Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



To crystallize in a few words the motif of a career as varied and comprehensive as that of Eddie Morgan would in any event be difficult, but it is doubly so for a life devoted, as his has been, to stuff as vital and dynamic as procedure and evidence. For me, his work most fundamentally is to be characterized as a quest for greater rationality in the adjudicative process. Whether one thinks of his analysis of the hearsay rule,' or his rationale of the admissions exception to it, or his treatment of the dead man's statute, or his study of the functions of judge and jury, or any other of the numerous facets of his work in the theory and practice of litigation, one senses the scholar's ultimate struggles to reduce confusion and promote precision of thought. And one feels that these scholarly impulses have been undiminished--in fact, that they have been constantly freshened and vitalized--by their coexistence with the practicing lawyer's mastery of litigation as an art. Perhaps Morgan's uniqueness lies in the superimposition of the disciplined thought habits of the systematic theorist, upon the practitioner's understanding. His scientific attention to the trees has not blinded him to the artist's perception of the forest.