“Don’t have a cow” is not only Bart Simpson’s mantra but also the admonition of the Michigan Supreme Court in Lenawee County Board of Health v. Messerly. For almost a hundred years, law students and lawyers had a cow to instruct them on the law of mistake: Rose II of Aberlone – the cow in Sherwood v. Walker.

Most American lawyers and judges have read Sherwood v. Walker in their contracts casebook and/or have heard their contracts professor talk about the Michigan Supreme Court decision in Sherwood v. Walker and Rose II of Aberlone. Lawyers of a certain age remember Professor Brainerd Currie’s 3,544-word rhymed verse poem, “Rose of Aberlone.” Younger lawyers are more likely to recall Professor Carswell’s song on YouTube, “My Rose.” [..]

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