The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Quaking Quagmires


From the great torts scholar William Prosser, writing in 1953:

The realm of the conflict of laws is a dismal swamp, filled with quaking quagmires, and inhabited by learned but eccentric professors who theorize about mysterious matters in a strange and incomprehensible jargon.

I think things have improved, at least in this narrow area, since then, but I still like the quote. My searching to confirm the source, by the way, led me to this other quote, from the Kentucky Bar Journal in 1942 (writing about the word "quisling"):

Q … (with one august exception) has long seemed to the British mind to be a crooked, uncertain and slightly disreputable letter, suggestive of the questionable, the querulous, the quavering of quaking quagmires and quivering quicksands, of quibbles and quarrels, of queasiness, quackery, qualms, and Quilp …