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December 25, 2011

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Michael Hoeflich

Books are the products of technology, they contribute to the development of technology, and they are technology. If one looks at the types of books lawyers used in antebellum America different books represent various technologies. Printed reports represent a technological advance, arguably, on manuscript reports and significantly increase the distribution of knowledge of decisions thereby strengthening the rise of precedential thinking. Treatises are clearly an educational technology--as well as a means of propagandizing particular jurisprudential and political ideas. Common lace books are also an educational technology, but, also, are office technology and are a step on the long road to what today we refer to as information technology and retrieval. I could go on...and let's not forget the increasing use of preprinted legal forms. I have just been reading John Moretta's life of William Pitt Ballinger, a Galveston lawyer, and Moretta mentions that Ballinger charged more for documents he prepared and copied in his office than for documents using preprinted forms, a perfact example of hos technology lowered the cost of legal services.

Eric Muller

Leslie and I loved this exhibit, Al. I found the concept rather clever: the museum has a bunch of paintings it once thought were Rembrandts. turns out they're not... so they do an exhibit on true and false Rembrandt attribitions in North America. Brilliant!

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