39 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 383 (1964)
In Praise of Erie--And of the New Federal Common Law

handle is hein.journals/nylr39 and id is 395 raw text is: IN PRAISE OF ERIE-AND OF THE NEW
T IS in no perfunctory fashion that I own my pleasure at the
opportunity of delivering this lecture before our Association. I
say our advisedly, for my recollections of this building go back
to the summer of 1927 when I was working, under the guidance
of Professor Frankfurter as he then was, on a paper not unrelated
to my subject tonight,1 and later for one of the most beloved men
ever to practice at our bar, Emory R. Buckner, at the time
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It
was during that summer also that I had the good fortune to be
presented, in his chambers next door, to that great judge and
saintly man whom these lectures honor. I shall spare you any
further recital of memories of this House-save only a mention of
having been privileged to serve on the Executive Committee of
this Association during the presidency of Harrison Tweed, an
enduring example of how one man can remould an institution.
When Judge Charles E. Clark, whose recent untimely death
has been such a loss not only to his court but to the entire profes-
sion, took the Erie case2 as the topic for his Cardozo lecture some
years ago, he noted that it was not the subject itself, but its de-
velopment in formal lecture, which requires some fortitude.  In
1964, both may be thought to require not simply fortitude but
apology. If a considerable pond of ink about Eric had already ac-
cumulated in 1945, this has now become a rather large lake.
You may reasonably ask whether anything more can usefully
be said. Yet the lapse of a quarter century-Erie celebrated its
silver jubilee, quite unostentatiously, last April-may afford
some perspectives that were not so discernible in its early
youth, even if, in dealing with so large a subject, I shall often
be obliged to compress into a paragraph what would warrant a
* Henry J. Friendly is a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit.
This Article is the text of the twenty-first annual Benjamin N. Cardozo
Lecture which was delivered before the Association of the Bar of the City of
New York on January 16, 1964, with a few changes, mostly to take account of
decisions since delivery of the lecture.
I. Friendly, The Historic Basis of Diversity Jurisdiction, 41 Harv. L. Rev.
483 (1928).
2. Although citation is scarcely needed, it is Erie R.R. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S.
64 (1938).
3. Clark, State Law in the Federal Courts: The Brooding Omnipresence of
Erie v. Tompkins, 55 Yale L.J. 267, 269-70 (1946), reprinted, with a supple-
mentary note, in Jurisprudence in Action 53 (1953).

Imaged with the Permission of N.Y.U. Law Review

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