Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Name Change

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

I recently thought about changing mine to "Cash" Sunstein or "Bryce" Ackerman to see if it would help in the law review article placement process, but no, this post not about that.  I decided to re-title an article that was already out to the law reviews and posted on SSRN.  It was bugging me, because having "futility" as the second word just wasn't right, and it wasn't just about self-referential systems.  Plus it didn't capture the Namechangeadditional thread of tension or paradox between the first person and third person views of the relationship underlying a contract.   So it's now Instrumentality, Objectivity, Self-Reference, and the Futility of Justifying Contract Law.  (Hmm.  For some reason, the revised abstract is not up.  Note to self:  always remember to click on "Save.")

Aproposner* of similar name issues, there is a lawyer out there who has had a spectacularly successful career and who I respect immensely.  I would hire him in a heartbeat.  Let's call him Abraham Smith.  The only problem was that when Abe showed up as a young associate many years ago, one of the even more spectacularly successful lawyers and a named partner in the firm also happened to be named Abraham Smith.  Abraham Smith the elder made it clear that Abraham Smith the younger was going to have to do something to make sure that there was no confusion in the mail room or otherwise between the two.  So for the rest of his career, the younger one added his middle name "Spencer" to the letterhead, and was known for the next thirty years or so as Abraham Spencer Smith.   I'm sure I was no different than anybody else, but I had a several transactions in which lawyer Smith was on the other side, and true to my note-taking style of referring to participants by their initials, he was, of course, ASS.  I wonder if his parents thought about this.  And I always felt a little guilty because I really did think he was a good guy.

*  HT to Professor Childress, who coined this phrase.


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