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Posted Jan. 6, 2010

White, Schauer Win Green Bag Awards for Legal Writing

White and Schauer
G. Edward White, left, and Frederick Schauer

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Contact: Rob Seal

Two Law School professors are recipients of the Green Bag’s Exemplary Writing 2009 award.

Professors Frederick Schauer and G. Edward White won in the long articles category, White for his forward to an edition of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s “The Common Law,” and Schauer for his article, “A Critical Guide to Vehicles in the Park.”

The awards are given annually by the Green Bag, a quarterly journal devoted to “short, readable, useful and sometimes entertaining” legal scholarship. The honorees were selected by the journal’s Board of Advisers on good legal writing, which includes distinguished members from the state and federal judiciaries, private law firms, the news media and academia, according to a release.

White is the editor of a 2009 John Harvard Library edition of “The Common Law,” one of the most famous American treatises on law.

“My interest was in situating ‘The Common Law’ in the span of Holmes’s life up to the time he wrote it, and in seeking to explain its remarkable shelf life,” White said when the edition was published.

Schauer’s article, published in the New York University Law Review, concerns a 1958 debate in the pages of the Harvard Law Review between Lon Fuller and H.L.A. Hart that is one of the landmarks of modern jurisprudence.

“Although much of the debate was about the relative merits of Hart's version of legal positivism and Fuller's brand of natural law theory, the debate also contained the memorable controversy about the fictional rule prohibiting vehicles from the park. By examining this debate, and by largely removing it from the surrounding controversy over positivism and natural law, we can still gain valuable insights about legal rules, legal interpretation, and the nature of legal language,” Schauer wrote.