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Learned HandThe Man and the Judge$
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Gerald Gunther

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377774.001.0001

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Achieving National Renown During the Nation’s Complacent Years, 1919–1928

Achieving National Renown During the Nation’s Complacent Years, 1919–1928

(p.293) 8. Achieving National Renown During the Nation’s Complacent Years, 1919–1928
Learned Hand

Gerald Gunther

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the growth of Learned Hand's national stature. By the end of World War I, after a decade on the bench, Hand was already considered an excellent judge in New York professional circles, but he was not yet nationally known. Soon, however, his reputation would rise dramatically: by 1930 he had received serious consideration for appointment to the United States Supreme Court. The most important ingredient of Hand's mounting renown was clearly his work on the bench. The public had no way of knowing about the great way he decided his numerous little cases; but reports did appear in the press, whether because of the notoriety of the litigants or because of a particularly well-turned phrase in his opinion. Lawyers, professional journals, law professors, and judges had more substantial reasons to appreciate his towering talents, and among this professional elite, Hand was rapidly elevated into the very front rank of American judges.

Keywords:   World War I, judges, professional renown, New York, reputation

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