John Chipman Gray : The Harvard Brahmin of Property Law

Overview

John Chipman Gray plays an unusual role in the study of the law of property. The impact of his scholarly effort continues today from and through the prism of his defining scholarship on the historical origin of the so-called enigmatic Rule against Perpetuities (RAP). His book on the RAP, first published in 1886, became the most authoritative guide on this decidedly complex inheritance of the English common law. His formulaic condensation of the RAP became a foreboding juggernaut for law students to comprehend for...

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Overview

John Chipman Gray plays an unusual role in the study of the law of property. The impact of his scholarly effort continues today from and through the prism of his defining scholarship on the historical origin of the so-called enigmatic Rule against Perpetuities (RAP). His book on the RAP, first published in 1886, became the most authoritative guide on this decidedly complex inheritance of the English common law. His formulaic condensation of the RAP became a foreboding juggernaut for law students to comprehend for more than a century. His scholarship and enduring hegemony on the interpretation and aggressive enforcement of this sacrosanct RAP of property law eventually led to the demands for elimination of some of the excesses of his ensconced articulation of the RAP during the latter part of the Twentieth Century. Most of that action was foreordained by the highly critical and equally humorous scholarship of Professor W. Barton Leach. It was only a matter of time before the academy agreed to provide some revision to lessen the harshness of Gray's RAP by action of the American Institute of Law and then later by the National Conference of Commissioners. All of these factors led the author into the study of the life and career of John Chipman Gray. He was without doubt one of the Giants of the Harvard Law School during the period when the metaphysical structure of the traditional modern American law school were designed and implemented. The personal experiences and the cultural influences on Professor Gray greatly shaped his perception of the role and function of law in society. Professor Gray was not just a law professor and scholar extraordinaire, but also a founding member of one of the most prestigious law firms of the country-Ropes & Gray- as well as a quintessential Brahmin. He was also directly involved in the Civil War and a half brother of Justice Horace Gray, Jr. These factors reveal an uncommon man passionately engaged in matters of the public forum, who oddly did not seek notoriety, and was at his core a very private person. Lastly, the book provides a special chapter designed to reduce some of the mysticism generally associated with the study of the RAP for students of today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594603983
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Moran is a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law.

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Table of Contents

Illustrastioins

Preface

Acknowledgtements

Chapter 1 John Chipman Gray and the Rule Against Perpetuity 3

General Introdution 3

Twentieth-Century Perspective on the RAP 5

The Culture of the Boston Brahmin 7

Gray's Philosophical Approach to the Law 9

Cultural Influences of Gray as Related to the RAP 15

Shymbiotic Relationship of Gray and the RAP 17

Summary Preamble 21

Chapter 2 Gray's Cultural Experinece and Formaulation of the RAP 25

The Gray Family Tree 31

Trouble in the Financial World of Horace Gray Sr. 35

Impact of Father's Insolvency on Gray's Articulation of the RAP 39

Chapter 3 Scholarly Influence of Half-Brother Justice Horace Gray Jr. 45

Distant in Birth but Identical in Interpretation of the Common Law 45

Parallel Pathways on Interpretation of the Common Law 49

Modus Operandi of the Gray Brothers 55

A Case of Financial Inheritance for the Descendrants of William Gray 62

Judicial Criticism by the Gray Brothers 64

The Attack of the Dred Scott Decision 64

Chief Justic Doe's Decision Providing Relief from the RAP 65

Chapter 4 The Early Years 69

Academic Study 69

Intervention of the Civil War 69

Gray's Entry into the Civil War 73

Chapter 5 Practice of Law and Wedded Bliss 83

The Mating Season: Readjustment to Civilian Life 83

Spring of 1865: The Dance of Rivalry, Courtship, and Mating 89

Marriage to Anna Lyman Mason: Perfect Spouse, Friend, and Participant in the Gilded Age 94

Transition from Military Service to Private Practice of law: Creation of Ropes & Gray 98

Addendu,: The Establishment of Judicial Law Clerks 102

Chapter 6 Harvard Law School Years 105

Eliot: Guiding Innovator of the Academic Law School 105

Gray's Appointment to the Law School Faculty 107

Law as Science: Langdellian Innovation under Eliot's Supervision 115

Raltaions of Case Method to Socratic Dialogue 121

The Invention of the Academci Lawyer 124

Facultuy Conflict and Gray's Plea to Eliot 127

Gray and University Relations 136

Gray Teaching Style Unaffected by Case Method and Socratic Dialogue 137

Gray and Student Relations 146

Chapter 7 Gray as Philosopher in the Age of Classical Formalism 155

Gray as Legal Philosopher 155

Harvard Law School and Its Scienfitic Modality 158

Impact of Law Practice on Gray's Philosophy 163

Gray as an Incipient Legal Realist 166

Castegorizing Gray's Philosophical Offerings 168

Gray's Treatises on the Law 171

Interpretive Analusis of Gray's Philosophy 173

Resolution of Gray's Philosophical Analysis 177

Chapter 8 Consideration of Restraints on the Alienation of Proerty and the Spendtrhriftr Provison 181

Gray's Separation of the RAP and Restraints on Alienaton 181

Gray's Attack on the Enforceability of the Spendthrift Provision 183

Footnote to Legal History 185

Pain of the Judicial Invention ofthe Spendthrift Doctine 186

Law as the Source of Secular Morality for Gray 188

Chapter 9 Gray and His Contemporary Critics 195

Sir Howard Warburton Elphinstone 195

H.W. Challis 200

Charles Sweet 201

Judge Jabez Fox 207

Albert Martin Kales 211

The Gray and Kales Dialogue 218

Sidebar: W. Barton Leach on the Class Gift Rule 223

Endgame 225

Chapter 10 Americanization ofthe Rule Against Perpetuities 227

Legal Education and Student Indoctrination of the Modern RAP 231

Leach: De Novo Criticism of Gray's RAP 236

Revision of Gray's RAP by the American Law Insititute and Adoption of Modified USRAP 241

Public Choice Thoery and Repeal and/or Modification of the RAP 246

The Reigning Oracle of the RAP 251

Chapter 11 The Modern Rule Against Perpetuities: Direct Derivative of the Common Law Rules Aginst Perpetuities 253

Imapct of Historical Context on the Creation, Application, and Comprehension of Property Rules 253

Common Law Rules aginst Perpetuity (CLRAP) 259

Contemporary Relevance of the RAP: Uncertain and Questionable 268

Final Denouement of the RAP? 271

Chapter 12 Conclusion 273

Appendix A Butler's Note 283

Appendix B Students' Letter to Gray 289

Appendix C Gray's Appreciation of Students' Letter 293

Bibliography 295

Index 311

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