10 January 2009

January 10, 2009

Lucy v. Zehmer went as well here as at home. Most if not all of the students had read the case and given it some serious thought. Classroom discussion was vigorous, although I didn’t “cold call” on anyone. The usual 15% were “gunners” but others joined in or asked good questions and one even posed a hypothetical that moved the discussion forward. Not surprisingly, Indian students found the Restatement of Contracts as opaque as students back in the States. Suggesting the economic concept of the lowest cost avoider as a way of summarizing the quiddities of the rules of contractual misunderstanding seemed to strike a chord.

Friday was also the first day of the 12th Annual M.V. Singhvi International Law Moot Court Competition hosted by NLU and the Bar Council of India (India’s equivalent of the ABA). Thirty-six teams had registered but the team from Pakistan found the current visa situation too daunting to surmount. One international team—from Nepal—is here. Moot court competitors look the same regardless of place of origin: dark suits, white shirts or blouses, dark ties, etc. —all trying to look older than they are. The scurrying of NLU’s Moot Court Committee (our Moot Court Board) made me feel right at home (and happy not to be the faculty advisor at either place). The ceremonious opening with the usual remarks (pleasantly brief and to the point) was concluded with a dedication of the moot to Saraswati, Hindu goddess of education. I think that sometimes we at Regent feel a bit bashful about our Christian foundation; the open identification with a Hindu deity here might serve as an encouragement to us.

Thanks to our excellent cook, Sravan, dinner with NLU guests Rashmi and Gaurav Mathur (with their five-year old daughter whose “home name” translates as yes-no (seems appropriate for a five-year old to me)), Anuradha Nayak, Abhilasha Joshi, and Aruna Thakur was wonderful. We enjoy getting to know Indian folks on a personal basis, which is especially appropriate in an Asian culture that emphasizes sociability far more than contemporary, high-intensity America. More than its cultural appropriateness, however, is the welcome sense that time should be used for relationships as well as production.

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