ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Kingsfield and Contracts

Kingsfield Tom Swinnea of AustiTom Swinnea of Austin, Texas, has a 1972 copy of Fuller & Eisenberg's Basic Contract Law signed by John Houseman -- as Charles W. Kingsfield, of Paper Chase (1973) fame, of course.  He's putting the book up for auction on e-bay.  Here's the story behind the signature, sent to the blog editors:

When I was a student at the University of Texas School of Law, John Houseman spoke at Townes Hall.  The discussion that night was about support for local and regional theaters, and some remembrances of his almost fifty years of work on stage and screen.   

At the conclusion of the speech, I went up on stage with my Basic Contract Law casebook.  This is the Fuller and Eisenberg casebook, copyright 1972.  Rather than dash off a quick signature, he looked at the book, looked at me, and said, "I have a special autograph for you."  With that, he signed "Charles W. Kingsfield" across the frontcover page.  Based on when The Paper Chase came out (1973), the 1972 copyright of this West edition, and the book and first case discussed in the movie, it looks like it was this edition of the book that was used in the movie.

If you ever needed or wanted the casebook with the first case of Hawkins v. McGee signed by Charles W. Kingsfield, your chance is coming up.

The email was sent to us a few days ago, and the auction seems to now be posted on ebay. Try connecting to it here.

[Carol Chomsky]

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