James Kent

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Kent, James,

1763–1847, American jurist, b. near Brewster, N.Y. He was admitted to the bar in 1785 and began practice in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Active in the Federalist party, he served several terms in the New York legislature. In 1793, Kent moved to New York City, where his reputation for learning established him as first professor of law at Columbia College. His lectures (1794–98) were not especially well received, and he welcomed the appointment in 1798 as a judge of the state supreme court. He was made chief judge in 1804, and from 1814 until his statutory retirement in 1823 he presided over the state court of chancery. Kent's written opinions as chancellor were instrumental in reviving equityequity,
principles of justice originally developed by the English chancellor. In Anglo-American jurisprudence equitable principles and remedies are distinguished from the older system that the common law courts evolved.
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, which had largely lapsed in the United States after the American Revolution. He refashioned many of the doctrines in that area by combining concepts from English chancery jurisprudence with the principles of Roman law. After his retirement he again (1824–26) was professor of law at Columbia, but found the delivery of lectures tedious and soon resigned. He vastly expanded the material of his courses to prepare his Commentaries on American Law (4 vol., 1826–30), a systematic treatment of international law, American constitutional law, the sources of state law, and the law of personal rights and of property. It was enthusiastically received by the legal profession and in Kent's lifetime went through six editions.


See Memoirs and Letters of James Kent by his great-grandson, William Kent (1898, repr. 1970); study by J. T. Horton (1939, repr. 1969).

Kent, James

(1763–1847) legal scholar; born in Southeast, N.Y. A staunch Federalist, he was chosen by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton to be Columbia College's first professor of law (1793–98). In 1798 he was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court and rose to become its chief justice (1804–14). He became chancellor of the New York State court of chancery (1814–23) where his decisions and written opinions often implemented equity jurisdiction, dubbing him "the American Blackstone." His compulsory retirement from the bench at age 60 led to his return to Columbia. There he wrote America's first legal classic, Commentaries on American Law (four vols. 1826–30), which provided the first systematic, clear approach to Anglo-American law.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kaplan was named a James Kent Scholar and received her JD from Columbia Law School in 2009.
James Kent will succeed John Cavanagh as chief executive officer of reinsurance intermediary Willis Re when Cavanagh retires at the end of 2017.
Thomas James Kent, an NHS analytical consultant, admitted breaking the 70mph speed limit ay Llandygai near Bangor on May 20.
James Kent will succeed John Cavanagh, who will retire at the end of December 2017, as Willis Towers Watson's next global CEO.
from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Panelists included Kristin Callahan, vice president, BMS Intermediaries; David Domino, managing director, Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC; James Kent, president, Willis Re Inc.
Library friends Jenny Rudman, Jon Ingham, Susie Ingham, Peter Rudman, Steve Morris, James Kent, Anne Baldwin and David Payne
Staub's enameled cast-iron cookware, a favorite of many high-end restaurant chefs, is not well-known among consumers, according to Rosenberg, who is hoping to change that through a new video series called "The Chefs of Staub," which gives chefs like Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen and James Kent of The NoMad a platform to extoll the cook-ware's virtues, along with recipes and cooking tips.
Despite attempting to make the next Atonement, director James Kent, whose CV includes three episodes of EastEnders, has made an over-earnest drama best appreciated on the telly on a wet Sunday afternoon.
Testament Directed by James Kent, the headstrong Vera is heading for Oxford when her parents (Dominic West, Emily Watson) are worrying about whether brother Edward (Taron Egerton) should be enlisting.
Director James Kent has made an over-earnest drama best appreciated on the telly on a wet Sunday afternoon.