10 August 2018

Angela FERNANDEZ, Pierson v. Post, The Hunt for the Fox - Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). ISBN 9781107039285, £ 95.00

Cambridge University Press is publishing a book on Pierson v. Post, a leading 19th century case in American property law. 


The 1805 New York foxhunting case Pierson v. Post has long been used in American property law classrooms to introduce law students to the concept of first possession by asking how one establishes possession of a wild animal. In this book, Professor Angela Fernandez retells the history of the famous fox case, from its origins as a squabble between two wealthy young men on the South Fork of Long Island through its appeal to the New York Supreme Court and entry into legal treatises, law school casebooks, and law journal articles, where it still occupies a central place. Professor Fernandez argues that the dissent is best understood as an example of legal solemn foolery. Yet it has been treated by legal professionals, the lawyers of its day, and subsequent legal academics in such a serious way, demonstrating how the solemn and the silly can occupy two sides of the same coin in American legal history.


Angela Fernandez, University of Toronto
Angela Fernandez is a legal historian at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where she is also a member of the Department of History. She has published numerous articles and is co-editor of Law Books in Action: Essays on the Anglo-American Legal Treatise (2012).


Part I. The Literary History of Pierson:
1. Solemn foolery
2. Rabelaisian play
Part II. The Social History of Pierson:
3. Local justice
4. Lawyerization
5. The legal fictions needed for a state of nature debate
Part III. The Intellectual History of Pierson:
6. The reporter
7. Mandarization

More information here

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