Harry Kalven

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Harry Kalven, Jr.
Born (1914-09-11)September 11, 1914
Chicago, Illinois
Died October 29, 1974(1974-10-29) (aged 60)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality  American
Fields Legal studies
Institutions University of Chicago Law School
Alma mater University of Chicago

Harry Kalven, Jr. (September 11, 1914 – October 29, 1974) was an American jurist, regarded as one of the preeminent legal scholars of the 20th century.[1] He was the Harry A. Bigelow Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Kalven coauthored, with Charles O. Gregory (and later Richard Epstein), the most widely used textbook in the field of torts, "Cases and Materials on Torts." Kalven was also a leading scholar in the field of constitutional law, particularly in the area of the first amendment. Kalven is the author of a number of seminal books and articles. Kalven is the coauthor of "The Contemporary Function of the Class Suit," one of the most heavily cited articles in the history of American law, and widely considered to be the foundation of the modern class action lawsuit.[2] He also co-authored a pioneering empirical study of The American Jury with his Chicago colleague Hans Hans Zeisel.[3]

He coined the term Heckler's veto.[4]

Selected works

  • Harry Kalven Jr., A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America. Harper and Row Publishers. New York, 1988.
  • Harry Kalven Jr., The Negro and the First Amendment. The Ohio State University Press, 1965.
  • Harry Kalven Jr, Report on the University's Role in Political and Social Action. University of Chicago Record Vol. 1, No. 1 November 11, 1967
  • Haryy Kalven Jr. and Walter Blum, The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation. University of Chicago Press, 1953
  • Harry Kalven Jr. and Hans Zeisel, The American Jury. Little Brown, 1965


  1. Shapiro, Fred R. (2000). "The Most-Cited Legal Scholars". Journal of Legal Studies. 29 (1): 409–426. doi:10.1086/468080. 
  2. Benno C. Schmidt Jr., A Nation Without Heretics, New York Times, February 21, 1988. (Visited October 9, 2008)
  3. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-03-10/news/9201220638_1_hans-zeisel-sociology-juries
  4. The Nazi/Skokie conflict: a civil liberties battle, David Hamlin, Beacon Press, 1980, p. 57.