91 Ind. L.J. Supp. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/spplmntinlj91 and id is 1 raw text is: 








Harry Pratter's Wisdom


                             JONATHAN PRATTER*

   From   1950 to    1994 Harry   Pratter taught law  at Indiana University-
Bloomington.1 One of his favorite sayings (he had many of these) was Maitland's
[T]aught law is tough law,2 a phrase that a forty-four year teaching career entitles
you to utter with some frequency. In response to Sartre's notorious challenge, Do
you have anything to say? Pratter could certainly answer yes.3 He took Sartre
literally. Pratter preferred to speak-that is to teach, and not to write. The source of
Pratter's strong preference for speech over writing must remain a mystery. The
consequence is that a good deal of what he thought and said has not been
preserved.
   That's a shame because Harry Pratter had something to say that was well worth
hearing. The hope is that this essay will be able to convey something of the flavor
and tenor of Harry Pratter's thought.

                            A. PARADOx AND LAW

   Pratter was fond of paradox because he believed that an internally contradictory
statement that provoked productive thought could generate true insight, if not
absolute truth. And he much preferred the former over the latter because it is more
human. If Pratter was about anything, it was the human, especially young people
like law students.
   Does paradox grant insight into the law? One example suggests an affirmative
answer; could it ever be permissible, even required, for an attorney to advise her
client to violate the law? Now, the question itself doesn't harbor an internal
contradiction, but the conduct it speaks of certainly does. Attorneys are people of
the law. They are bound to it and this carries with it the ineluctable duty to follow
the law themselves and to advise their clients to do the same.
   In the summer of 1979, Bob Knight, the coach of the Hoosiers basketball team,
was coaching the United States men's team at the Pan-American Games in San
Juan, Puerto Rico.4 Knight and the team arrived at a gym for a scheduled practice.5




   * International and Foreign Law Librarian and Lecturer, Tarlton Law Library, University
of Texas at Austin. The author is Harry Pratter's eldest son.
   1 Indiana University's law school was renamed the Michael Maurer School of Law in
2008. About Us, MAURER SCHOOL OF LAW, http://law.indiana.edu/about/history.shtml.
   2 FREDERIC W. MAITLAND, ENGLISH LAW AND THE RENAISSANCE: THE REDE LECTURE OF
1901 18 (1901).
   3 JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, QU'EST-CE QUE LA LITTERATURE? 28 (1948). Of course, what Sartre
actually said was, Avez-vous quelque chose a dire?
   4 Readers who believe that their ethical assessment of Bob Knight's character and
conduct must diminish the cogency of the example should stop reading now.
   5 The facts are taken from a telephone interview with Bob Hammel, former reporter and
columnist with the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Telephone (Feb. 27, 2015). (The Herald-
Telephone newspaper is now the Herald-Times.) The episode was chronicled in national

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