The meeting began at 7:40 p.m.
Tom Green, president of the Society,
opened the meeting with the following remarks:
He thanked Vicky Woeste and the entire
local arrangements committee for their work on organizing the
conference; he also thanked Jack Pratt for his work as
He reported that the executive committee
had made the following six decisions since the last meeting of the
Approved payment of up to $1500 to the
secretary/treasurer to defray expenses associated with attending the
annual meeting (as part of that decision, the allocation of any
complimentary rooms in the annual meeting hotel should be in this order:
secretary/treasurer, president, president-elect);
Approved payment of up to $1500 for the
editor of the Law and History Review to attend the quarterly
meetings of the History Cooperative;
Approved a one-time payment of $500 to
the University of Illinois Press for making available a "pre-print"
service that allowed access through the web to manuscripts of articles
prior to their publication;
Approved payment of up to $600 per annum
to the graduate student member of the Board to defray expenses
associated with attending the annual meeting;
Approved the expenditure of $140 as a
one-time expenditure to augment the Murphy Award; and
Increased the annual dues for
institutional members from $75 to $85.
The minutes of the 2000 meeting were
approved as they appeared in the summer newsletter, and as distributed
prior to this meeting.
2001 Local Arrangements Committee
Vicky Woeste expressed the committee’s
appreciation to Tom Green for his support and summarized the events
planned for the current meeting. Following the report, the Board
expressed its thanks to the committee.
2001 Program Committee
Bill Novak, chair, thanked the members of
the committee for their work. He noted that with eight time slots for
papers, there were fifteen panels that dealt with American law and
seventeen panels that were non-American or comparative. In addition, the
plenary address is not an Anglo-American topic. The committee had
recruited thirteen panels on its own, and accepted 19 panels from 29
proposed as full panels. There were twenty-seven individual papers
submitted; none was accepted.
The committee thought that there were
three issues that would require discussion in the future: (1) how to
expand the opportunities for the many good papers that were submitted;
(2) how to recruit papers outside the Anglo-American topics; and (3) how
to deal with the lack of British legal history among the unsolicited
panels, the British papers on the program having been solicited by the
Bill expressed thanks for the support of
Tom Green. The Board expressed its appreciation for the committee’s
2002 Local Arrangements Committee
There was no report from members of the
2002 Local Arrangements Committee, from San Diego. Tom Green noted that
it was likely that there would be no Sunday morning sessions, to allow
everyone to fly home that day.
2002 Program Committee
David Rabban, chair of the 2002 Program
Committee, reported on the process planned for selecting papers. The
Committee would try to help junior scholars in forming unsolicited
2003 Local Arrangements Committee
Lewis Grossman and Jim May represented
the Committee, reporting that the search for a hotel had settled on the
Capitol Hilton in November. They will go forward with planning events
for the meeting.
Phillip Hamburger, on behalf of the
Nominating Committee, reported on the results of the recent election,
noting that the low turnout was problematic:
President-Elect (uncontested) Harry Scheiber (elected)
Board of Directors
Sally Gordon (elected)
Donald Kelley (elected)
Richard Ross (elected)
Lucy Salyer (elected)
Graduate Student Board Member
Nominating Committee Bob Cottrol
Annette Gordon-Reed (elected)
Emily Van Tassel
He also reported the Committee’s view
that it would be helpful for future committees to be able to meet in
person at the annual meeting, to allow for more complete discussion of
the slate of candidates. In the discussion that followed, Tom Green
suggested that the Nominating Committee itself should consider the issue
in the coming year and report back to the Board next fall.
Tom thanked the committee for its work
this year, especially that of the chair, Mary Dudziak.
Dick Helmholz reported the Committee’s
recommendation of three new corresponding fellows: André Gouron, Hector
MacQueen, and Peter G. Stein. The Board unanimously approved the
Committee on Conference & the Annual
Craig Joyce, chair, presented the
committee’s report. The next two conferences will be in San Diego
(November 7-10, 2002) and Washington, D.C. (November 13-16, 2003). For
future locations, two cities in Texas were under consideration, Austin
and San Antonio.
Jack Pratt presented a summary of the
Society’s finances to date, explaining that the accounts do not yet
include all of the income and expenses for the annual meeting.
The chair, Bruce Mann, summarized the
points made in the written report, emphasizing (1) the discussion of a
revised structure for the Society’s dues; and (2) the Committee’s
evaluation of Dirk Hartog as co-editor of the series at UNC.
Law And History Review
Chris Tomlins summarized the written
report submitted in advance of the meeting. He asked the Board to record
its appreciation to the American Bar Foundation for its continued
support of the Review. He noted the recommendation that
subscription prices be reconsidered and asked approval of the Board to a
study of the cost to mount all of the backset of the Review in
electronic format. There was no objection expressed, with the
understanding that the Executive Committee might bring the question back
to the Board. The motion to thank the Bar Foundation, Renee Brown, Laura
Edwards, and Christina Dengate received unanimous approval. Tom Green
expressed the Board’s thanks to Chris for his continued service as
Ann Lowery, from the University of
Illinois Press, summarized the written report that she had submitted to
the Board in advance.
Surrency Prize Committee
The Surrency Prize Committee submitted a
written report of its "unanimous decision to award the 2001 prize to
Professor James Jaffe for his article ‘Industrial Arbitration, Equity,
and Authority in England, 1800-1850,’ which appeared in volume 18 of the
Law and History Review. Jaffe examines the variegated forms of
arbitration used in English industrial trades in the nineteenth century.
Through a detailed exploration of the practices of the mining, pottery,
and printing industries, Jaffe demonstrates how a voluntary system of
arbitration grew up in individual trades alongside Parliamentary efforts
to encourage arbitration as public policy. Voluntary industrial
arbitration not only resolved disputes, but helped establish working
rules for entire trades. Aware of the importance of arbitration,
employers and workers struggled to implement and control arbitration
systems to their own advantage. In telling this story with clarity,
insight and precision, Jaffe has brought legal history, social history,
and labor history into fruitful dialogue."
Sutherland Prize Committee (Martin
Christopher Brooks, representing the
Committee, reported the unanimous decision to award this year’s
Sutherland Prize to Dr. Robert Shoemaker, University of Sheffield, for
his article, "The Decline of Public Insult in London 1660-1800," which
appeared in Past and Present, no. 169, 2000: 97-131. The citation
This ambitious article makes thorough and
technically knowledgeable use of ecclesiastical court records,
correlated with the experience of other courts, to persuasively argue
that the total number of actions for defamation declined in the course
of the eighteenth century, and that the character and language of the
cases that were prosecuted also changed significantly. It suggests that
the decline in litigation reflected a real decline of public insult and
was part of a broader cultural shift, in which the power and
significance of the spoken insult was being undermined. His is a fresh
and exciting approach to these legal records, exploring them as not only
technical and specific documents (which of course they were) but as also
participants in the cultural and social life of their time. In this
article Dr. Shoemaker has impressively utilized legal records to present
a strong case for a broader transformation of social life.
Studies in Legal History
Dirk Hartog reported on behalf of himself
and his co-editor, Thomas Green. He thanked Chuck Grench at the UNC
Press for his help during the year. The Board supported the expression
Chris Waldrep said that in addition to
the material contained in the written report, the H-Law committee was
committed to making H-Law a record of the Society’s activities. On
behalf of the Board, Tom Green thanked Chris and the H-Law committee for
making H-Law a vital part of the Society. The Board expressed its
There was no report from the Membership
Committee on Documentary Preservation
There was no report from the Committee.
Future Projects Committee
Bill Nelson reported that the Committee
had focused on two issues: (1) What to do as an organization for
graduate students, to make them feel more at home. He noted that this
year’s meeting had held a reception for graduate students for the first
time. He invited other ideas to help graduate students. (2) What to do
to improve relations with scholars outside North America and Great
Britain, noting the proposal under new business to make $5,000 available
to support participation by foreign scholars in the Society’s annual
In addition, Bill added a third,
long-term issue: Whether the Society wanted to move beyond its present
activities to do more to promote legal history in the world. To achieve
that goal, would require the Society to become involved in fund-raising.
Tom Green reported that the first
graduate student reception had been sparsely attended, because it could
be held this year on Thursday, before most graduate students arrived.
Nevertheless, he thought that the reception was a good idea, one that
should be continued, though at a time during the main meeting.
Hurst Memorial Committee
Avi Soifer reported for the committee on
the successful completion of the first Willard Hurst Legal History
Institute, in Madison, Wisconsin, June 11-22, 2001. The next Institute
will be held in Madison in 2003. The Committee planned to meet Saturday
morning to discuss what should be done with the additional funding
available to the Society.
The Board unanimously approved the
recommendation in favor of adopting a progressive dues structure. No
recommendation was made for an increase in dues at this time.
The Board unanimously approved the
to place up to $5,000 in the hands of the
Program Committee (each year) to help scholars from abroad with
travel/hotel costs associated with our annual meeting, assuming the
scholars are on the program. The hope is to develop more relationships
with foreign scholars and to enable the Society to develop more
relationships with legal history organizations abroad.
The Board unanimously approved the
concept of having the pre-registration form for the annual meeting seek
a voluntary contribution to subvene the registration fees and meals for
graduate students, leaving the Executive Committee to work out the
There was discussion of the provision of
child care at the annual meeting. There was some concern about liability
should the Society be the provider. The suggestion was that the local
arrangements committee for each annual meeting should work with the host
hotel to provide child care.
The meeting adjourned at 9:56 p.m.