About Ian C. Pilarczyk

Ian C. Pilarczyk is a legal historian and scholar who is also director of the Executive LL.M. in international business law, and the Legal English Certificate Program, at Boston University School of Law.

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 12/10/12: Circuit Courts

Circuit courts were first established under the reign of King Henry II of England in the mid-12th century, meant to supplement the royal courts in London by having judges travel the countryside (“riding circuit”) to hear cases. In the U.S., … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/26/12: Adultery

Eight states still have laws against adultery on the books, ranging from a $10 fine in Maryland to life in prison in Michigan. Massachusetts is one of those states; under MGL c. 272  s.14, adultery is punishable by imprisonment in … Continue reading

Maintenance, Champerty and Embracery, or Fun With the Law

Related to my last blog entry on barratry and my ongoing fascination with obsolete and esoteric legal concepts, my current discussion topics are the concepts of champerty, maintenance, and the alluringly-titled concept of embracery. Barratry, as you may remember, has to do … Continue reading

What is Barratry? A far from frivolous question!

As part of my upcoming series of blog entries devoted to legal concepts that are esoteric or have fallen into dissuse, my present topic is “barratry”, a common law term that is probably known to few but involves a concept … Continue reading

The “Radium Girls”, Deodands, and the Rise of Worker’s Compensation in the U.S.

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in a ‘talk back’ session following a performance of Radium Girls with cast members and several trial lawyers who handle worker’s compensation cases. Put on at the Regent Theatre in Arlington … Continue reading

NY Man Sues Ex-Fiancée After She Breaks Off Engagement

Some of my readers will remember that some time ago I wrote about the law and custom regarding broken engagements, including blog entries on the issue of the return of engagement rings, and ‘breach of promise to marry’  lawsuits. In an interesting twist, a … Continue reading

A Long Time Coming…But Back in Print!

Hello, gentle readers!  My next blog post will be up in a week or two, but I wanted to mention my latest work. It is a bit surreal to me to mention it, really, since I completed this as a … Continue reading

‘So Foul A Deed’: Infanticide in Montreal, 1825-1850

From the introduction to the issue: “Our final article, by Ian Pilarczyk, examines the phenomemon of infanticide and the legal responses to [it] in Montreal from 1825 to 1850, a period marked by significant economic, social, political, and legal flux. … Continue reading

‘Ripped from Today’s Headlines’: The Alford Plea–Pleading Guilty But Protesting Innocence

Last week in class, I wandered off on a slight tangent related to the Alford plea. Coincidentally, the very next day this fascinating bit of contemporary legal history and criminal procedure made its way into the news, prompted by a fairly unlikely … Continue reading