Forty-Five Years as a Remedies Teacher: A Retrospective
Pepperdine University - School of Law
St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 57, No. 751, 2013
Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013/15
Little did I know in 1967, when I left practice to begin my teaching career at the University of Missouri-Columbia, that I would ultimately teach Remedies at least forty times over a forty-five year span as a legal academic. When Joe Covington called a few months earlier to inform me that my teaching load would include Constitutional Law and Remedies, my elation about the former course was outweighed by my disappointment at the prospect of teaching Remedies. Not only was Remedies my least favorite course in law school, it also represented my lowest grade. At the time, I would not have predicted that teaching Remedies and editing a Remedies casebook would immeasurably aid my teaching and scholarship in real estate finance and property, the major focuses in my academic career.
After being assigned to teach Remedies, I deliberated long and hard about my choice of casebook. Ultimately, I chose the fourth edition of the classic book, Cases and Materials on Equity by Professors Zechariah Chafee, Jr. and Edward D. Re.1 As its title suggests, this casebook was dominated by the history of the law and equity, equitable remedies, and substantive equitable principles. Thus the bulk of my three-unit course consisted of coverage of specific performance, injunctions (in both procedural and substantive contexts), equitable defenses such as laches and unclean hands, equitable conversion, and contempt. I further supplemented the course with material on declaratory judgments and the right to jury trial in law and equity. While the course was described as “Remedies,” it was largely an equity offering. Damages were covered largely in the context of determining whether equitable relief was precluded by the existence of an adequate remedy at law. Restitution went largely untouched. In short, equity dominated the course and a bias in favor of equity coverage has colored my teaching ever since.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: remedies, law school, teaching, law professor, casebookAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 25, 2013 ; Last revised: September 3, 2013
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