Torts, Spring 1999

"Most of you have heard of me...I am ROSENBERG."

"If there's anything some ninny on the Supreme Court wearing Gilbert & Sullivan opera outfits has said that's useful in the last hundred years, I haven't heard of it." (nervous laughter from class) "Those are the kinds of things that have disturbed students..."

"I will tell you why nine-tenths of the faculty can be disposed of."

"All that stuff about public-interest is a load of crap."

"Most people here don't know much about cases, don't know how to apply them...I'm talking about the faculty."

"I'll use the Queen's English...because I'm a monarchist."

"You are paying a stupendous amount, and I am pleased."

"God forbid I end up teaching Torts."

"I don't grade on participation...I don't even care if you show up."

[referring to A Civil Action] I almost went bankrupt on a mass tort action. Why didn't they do a book about me?"


"Your education is useless. Get out!"

"I wouldn't hold [Prof. Richard] Epstein responsible because I don't think he can think that clearly."

[on lifting and publishing Epstein's notes] "If you don't care about Harvard, as I don't, its vicarious liability means nothing to me."

"I've seen you, I've seen your future, and it is not a cheery one."

"You're not getting an education in Contracts, Property, or Procedure, so I have to do it all."

"You remember that lollipop game? We'll put a lollipop on the table and whichever of us can kick the lightest wins the lollipop? I always lost the lollipop, but I loved that game!"

"There should be a course called Markets. There should not be a course called Contracts and there should not be a course called Hairy Hands and Other Oddities."

"All right, David, just control yourself."

"Kids are stupid. They don't listen. But they should. And so there's tort law."

"Is this Microsoft controlling the sun?"

"I'm gonna win the Nobel Prize in Physics for this."

"Maybe [Prof. Frank] Michelman wants solar heaters in every house and easements running through everybody's property."

"I didn't mean to denigrate...well, I did."

"What a stupid idiot Epstein is."

"With my method, you can chop, cut, create salads..."

"The only person who got [a question on my exam] right...well, not right..."

"Citing a case in this course means nothing. Well, less than nothing. It means you know less than nothing."

"AETNA: that's who we bow to in this class. The Great AETNA."

"We've just suspended property law! Michelman, you're through!"

"The key to your success, the key to your wealth, is to pay attention in this class."

"Land is different from a kid. Land has immediate value."

"I am the big tuna, I am the fat coach on the side who will kick you, the running back, and all the rest of you into action so you will be as good as you can be. I can't run the 100-yard dash in under ten minutes; I couldn't even finish it at this point. But you can."

Student: "I think Fletcher says the same thing as you do, so if you call him a dope you are calling yourself a dope."
Rosenberg: "I am not beyond a little self-criticism. You just need to understand what turns me on."

"Try to get through [the assigned material], but if there's a movie..."

"What's that Commie organization in D.C. called? The EPA or something."

"Having a kid is an act of God."

"You can see I'm trying to dress Italian, because I'm trying to become Italian."

"We ask this question all the time: why does this [human] race reproduce?"

"[In the event of an adverse judgment] they take your house, your car, your Heisman trophy..."

"Fraudulent, incomplete analysis! That is what you are getting in this sinkhole! I'm not angry."

"I'm not a judge...I wanna be."

"I'm gonna beat the crap out of Dobbs, if I ever confront him in a courtroom, and I'll beat the crap out of you."

"You're never on the wrong side of a case."

"I personally love society, but I want to make as much money as I can."

"Somebody's gotta make money, and it's me."

"All right, take Contracts tomorrow, see if I care."

"If you allow the death penalty for auto theft, I'm into it." [2 days after having his car stolen]

"You don't flip some [doctrinal] lever and convince the judge to give the poor housing, and toilets..."

"There are ninnies that have no connection to the real world. [Prof. Martha] Minow is one of them. She has no business teaching Procedure. Michelman, you shouldn't release him into practice."

"I'm making up things about business. I haven't the faintest idea."

"There nothing stupider [than] the Miranda Rule. Argh! The poor should get away with murder, just like the rich?"

"...the rule that you have to be 35 years old to be president, which has been ignored with the present one..."

"I could teach this whole course on [the] Vosberg [case], as I've done in the past. But that was before I wrote my book on [the] Rylands [case]."

"Okay, kids, back to sleep."

"There is no such thing as market failure. They do everything perfectly."

"Why do I hate so much?"

"These people should be spanked."

"Harvard is the best...of the very, very, very worst."

Rosenberg's three secrets to life:
1) compound interest
2) exclusionary zoning
3) square roots

"...a Humvee, which [my wife and I] just bought. These urban terrorists? We're ready for 'em. It's got a turret on top."

"Your Property class folded into Torts a long time ago. Get used to it."

"Your training has to be in running the world. It can't just be in crunching words."

"I'm sort of a monarchist. I like to talk like the Queen and and I like to have a dog like the Queen. Monarchy is probably a superior form of government, but that probably wouldn't make sense to you."

"The Mafia save us a lot of money in transaction costs. That is, if they shoot straight."

"I can tell you how to beat the test [to get into Legal Aid Bureau]. Just write down 'tax and spend.' And to think, some of these people [in Legal Aid] were in my class. Just goes to show you, it all wears off. No permanent damage."

"I'm wearing this tie to cheer you up. It is a functional tie."

"This is my opinion, but the more money you have, the happier you are. I haven't reached the point where diminishing marginal utility is setting in. I don't even envision it happening."

"[After watching 'Law and Order'] I like to switch over to 'Xena' and watch her deal with a few...culprits."

"The senior people here...well, the alive people..."

"That's what I hear when I listen to National Propaganda Radio."

"All we want in this world are police and insurance. And the smart."

"Why do you think a Yugo is $8000? Because it's made out of papier-mache', that's why. Aside from the fact you have to wind it up."

"You have been good enough to show up, so why shouldn't I try to keep you awake?"

"And the poor get Yugo-level lawyers, because most of them were trained in the clinical program here."

"We have an inefficient system that only rewards you [lawyers]. Well, that ain't so bad."

"You are going to be subsidized by the less well-off in society, you lucky dogs."

Student: "So everybody here was born with a smart gene and these people out there are born with a dumb gene?"
Rosenberg: "Yeah, so?"
Student: "Just making sure that was your assumption."
Rosenberg: "Yes, it is."

"You should start every morning as I do, with a full pot of coffee."

"Hate: remember that. Just write that down: HATE."

"Hate is very must want to kick [liberal judges] in the must want to tear off their robes..."

"Nice try, but my knees are intact."

Rosenberg's top three choices for president:
1) John Silber (controversial chair of Mass. Board of Education)
2) Rudy Giuliani
3) Maggie Thatcher

"How can I say that? I just did!"

[to student] "I certainly hope you're making a point because I wasn't."

"You can't escape on the fact that none of this is realistic."

"That's the worst thing for a lawyer, to actually believe your argument."

"No question about it, my Keynesian friend."

"Bad? I know what bad is. I've represented the Winter Hill gang. Well, I DID represent them. Now they're in jail."

"This is evidence of how many people have actually read the material."

"Altruism is bad. If you're not for yourself, who will be?"

"You will be the ones who will pull the society levers to make sure that the proper number of people die. Remember: we have to kill people."

"B-2 bombers. God, they're beautiful...those bat-wings!"

"You don't have disability insurance? Oh, you fools!"

"Harvard, the Great Father..."

"You could get Yugos...well, I guess you can't get Yugos anymore, thanks to the B-2."

"I didn't LOSE those cases. [My clients] are in jail, but it's good for society."

"Remember, my point in this argument is that you should get out of this law school."

"I don't have a microphone. I apologize. I know I don't project...except hatred...anyway, I was speaking on why society needs to kill a large number of people..."

"I suppose my diatribe about the poor should be open to question or ineffective challenge..."

"You will graduate from HLS, and you will be highly paid for the damage that you do to society, and you will give something back to this place, and I will benefit financially, and I will bless you."

[on health care reform] "Hillary, despite her Stalinism, was on the right track."

"There's no equal time, by the way."

"'There's no liability'? Don't ever use those words in this class!"

"Orgy-osky! That's Russian for 'Wow!'"

"The Invisible Hand has done it, not Learned Hand."

"Put THAT down on your course evaluations for [professor] sensitivity."

"Numbers are fantastic! You can do anything with them, even find reasons to allow family farms."

"I may have worked for the Communist Cubans, but my heart was with the others."

[on subjective intent] "You could have a person from, say, Serbia, who says 'I didn't know I couldn't kill people randomly.'"

"Maggie for President. She's 35. That's all I need, in my reading of the Constitution."

"[On a riding mower] you have to brace yourself, while you're holding your beer."

"It's time for [professor] evaluations. Taped on the back of each evaluation form is a ten-dollar bill. Try to remember where that largesse came from."

"Don't trust anyone but me."

"I want to underscore this, because it will be on the exam...not this year, necessarily..."

[on predicting defendant's future behavior] "We see this on Star Trek all the time; this is what [Oliver Wendell] Holmes was all about."

"Can you imagine AT&T; and Microsoft together? There's a combo to take over the world. The Serbs better look out."

"I would do what Holmes would do: I would throw up on you."

"Take that, you individual-justice mavens!"

"You have to take [Prof.] Kaplow. He doesn't teach much anymore...because he's smart."

"And now, for real Torts!, I'm just kidding."