My retired FSU colleague, office neighbor and erstwhile lunch companion Professor Emeritus Vinny Stauber was starting to clean out his office upon retirement several months ago. I had been in his office many times and always noticed the large compendium of American Business Law Journal (ABLJ) volumes stacked neatly on his shelves. Some issues went as far back as 1969. Being the total research geek that I am, I gazed upon them with admiration and asked him if he had plans to keep them. Noting my interest, he kindly offered to grant them to me. I gladly accepted the offer. The reason why is because many of these older ABLJ issues are not digitized and can only be referenced and accessed in print. Having published three articles in this journal and served as a staff editor I have an affinity for the journal’s mission, which is to publish leading research articles for those of us who teach legal studies courses in business schools. Over the years, the ABLJ has been able to, through its able editorial leadership, reviewers and authors, establish itself as a one of top double-blind, peer-reviewed business law journals. Today it is widely respected among practitioners, academics and policy makers.
On Vinny’s last day I took the box full of ABLJ issues, unpacked them and stacked them on my shelves in order, and noticed that Vinny’s collection dated back to Volume 7, Issue 1 Spring 1969. As I perused some of article titles I was inspired to think about how the journal and its authors have steadfastly advanced our knowledge of business law over the years. As educators and researchers, we owe a lot to our predecessors who helped advance, shape and position our academic field.
Today, as I peruse Volume 7 Issue 1, I noticed that the research articles back then were mainly devoted to exposing the readership about current and evolving legal issues. For example, Ohio State University Professor Frank F. Gibson’s article “Strict Liability in Tort: Recovery for Non-Accidental losses” discusses strict product liability as a new theory of liability. It blows my mind to think that strict product liability was a new theory of liability, but such was the case in 1969. These articles, in a pre-Internet/Google era, had the important function of communicating the latest legal developments to the educators in our field tasked with teaching these developments to future business professionals.
I now display my greatly expanded collection of ABLJ volumes prominently in my office with great joy and pride. I will continue to read through these old issues, and when something of interest and relevance stands out, I’ll make sure to add a post and comment on this blog.