Boston University School of Law

David J. Seipp

Employment

Boston University School Of Law (1986-present)
Law Alumni Scholar, since 2007
Professor of Law, since 1992
Associate Professor of Law, 1986-92
Courses include English Legal History, American Legal History, and Property. In prior years, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Introduction to American Law, and seminars on History of Legal Education and History of Legal Thought.
On leave 1988-89, John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship
On sabbatical leave 1994-1995, Charles Warren Center of Harvard University
On sabbatical leave 2000-2001, Ames Foundation of Harvard Law School
On sabbatical leave 2008-2009, Ames Foundation of Harvard Law School

Boston College Law School
Visiting Professor of Law (Fall Semester 2002)

Foley, Hoag & Eliot, Boston, MA
(1983–86)
Associate in general practice. Assignments included appellate litigation, government contracting, intellectual property, and administrative law

The Hon. Henry J. Friendly, New York, NY, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
(1982–83) Law Clerk

Education

Harvard Law School
(1980-1982) J.D., magna cum laude.
Entered as a second-year student with advanced standing.
Editor, Harvard Law Review.
Harvard Graduate National Scholar.

Cambridge University
(1979-1980) LL.B. with First Class Honours.
Scholar of St. John's College.
Wright & Hughes Prizes.

Oxford University
(1977-1979) B.A. in the Honour School of Jurisprudence.
Merton College.
Bicentennial Scholar from the United States.

Harvard College
(1973-1977) A.B. in History, summa cum laude.
Phi Beta Kappa.
Harvard National Scholar.
National Merit Scholar.
U.S. Presidential Scholar. Debate. Publishing.

Papers Presented

(Not including Boston University faculty workshop series).

"The Englishness of the Early Common Law," Conference on Comparative Medieval Law, American Bar Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 2, 2008 (also co-sponsored by Chicago Kent College of Law, Institute for Law and Humanities, and the Illinois Legal History Program) (Panel: Just How Inter-Connected Was European Medieval Law?)

"Formalism and Realism in Fifteenth-Century English Law," Eighteenth British Legal History Conference, St. Catherine's College Oxford, July 3, 2007.

"How Boston University Almost Invented Legal Realism: Centralization and the Law (1906)," Boston University School of Law Scholarship Program, Nov. 13, 2006.

"Our Law, Their Law, History and the Citation of Foreign Law," Conference on the Role of the Judge, Boston University, April 22, 2006.

"Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: The Judge as Celebrity," Supreme Court Fellows program on The Path of the Law in 2006, Boston, Massachusetts, March 15, 2006.

"Presumptions in Early English Common Law," Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Law (Gerda Henkel Stiftung), Working Group on Presumptions and Circumstantial Evidence, University of Edinburgh, March 13, 2006 (in absentia, paper read for me by Dr. W.D.H. Sellar).

"Patterns and Problems in Fifteenth-Century Litigation: A View from the Year Books," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Austin, Texas, October 30, 2004.

"New Tricks for Finding Old Law: Bracton, the Year Books, and the English Reports," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Washington, D.C., November 14, 2003.

"Presumptions in Bracton and the Year Books," Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Law (Gerda Henkel Stiftung), Working Group on Presumptions and Circumstantial Evidence, St. Hugh's College, Oxford, July 19, 2003.

"The Year Book Enterprise and the Manuscript Tradition in English Legal History," Sixteenth British and Irish Legal History Conference, University College Dublin, July 3, 2003.

"A New Index of the Year Books," Boston College Legal History Roundtable, December 5, 2003.

"The Law's Bodies and the Manuscript Tradition in English Legal History (A Comment)," Merriam Conference on Legal History, Arizona State University, Tempe, September 20, 2002

"Year Book Pleading and Argument (and a New Index of the Year Books)," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Chicago, November 11, 2001.

"Holmes as an Intellectual," 2001 Spencer-Grimes Appellate Judges Seminar Series, American Bar Association, panel on Oliver Wendell Holmes: One Hundred Years, and the Bad Man Is Still on the Path of the Law, Boston, October 31, 2001.

"The World of the Year Books," Fifteenth British Legal History Conference, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, July 4, 2001.

"A Typical Trial, a Political Trial, and the Rule of Law in Seventeenth-Century England," Fulbright American Institute on Reform in American History and Law, Boston College, Newton, Mass., June 26, 2000.

“Envy of the Poor (A Comment),” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Toronto, October 23, 1999.

"Jurors, Evidences, and the Tempest of 1499," Fourteenth British Legal History Conference, University of Edinburgh, July 16, 1999.

"Holmes on Judging," Flaschner Judicial Institute, Concord, Massachusetts, June 17, 1999.

"Judge Scarcity, Jury Discretion, and the Rules of Law," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Seattle, Wash., October 24, 1998.

"Coke's World: The Structure of the Common Law in 1600," Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, Anaheim, California, July 13, 1998.

"Legal Services for the Poor in the Early Common Law," Thirty-Third International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8, 1998.

"The Path of the Law: Where Has Holmes Taken Us?" Flaschner Judicial Institute, Boston, December 10, 1997.

"Holmes's Path," Symposium on The Path of the Law: One Hundred Years Later, Boston University School of Law, September 20, 1997.

"The Mirror of Justices," Thirteenth British Legal History Conference, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, July 4, 1997.

"The Character of the Early Common Law," Legal History Workshop, University of Chicago, May 22, 1997.

"From Honor among Warriors to Dignity among Citizens to Excuse among Patients (A Comment)," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Richmond, Va., October 19, 1996.

"A Typical Trial, a Political Trial, and the Rule of Law in Seventeenth-Century England," USIA Institute on Law in American History, Boston College, Newton, Mass., June 25, 1996.

"Distinguishing Criminal and Civil Actions in the Early Common Law," Faculty Colloquium, Washington & Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Va., April 12, 1995.

"The Distinction Between Crime and Tort in the Early Common Law," Symposium on the Crime/Tort Distinction, Boston University School of Law, March 31, 1995.

"The Structure of the Early Common Law: The Distinction Between Crime and Tort," Faculty Workshop, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, February 13, 1995.

"No Time for Serjeants (A Comment)," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Washington, D.C., October 21, 1994.

"The Structure of the Early Common Law," Faculty of Law Seminar, University of Hong Kong, September 22, 1994.

"Serjeant Maynard and the Revolution of 1688 (A Comment)," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Memphis, October 22, 1993.

"Crime in the Year Books," Eleventh British Legal History Conference, Exeter, July 8, 1993.

"The Reception of Civil and Canon Law in the English Common Law Courts before 1600," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, San Francisco, October 26, 1991.

"The Concept of Property in the Early Common Law," Tenth British Legal History Conference, Oxford, July 13, 1991.

"Lay Justice and Professional Justice: Making a Virtue of Necessity," Judicial Institute of the Trial Court of Massachusetts, Sturbridge, Mass., March 10, 1990.

"English Property Law and the Renaissance," Harvard Law School Program on Legal History, Cambridge, Mass., February 26, 1990.

"The Structure of the English Common Law in the Seventeenth Century," Ninth British Legal History Conference, Glasgow, July 6, 1989.

"Bracton, the Year Books, and the 'Transformation of Elementary Legal Ideas' in the Early Common Law," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Philadelphia, October 24, 1987.

"Roman Legal Categories in the Early Common Law," Eighth British Legal History Conference, Cardiff, July 15, 1987.

Publications

Book Review, Helen Lacey, The Royal Pardon: Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England, York Medieval (2009), 29 Law and History Review  (forthcoming). 

"Formalism and Realism in Fifteenth-century English Law: Bodies Corporate and Bodies Natural," in Judges and Judging in the History of the Common Law and Civil Law 37, P. Brand & J. Getzler, eds., Cambridge University Press (2012). 

Book Review, Robert Paynell's King's Bench Reports (1625-1627), W. H. Bryson, ed., Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2010), 52 American Journal of Legal History 505 (2012). 

"Introduction and Lists of Sources," in The Grand Abridgement of the Law Continued iii-xx, by William Hughes, The Lawbook Exchange (2011). 

"Legal Education for Export: Takeo Kikuchi's Boston University," in Future of Comparative Study in Law: The 60th Anniversary of The Institute of Comparative Law in Japan, Chuo University 97, Tokyo: Chuo University Press (2011). 

"Trust and Fiduciary Duty in the Early Common Law," in Symposium, The Role of Fiduciary Law and Trust in the Twenty-First Century: A Conference Inspired by the Work of Tamar Frankel, 91 Boston University Law Review 1011 (2011). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

Compiler, Legal History Database, Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268 - 1535, 22,318 records (2009). 

"Introduction and Tables," in Anthony Fitzherbert, La Graunde Abridgement, reprint of 1577 ed., The Lawbook Exchange (2009). 

"Presumptions in Early English Common Law," in The Law of Presumptions: Essays in Comparative Legal History 117, R. H. Helmholz & W. D. H. Sellar, eds., Duncker & Humblot (2009). 

"Introductory Tables and Notes," in Year Books; Or Reports in the Following Reigns, with Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert's Abridgments with Carol F. Lee, The Lawbook Exchange (2007). 

"New Introduction and Table of Contents," in Statham's Abridgment of the Law III-XXII, translator Margaret Center Klingelsmith, The Lawbook Exchange (2007). 

Year Books; Or Reports in the Following Reigns, with Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert's Abridgments, with Carol F. Lee, ed., The Lawbook Exchange (2007). 

"Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: The Judge as Celebrity," 27(4) The Supreme Court Historical Society Quarterly 1 (2006). 

"Our Law, Their Law, History, and the Citation of Foreign Law," in Symposium The Role of the Judge in the Twenty-First Century, 86 Boston University Law Review 1417 (2006). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"Introduction," in Symposium Lochner Centennial Conference, 85 Boston University Law Review 671 (2005). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"Fleta," in The New Dictionary of National BiographyOxford University Press (2004). 

"The Law's Many Bodies, and the Manuscript Tradition in English Legal History," review of John Hamilton Baker, The Law's Two Bodies : Some Evidential Problems in English Legal History, Oxford University Press (2001), 25 Journal of Legal History 73 (2004). 

Book Review, Richard Firth Green, The Crisis of Truth: Law and Literature in Ricardian England, University of Pennsylvania Press (1999), 28 Ius Commune -- Zeitschrift fur Europaische Rechtsgeschichte 389 (2001). 

"Chief Justice Holmes on the Science and Art (and Politics) of Judging," 5 Massachusetts Legal History 19 (1999). 

Book Review, The Year Books of Richard II: 1382-1383, S. E. Thorne, M. E. Hager, M. M. Thorne & C. Donahue, eds., The Ames Foundation (1996), 67 Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 149 (1999). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

"In Memoriam-Memorial Tributes for Professor Elizabeth B. Clark," 78 Boston University Law Review 248 (1998). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"Archibald Cox: Teacher," review of Ken Gormley, Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation, Da Capo Press, 78 Boston University Law Review 565 (1998). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"Holmes's Path," 77 Boston University Law Review 515 (1997). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"The Distinction Between Crime and Tort in the Early Common Law," 76 Boston University Law Review 59 (1996). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  Lexis  Westlaw  

"Who Was Melville Madison Bigelow?" 5 Boston University School of Law Alumni Magazine 6 (1996). 

"Crime in the Year Books," in Law Reporting in England: Proceedings of the Eleventh British Legal History Conference 15, Chantal Stebbings, ed., Hambledon Press (1995). 

"The Concept of Property in the Early Common Law," 12 Law and History Review 29 (1994). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

"The Reception of Canon Law and Civil Law in the Common Law Courts Before 1600," 13 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 388 (1993). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

Book Review, Norman Doe, Fundamental Authority in Late Medieval English Law, Cambridge University Press (1991), 18 Ius Commune --Zeitschrift fur Europaische Rechts-geschichte 390 (1991). 

"The Structure of English Common Law in the Seventeenth Century," in Legal History in the Making: Proceedings of the Ninth British Legal History Conference 61, W. M. Gordon, ed., Hambledon Press (1991). 

"Bracton, the Year Books, and the 'Transformation of Elementary Legal Ideas' in the Early Common Law," 7 Law and History Review 175 (1989). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

Book Review, O. F. Robinson, T. D. Fergus & W. M. Gordon, An Introduction to European Legal History, Professional Books Ltd., 33 American Journal of Legal History 151 (1989). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

"Roman Legal Categories in the Early Common Law," in Legal Record and Historical Reality: Proceedings of the Eighth British Legal History Conference 9, Thomas G. Watkin, ed., Hambledon Press (1989). 

"From Henry I to Sir Edward Coke," review of S.E. Thorne, Essays in English Legal History, Hambledon Press (1985), 37 Harvard Law School Bulletin 40 (1986). 

"English Judicial Recognition of a Right to Privacy," 3 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 325 (1983). 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

"The Right to Privacy in Nineteenth Century America," 94 Harvard Law Review 1892 (1981). [Note] 
Full text: Hein (BU)  Hein  

The Right to Privacy in American History, Harvard Program on Information Resources Policy Report P-78-3 (1978).  
Full text: PDF  

Work in Progress

I am compiling, with support from the Ames Foundation of Harvard Law School, a comprehensive index and paraphrase of and guide to printed Year Book reports (English law reports from 1268 to 1535, printed in law French, most of which have not been reprinted since 1680). My records of Year Book cases, which currently number 22,166, are mounted on a searchable website database (listed above as an electronic publication) and 14,085 of the records are linked on the searchable database to 5,113 images of the printed Year Book texts to which they refer.

Member

American Law Institute

American Society for Legal History
Board of Directors, elected member (2003-2006)
Nominating Committee, elected member and appointed Chair, (1996-1998)
Program Committee, member for 2003 annual meeting, co-chair for 2008 annual meeting
Surrency Prize Committee, (1992-1994)

Ames Foundation
Director (2001-)

Anglo-American Legal Tradition
Director (2010-)

Boston University Editorial Institute
Editorial Board, Selected Works of James Fitzjames Stephen

Phi Beta Kappa

Selden Society