Talk:Learned Hand/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Influence in Patent?[edit]

Learned Hand had a fairly large impact upon US Patent Law and is considered one of the greatest patent judges, so this would be a reasonable addition to the page.

Some of L. Hand's patent opinions: Wright Co. v. Paulhan 177 F. 261 (C.C. S.D.N.Y 1910) (involves Wright Brother's patent on a "flying machine.") Picard v. United Aircraft Corp., 128 F.2d 632, 53 USPQ (BNA) 563 (2d Cir.1942); Jockmus v. Leviton, 28 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1928)

Doctrine of Equivalents: Royal Typewriter Co. v. Remington Rand, Inc., 168 F.2d 691, 692 (2d Cir. 1948). —Preceding unsigned comment added by DeWitt (talkcontribs) 23:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by DeWitt (talkcontribs) 23:33, 11 October 2007 (UTC) 


Does anyone know of a book this guy wrote about body langauge? Thank you!

- - - - - - - - -

Another question:

Has anyone compiled a list of all Learned Hand's clerks? I think this would be a fascinating group. 23:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)interested party


Can anyone with access to the book from which the image was taken confirm if it is indeed an official portrait, as suspects? --Ec- 22:23, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Wacky Naming Conventions...[edit]

This article needs some explanation of why his family went around making puns out of their children's names, like Learned Hand and Noble Hand. Anyone have an explanation they can add? --Kaz 17:54, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

"Learned" was actually his middle name (Billings Learned Hand) and was his mother's maiden last name. It wasn't really a pun at all. "Noble" was another name from a family member. See the first chapter of Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge by Gerald Gunther for more info. Newyorkbrad 01:09, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

The article should explain why he's known by his middle name. Did people actually call him "Learned" on a day-to-day basis? Elliotreed 03:48, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Why? Being called by middle name is not rare.Jm546 21:09, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

The article should definitely give a brief account of how his name came to be. To the casual reader - who will be a major force if this article goes FA - his name is a key area of interest and one of the more notable things about the man. To leave such an interesting name totally unmentioned in the article would be somewhat perverse. Satisfaction of reader curiosity is important to an FA. I'll do it myself if no one objects. François Metro (talk) 01:28, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


  • Was this guy ever considered for the Supreme Court?<<Coburn_Pharr>> 04:28, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Not as far as I can remember, perhaps out of political reasons.

Felix Frankfurter in particular pushed pretty hard for his nomination throughout the '50s, and he was notable enough to have probably been strongly considered in several instances, but he was never officially nominated. --Ec- 19:50, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

He was seriously considered several times. See Gerald Gunther, Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge, for detailed discussion including quotations from lots of the original documents. If you can't get hold of the book I'll post more details here, but the book itself is well worth reading. Regards, Newyorkbrad 01:14, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

This needs to be discussed in the article. Reading between the lines in NYB's response, I gather that he was never actually nominated due to lack of poitical "juice", rather than specificly being ignored. -- llywrch (talk) 17:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Never served on the supreme court[edit]

The opening paragraph claimed he was on the Supreme Court but if you check this link you see he was never a Supreme. The rest of the article claims his service and dates correctly but the first paragraph claimed otherwise. Needless to say, I did edit it.

Your edit was incorrect; read the original sentence more carefully: "Hand is generally considered to be one of the most influential American judges never to have served on the Supreme Court of the United States." Postdlf 14:16, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


Is this that dude's real name?

YES, this is that dude's real name.
Did he rename himself, or did his parents REALLY REALLY want him to be a lawyer? --Sumple (Talk) 11:22, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I suppose we should just accept that it's simply the greatest name ever and move on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, August 30, 2007 (UTC)
"Learned" was his mother's maiden name, and yes, his real name was (Billings) Learned Hand. His cousin, Augustus N. Hand, was also a judge on the same courts. Newyorkbrad 00:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm surprised no one has asked how "Learned" was pronounced. A visit to says it is "LUR-nid". I would have guessed that, but not with any sense of certainty.Jm546 21:15, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Best name EVER -- (talk) 04:39, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Free Speech[edit]

It would be nice if this article contained more content on Hand's "early" advocacy of free speech in a country that had, apparently, forgotten about that concept. See, e.g., his opinion in Masses Pub. Co. v. Patten, 244 F. 535 (D.C.N.Y. 1917), which, effectively, lost him promotion to the Circuit Court. See, e.g., Christopher M. Finan, From the Palmer Raids To The Patriot Act: A History of The Fight For Free Speech In America (Beacon Press, 2007) at p.29

Also, the reference to Posner seems to me to be totally inappropriate, as Posner didn't attain his law degree until 1962 and didn't begin his academic career until the early 1970s, whereas Hand died in 1961. As far as I know, Posner wasn't "influenced by Pragmatism" to formulate his views on tort theory and the relevance of economic theory to the law. [There is a difference between "being a Pragmatist [with a large "P"], which refers to a particular school (now long defunct) in American Philosophy, and being pragmatic. See, e.g., Chapter 4 of Posner's The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory (Harvard U. Press 1999) where Posner declares himself to be "not interesed" in the traditional concerns of the Pragmatists. Ibid. at p. 227]

Posner was influenced by his colleagues in the Economics Department at the University of Chicago, where he obtained his views regarding the use of economic analysis in law, not by the Pragmatists. OTOH, Hand may have been "influenced by the Pragmatists" as at least two of his undergraduate teachers at Harvard were the leaders of the Pragmatist movement.

Potential references[edit]

For quotes: Wikiquotes

Risker (talk) 14:05, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Reference to his famous I Am An American Day speech from NACDL: [1]
  • Reference to his folk song recordings (!): [2]
  • Harvard's collection of his papers: [3]
  • Interesting blog post with reference to court opinion on a Learned Hand quotation: [4]
  • Reference to the Learned Hand medal

ScienceApologist (talk) 14:45, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Copied from NYB's talk page[edit]

I probably should ask this on the article talk page, but since people may be watching this page... would this be considered a reliable source? It seems kind of sketchy, but it does make one of the statements that is currently in the intro to the article, but unsourced. (The one about Hand being the most influential judge never to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court; I think it is a correct statement, but obviously a source would be nice, and helpful if FA status is to be achieved.) Neutron (talk) 17:37, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Not a recommended source, and everything in that blurb is available in at least one other more reliable source. I believe the quote actually comes from the book NYB mentions several times on the article's talk page. I'll copy this exchange over to the talk page of the article. Risker (talk) 17:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)