Beginning law students tend to personalize the cases they study, seeing the litigants as victims and villains in a drama, to the neglect of whatever doctrinal point the cases were selected to illustrate. One such perceived villain is Dr. Why that is so is explained here. The case is featured in the opening scene of the novel The Paper Chase , as well as in the movie and television series based on the book. Briefly, George Hawkins burned his hand on an electrical wire at age 10, which left a scar across his palm.
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Hawkins v. McGee , 84 N. It has come to be known as the "Hairy Hand" case from the circumstances, because a subsequent decision uses the phrase. This case is famous for its mention in the John Jay Osborn, Jr.