Legal Fictions

Harvard Law School





Professor Dan Klerman

Fall 2013

September 4, 2013

I corrected my office phone number.

First Assignment

Please download the assignment for the first class by clicking here.

Course Materials

There are no materials to buy at the bookstore.  I will prepare downloadable or photocopied readings for each class.

Topics and Materials 








W September 11


Fictive Citizenship, Trover, Maine, Fuller Chapters 1 & 3



W September 18

No Class



W September 25

Roman Fictions

Ando, Fuller Chapter 2


W October 2

English Fictions I

Assumpsit, BofM, ejectment


W October 9

English Fictions II

Baker, Birks


W October 16

No Class




W October 23

English Fictions III



W October 30

American Fictions

Attractive nuisance, personal jurisdiction, Fuller


Time and Place

All classes meet 5-7PM in Hauser Hall Rm. 101


No laptops.

Laptops, iPads, cellphones and similar devices may not be used during class for notes or other purposes. While in class, please focus on thinking, not note taking.


Office Hours:

10 minutes after each class in the classroom

Mondays 3:20-4:20 in my office, Griswold 206

Note that if I am not in my office during office hours, please check WCC 2004, as I may still be answering student questions in that classroom.

Note also that on October 1, office hours will be 4:30-5:30, not 3:20-4:20

Or by appointment


Contact Information:

Office: Griswold 206

Office telephone: (617) 496-5416


Assistant: Peggie Flynn,, (617) 496-2074, Areeda 234

Official Course Description

This reading group explores the role played by legal fictions in Roman law, pre-modern English law, and modern American law.  We will read both primary source documents (in English) and secondary sources, such as books by Henry Sumner Maine, Lon Fuller, and John Baker.  There are no prerequisites.  The reading group will meet six times, starting the first week of class and concluding by the first week of November.  There will be no paper or exam, and class will be graded credit/fail based on class participation.