Class Notes of Felix Frankfurter

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Torts volume, 1903

HOLLIS 1984328

Future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter (LL.B. 1906) studied Torts in the fall of 1903 with Professor Jeremiah Smith (1837-1921), using Ames on Torts and Smith on Torts as casebooks. His Torts notebook reveals young Frankfurter’s many-layered efforts to grasp the subject. On page 38, he wrote what appear to be notes taken during a class about Hoag v. Lake Shore Railroad Co., 85 Pa. 293 (1877), a case examining whether a railroad engineer’s possible negligence was the proximate cause of damage to the plaintiff’s property. Frankfurter then appears to have written a more thorough summary of the same case on thin sheets of interleaving paper, which he glued between pages 38 and 39. He rounded out his examination of the case by adding notes and citations to A.L.R. (American Law Reports) in the margins.

Frankfurter is pictured here in his boarding house room, c.1905 where he lived all three years of law school. Located at 1707 Cambridge Street, this multifamily house built in 1845 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983.