Who Was the Basis for Professor Kingsfield?

Can anyone tell me who was the basis for Professor Kingsfield's character in "The Paper Chase"? Kingsfield, of course, does the famous "hairy hand" case of Hawkins v. McGee in the first day of class. So presumably he is using Fuller's casebook on contracts, which as I understand it, used to begin with remedies. To the best of my knowledge during that age, Fuller's casebook was the only one that began with remedies. Did all Contracts professors at Harvard used Fuller's casebook during that era?

In this vein, a few years ago I read Scott Gerber's marvelous article, "Corbin and Fuller's Cases on Contracts (1942?): The Casebook That Never Was," 72 Fordham Law Review 595 (2003) (I can't find a link to the full article on-line). Gerber discusses the history of the efforts of Corbin and Fuller to co-author a Contracts casebook, a project that eventually foundered on Fuller's insistence of starting the book with remedies instead of formation. Of course, Randy is the modern heir to the Fuller tradition, as he uses the same structure for his casebook today.

So I assume that Kingsfield was using Fuller's casebook, but was Fuller the inspiration for Kingsfield's character?


The kind folks at the Fordham Law Review have provided instructions on getting a copy of Prof. Gerber's article--it is a piece full of great stuff. My favorite part of the correspondence is the widespread teeth-gnashing caused by Erie among commercial law scholars. The full article is now available here: http://law.fordham.edu/ihtml/page1.ihtml?imac=883

(click on "Search Articles"; search for "Gerber").