School's first commencement in 1860, twenty-seven men were graduated. When Dwight retired in 1891, the graduating class had grown to 230 members. Students of the classes of 1891 and 1892 commissioned this book of remembrance, richly illustrated with colored vignettes and borders. Members of these classes, including Benjamin N. Cardozo, signed the folio, which shows the Law School building, then located at Madison Avenue and 49th Street.

George Welwood Murray Fund, 2001

187.  Edmonston Studio.  Harlan Fiske Stone with his law clerks. Photograph (26 x 35 cm.) Washington, D.C., 1938. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Stone Collection

Harlan Fiske Stone was dean of Columbia Law School from 1910 to 1924 before his appointment, first to be Attorney General of the U.S., then to the U.S. Supreme Court. Every year on the Court, Justice Stone held a dinner for his current and former law clerks, many of them graduates of Columbia Law School. Pictured in row 1: Oliver Merrill, Milton Handler, Robert Cogswell, Justice Stone, Alfred McCormack, Francis Downey, Adrian Leiby; in row 2: Warner Gardner, Howard Westwood, Herbert Wechsler, Alexis Coudert, Thomas Harris, Walter Gellhorn, Louis Lusky, Harold Leventhal, Wilbur Friedman, and Allison Dunham.

Gift of Harlan Fiske Stone

188a.  Telford Taylor (1908-1998).  Public Relations Photo Section, Office, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Nuremberg, Germany, APO 696-A, US Army, Photo No. OMT-IX-P-7. Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, Germany: February 13, 1948. Black and white photograph, 20.3 x 25.4 cm. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Telford Taylor Papers

188b.  Telford Taylor (1908-1998).  Statement on Nuremberg Trials for the International News Service. Typescript, May 9, 1949. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections, Telford Taylor Papers

Telford Taylor was an attorney, historian, writer and legal scholar. Taylor was a Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School (1963-1976) and served as Nash Professor Emeritus of Law (1976-1998). From 1945 to 1946, Taylor was a member of the Office of United States Chief of Counsel, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Nuremberg, Germany. In 1946, Taylor was appointed Chief Counsel, and Prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunals that ran from 1946 to 1949. In this photograph, Taylor is shown presenting the closing arguments of the prosecution in the Einsatzgruppen case. The defendants, as officers of the Einsatzgruppen extermination units, were charged with furthering Hitler's program of genocide through the murdering of approximately one million Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Soviet officials, and others marked in the Nazi race purification plan for the strengthening of Germanism. "When a plan was so criminal that Himmler and Hitler were ashamed of it," stated General Taylor, "it must have been indeed horrible."

In his May 9, 1949 statement to the International News Service, Brig. Gen. Taylor announced the end of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. The document contains Taylor's original corrections and clearance stamps from the Security Review Section, Public Information Division, Special Staff United States Army. Taylor declared: "... I venture to predict that as time goes on we will hear more about Nuremberg rather than less, and that in a very real sense the conclusion of the trials marks the beginning, and not the end, of Nuremberg as a force in politics, law and morals." ... "Nuremberg was part of the process of enforcing law-law that long antedated the trials, and that will endure into the future; law that binds not only Germans and Japanese, but all men."

Gift of Professor Toby Golick, 1999

189.  Faried Adams.  R. v. Adams and others. South African Mass Treason Trial. Pretoria: Special Criminal Court in Pretoria, 1959-1960. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

In the long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, this trial of 156 people accused of conspiring to overthrow the state by violence brought the world's attention to racial and political discrimination in South Africa. The accused were a cross section of South African society: Africans, Indians, Europeans from many professions and occupations: students, doctors, lawyers, skilled and unskilled laborers, shopkeepers, teachers, and tribal chiefs. Many were members of the African National Congress (A.N.C.) which had been a motivating force for the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the People in 1955. Among the accused was Nelson Mandela, who, with his law partner Oliver Tambo, had opened the first African legal practice in Johannesburg in 1952. Mandela's testimony is preserved in this transcript, containing his views on non-violence and on the Freedom Charter. After a lengthy trial, the defendants were all acquitted, but this trial was only the beginning of the movement to establish equality before the law in South Africa.

Gift of Thomas G. Karis, 1986