Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Mr. Wade and Wade Torts

First Page



We, his students, have never called him "Mr. Wade;" nor have we called him "Professor Wade." These words do not sound even faintly familiar. Yet Mr. Wade can rightfully claim major responsibility for the causal connection between Vanderbilt law student and Vanderbilt lawyer. Indeed, in this connection, the sine qua non rule applies to Mr. Wade. To the older of us, much of the detail of his visage and style have doubtless been lost--the jabbing hand, the lanky, angular figure, the Abe Lincoln face, the outstretched arms with fingers intertwined, the hands thrust deeply into pockets jingling change, and the stalking to and fro. These are the elements of his being that consistently produce smiles of audience agreement with student characterizations of Mr. Wade in the annual skit. Likewise, the elements of his method--the artfully constructed hypotheticals, the Latin phrases, the scholarly and concise statements defining a division among courts on a rule of law, and the inevitable questions based not upon the facts but upon the "point" of the recited case-may have been forgotten. But to all of us, Torts is Wade, "Wade" Torts.