Collected and published in Yale Law Report by our own David G. Martin, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hardy Wieting’s lovely new book 30 Birds is available on Kindle and in paperback. Hardy gives his account of pursuing 30 different birds in North America. You can learn more and see more at the book’s website, 30birds30.com. He says, “The pursuit, the bird, the place— these are the essence of birding. That, and the joy.” He also gave a lecture at Yunnan University, Institute of Ecology [China]. The title: Sexual Selection and Beauty: Darwin’s “Second Theory” and Richard Prum’s book, The Evolution of Beauty. He reports, “I think my lecture on sex went very well — Darwin’s ‘second theory,’ how female choice drives evolution in that they are looking for beauty in the males they choose to mate with, and the males evolve colors and displays and other sexual ornaments to attract them. It’s not just natural selection driving things forward. “There were almost 100 students there. They seemed to understand what I was saying — no one squirmed, or coughed, or showed any indication they were not comprehending.”
[see Photo Credits page in book/website to see who took its 30 photos; they include classmate Tom Grey].
Bart Tiernan continues to use this report to harass his friend George Bunn in this spirited offering: “The emergence of overt tribalism in these United States compels me to report that George Bunn has folded his tent like the Arab, and has silently stolen away from the City, to join the migration to Southampton, Long Island, a white settlement on the ancient tribal lands of the Shinnecocks, a sovereign nation seeking to recover those lands in the Courts of the State of New York while preserving its own unique culture by the maintenance of tribal practices involving the conduct of casino operations and the sale of cut-price cigarettes.
“George was ably assisted in his resettlement by my personal assistant (f/k/a my secretary), whose information technology skills have served to connect George to the outside world.
“Nini and I remain embedded in our own ancient tribal lands here on Long Island’s North Shore, long celebrated in song and story by its famed troubadour Cole Porter. At our daughter’s 40th birthday revels (one of our unique tribal customs), George’s daughter Lilly cheerfully observed that she has never seen him happier or more relaxed.
“One wonders whether he will remain so if the Shinnecocks are frustrated by the foreign Courts of the State of New York and invade the back nine of Shinnecock Hills, where it is expected that he will spend his twilight years in furtherance of his own unique culture.
‘Further affiant sayeth not.’” Mike Parish also has a new book. Tower of Babble, “true stories,” he says, based on his experiences in the legal world and inspired by our 50th Reunion. The following is from the book’s preface:
“On the flight back to California after my 50th law school reunion, it came to me that I had been retired for 15 years now. Not having been in legal practice for that extended period, I told myself that if I limited my focus to true stories, there was some chance that people would actually believe me. That’s what this book is. Forty true stories, about my life and also about some other occurrences that I know absolutely to be true and acceptably unusual. I believe there is not nearly enough laughter and humor in our world now, or in the world altogether since the dawn of time, so I want to do my part to change that as much as one man can, which is as close to nothing as there is, but also not nothing at all.”
Mike says, “Enjoy every word! I know I have. Best wishes to all.”
Instead of writing books, one of our classmates has jumped into another arts endeavor. Jack Carley reports that he has embarked on a new career. He began in a local community theater with an appearance in Gore Vidal’s play, The Best Man, based on the 1960 convention involving two contenders. “I played the campaign manager for the former Secretary of State who was branded an ‘intellectual,’ a mixture of Stevenson and JFK. His opponent is a Joseph McCarthy figure. To illustrate the difference between then and now in politics, the play turned on the ‘dirt’ turned up on each man. The ‘dirt’ on my guy consisted being accused of mental instability because he had seen a psychiatrist. His opponent is accused of being part of a homosexual ring while in the Pacific during World War II. This season I have a role in Leisure Ladies, a comedy by Ken Ludwig. He wrote, among others, Lend Me a Tenor. Faced with a choice between an uptight minister who is about to marry the local beauty and a garrulous but foolish doctor who is the head of the local Moose Lodge, I chose the doctor, Awahoo. But I have to memorize all the lines.
“On the domestic front, my wife, Pia, fractured a vertebra at some point this past spring. She had fractured one five years ago as we were going to Stockholm, where she was to emcee an event with the King of Sweden awarding a prize to the Vienna Philharmonic. She was able to go with a brace, and the fracture healed itself. This time, no such luck. We wound up staying in our Manhattan apartment for the entire summer visiting doctors and experiencing the frustrations of the healthcare industry in Manhattan. After MRIs, we found she had two new fractured vertebrae and genetic spine problems, requiring her to spend time in bed. I shall not bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, she has a good deal of pain associated with the recovery, many drugs, including oxycodone. Getting a consistent diagnosis from doctors is like getting an opinion from lawyers. She has three different back braces she wears, and we discovered a normal office chair that rocks back is the most comfortable place to sit. She really cannot sit for long periods or go to restaurants or the theater. Luckily, she resigned from the American Theater Wing (as a Tony voter who had to see every play opening on Broadway) after three decades before all of this happened.”
Jim Schink is still hard at work at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Because he was in the middle of an international arbitration, he had to miss a reunion of the “Ladies Lunch” (the infamous group that organized the protest against the Vinland Maps at the Beinecke Library during our last year at the law school). Pete Putzel,, George Bunn, and I were the only representatives of our class at this reunion.
DG says: If you are not receiving from me periodic news (and requests for news), please send me your email address. I will be very grateful. Sorry to my classmates whose news I lost in a mishap I would rather not explain. Please give me another chance and send your report again.
Big news from our class is that we now have a classmate who has been published in The New Yorker. For many years, Mike Parish has been writing short fiction and sharing it with his friends. Some have been published in special journals. Now he has hit the big time with a letter in the Jan. 9 issue this year. Here it is:
“I enjoyed Zoë Heller’s excellent and mercifully brief disquisition on dreams (‘Perchance to Dream,’ Dec. 10). In her list of great revelations provoked or inspired by dreams, however, she omits one of the most profound and far-reaching — the hexagonal structure of the benzene molecule, which the 19th-century chemist August Kekulé claimed to have discovered after a dream or reverie in which he saw a snake biting its own tail. This discovery helped create an entire field of scientific research centered on hydrocarbon manipulation, cementing Kekulé’s status as one of the founders of modern organic chemistry.”
Mike explains that he got so many requests for his writing at our 50th Reunion that he was motivated to write “on the subject of dreams and Kekulé’s dream of smother and destroy us all.” Mike continues, “I decided that since I have fully retired from law I can now write true stories, and have by now done 20 of them — possibly a door prize for our 55th, but as of now just sent to those classmates who stimulated this activity. I finished the latest one today....It was about playing Clue on the way from ORD to LAX in the upstairs lounge of a 747 with Alice Cooper and his band, before having an extended nightcap in the hotel lounge with the great Patrick McGoohan — the ‘Secret Agent’ man of the 1960s and Oscar-nominated King Edward I of England in Braveheart. Hope this helps. Copies of the stories, including some legal escapades and close calls, are available to all classmates.”
In March, BC Law Magazine (Boston College Law School), reported: “BC Law Professor Zygmunt Plater was the surprise recipient of an environmental award bestowed on March 1 while he was attending the 37th Annual Public Interest Conference at the University of Oregon. “At the Oregon conference, the Land Air Water Association, in consultation with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, presented Plater with the Svitlana Kravchenko Environmental Rights Award. Professor Kravchenko, who passed away in 2012, was admired for her academic vigor and spirited activism, qualities that are recognized in the award recipients. Also in keeping with Kravchenko’s spirit, award winners ‘inspire young adults to reach for the stars, while keeping their feet firmly planted in the Earth’ and insist that ‘environmental rights and human rights are indivisible.’ Plater said he was touched by the recognition.
“Plater had organized a conference panel on preparing for the aftermath of the current U.S. administration, bringing in two Canadian scholars who had experience with the issue when Canada’s administration changed in 2015....
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Steven Harper, a number of key environmental laws were rolled back. Canadian academics and NGOs — anticipating what would be needed when Harper left office — built a comprehensive plan for the next generation of environmental laws. Harper’s 2015 successor, Justin Trudeau, was able to follow their blueprint for ‘Restoring Lost Protections,’ calling for new, modern safe-guards, Plater explained. Plater’s call at the conference was for the U.S. to start thinking immediately about ‘detailed accelerated agendas in advance of the next administration’ in the U.S.
“Plater is a longtime professor at BC Law and the author of The Snail Darter and the Dam — the story of a small endangered fish’s travels through the corridors of American Power — which was prizes went to Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray. David also appeared as a guest on “Responsibilities of Congress in Preserving the Rule of Law,” the fourth of a live-streamed series of programs on the rule of law moderated by Homer Moyer, which can be accessed at ceeliinstitute. org/webinars/. Thanks to Art Hessel, class members living in Washington have the opportunity of enjoying a semi-regular class lunch. And, as many of you know, our class list-the snake biting its tail, which led him to understanding the structure of the benzene ring, the key to the invention of plastics and also to creating complex hydro-carbons that catapulted the gasoline and diesel engines into dominance of our roadways and atmosphere. Three of the first five Nobelists in chemistry were his students, but what was celebrated as a work of genius and a great leap forward for humanity has now become the double-headed Medusa that threatens to
published by Yale University Press and is being made into a documentary film series. He was chairman of the State of Alaska Oil Spill Commission’s Legal Task Force over a two-year period after the wreck of the M/V Exxon-Valdez. Earlier, he was a consultant to plaintiffs in the Woburn toxic litigation, Anderson et al. v. W.R. Grace et al., the subject of the book and movie A Civil Action. “Kravchenko’s was not the first Land Air Water Association-related award for Plater. In 2005, he received the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the association at the 23rd International Public Environmental Law Conference.” “Another facet of Plater’s influence is BC Law’s robust Environmental Law Society, which has launched significant research projects on the Exxon-Valdez and BP Deepwater oil spills, pro bono research for national organizations in Washington, D.C., and support for communities experiencing toxic contamination. Among its recent activities have been Klein’s panel presentation at the Oregon conference; the presentation of a talk by Oliver Sellers-Garcia, director of the Office of Sustainability and Environment in Somerville, MA, on local governments’ struggle against climate change; and a visit from Thomas Jorling ’66, retired vice president of environmental affairs for International Paper.”
The link to this article and to a great photo of Zyg is at: Zyg
Mark Schantz is now Emeritus Professor of Law and General Counsel Emeritus at University of Iowa. Our 50th Reunion reminded him that it was also “the 50th anniversary of my travelling to Montgomery to begin a one-clerk, one-year clerkship with Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. It turns out as well to have been the 100th year of FMJ’s birth. His law clerks had begun to endow an annual lecture at his beloved Alabama Law School. In addition to the lecture in Tuscaloosa there were numerous events in Montgomery, including a marvelous talk by Brian Stevenson, head of the Equal Justice Initiative. (He’s a Harvard guy, but all my classmates should contribute.) My connection, and that of my many Yale successors, was greatly upstaged by the fact that the first Johnson Lecture was delivered by one Professor/Judge Guido Calabresi ’58. Guido, as he was known to us, was as sharp and as energetic as ever, delivering a 50-minute lecture on his second look jurisprudence. It wasn’t closely connected to FMJ, but entertainning and edifying to the lawyers in the audience. And, it brought back a flood of memories about how fortunate I felt to have spend a year with Judge Johnson. I’m not sure I had ever properly thanked Professor Black and Dean Pollak for being willing to stretch the truth enough to get me the position.”
Bob McManus and his wife, Nancy, visited Sicily last fall, “and took a day or two to visit her paternal (Lucisano) roots in Reggio Calabria.”
Bob happily reports, “In tax year 2018, I received what is almost surely my last check deriving from the practice of law, following trial, appeal, fraudulent bankruptcy declaration of our defendants and brilliant oral argument by yours truly in D.C. Court of Appeals. It is all over.”
Their daughter, Lily, is a lawyer working for Oracle and likes to adventure, in spite of her parents’ misgivings, such as traveling alone to trek in Nepal last fall while Bob and Nancy were in Sicily.
Peter Bradford writes, “Susan and I spent today on Pitcairn Island.” And then, tongue in cheek, I think, “Some misunderstanding about a mini-reunion, but there are no classmates here.”
Pete Putzel is now Senior Counsel at the Orrick firm in New York, “having accompanied younger colleagues when our small white-collar defense firm merged with Orrick in January 2018.” Pete says, “Anne and I had a superb trip to Zimbabwe-Zambia-Botswana last April and are off to Egypt later this year.”
Winter 2019 Notes specifically about the Reunion appear over there in the 50th Reunion column.
Richard Ober agrees, “It was a great event — the best part for me was the two hours we spent as a group discussing then and now. I was clearly one of the oblivious ones, focused on skiing and women. Speaking of which, I met my first wife, Peppy Martin, from Connecticut College, my second year there. We got married. I graduated from Yale Law and her from Connecticut College in 1968, but it didn’t work out and she went home to Kentucky three years later [no children — polite divorce]. Imagine my surprise when I received a call from the Louisville Courier Journal in 1999. They asked me what I thought about the Republican nominee for governor of Kentucky. I expressed total ignorance as to who that was, and he said, ‘You used to be married to her.’ I said nothing but nice things, but she lost anyway.”
Rick is now a departmental guest of the Princeton University Neuroscience Department. “As a legal analyst, not an experimental subject!” he emphasizes. The department houses The Princeton Gerrymandering Project [gerry-mander.princeton.edu], of which he is a team member. The Project supports state- and federal-level reform efforts to eliminate partisan gerrymandering. Rick explains, “We identify opportunities and loopholes in existing law. We can help analyze and craft reform language to help activists translate their ideals into practical solutions. We translate math into law, and law into math. We develop and use mathematical tests that rigorously diagnose unequal opportunity and unfair outcomes in district maps. Our leader and Project founder, Professor Sam Wang, was a co-author with Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken of an amicus brief in the recent Supreme Court case Gill v. Whit-ford. I recently enjoyed my first co-authorship of what hopefully will be multiple papers and law reviews on the subject: prospect. org/article/states-are-now-best-route-gerrymandering-reform.”
Rick co-authored an article on gerrymandering in the Sept. 4, 2018, Washington Post and another recent article in American Prospect.
My great thanks to Jim Mezzanotte for organizing the special pizza tour on Thursday afternoon of the reunion. He took us to his growing up places in West Haven and East Haven, and the food and fellowship were extra treats. I hope we can try it again five years from now.
Because of a big 75th birthday party planned for him on the weekend of our reunion, Zygmunt Plater “was only able to drive down to New Haven early Sunday morning — by which time, dammit, you and a number of other irascibles I’d hoped to hang out with had had to head back home.” He continued, “It was heartwarming to reconnect with the rump bunch of people in our class at Sunday brunch. It’s astonishing how the faces and personalities of a motley crew who had happened to share a rather intense experience long ago — thanks to the ministrations of the wonderful Jack Tate — can remain so vividly familiar after 50 years! And by all the retrospective summaries of how individual class-mates have spent those 50 years, I was reminded of what one of our classmates said near the end of our time at Yale — that ‘we were here at this place to make a life as well as a living and, if we do it right, to make a difference.’ For so many of my classmates, clearly, it’s Mission Accomplished. I continue to love teaching, because you never learn as much about a field as when you try to teach it to these energized young people (who an ongoing ‘Trump-bump’ seems to have made more numerous in applying to law schools, and more energetic). I’m working on groundwork planning for a restorative environmental protection aftermath agenda, for after our current destructive federal leader-ship has been repudiated; also working on indigenous rights in hydro controversies in Latin Amer-ica; also looking forward to filming on the documentary that the brothers who made Wild, Wild Country are making for Netflix on the endangered fish/dam case my students and I took through the Supreme Court.”
Responding to Clifford Pearlman’s report that he did some rock climbing in his 30s, in part to overcome a fear of heights, Zyg wrote, “And just so you know what kind of jock I am, compared to Pearlman, I too had tried rock-climbing! My maiden and sole endeavor was rewarded with 10 days in the Dartmouth hospital.”
Peter d’Errico wrote the following to Joe Bell, who shared with me, “You probably recall I was one of the folks who went to the Navajo legal services operation after graduation: an amazing experience that laid a foundation for pretty much everything I’ve done since — teaching for 30-plus years at UMass/Amherst; litigating various Native issues, primarily land, fishing, hunting cases.
My personal life was enlivened also by meeting traditional people. Most of my academic writing reflects this — collected at umass.academia.edu/PeterdErrico and people.umass.edu/derrico. I occasionally write something on a blog: blogs.umass.edu/derrico. If I can free myself from the cognitive box of legalese, I may be able to pull together a manuscript on what I call ‘federal anti-Indian law’ for a wider audience.”
Gene Moen wrote, “Sorry I was not able to attend the reunion. Had a trial I was preparing for. I am still work-ing at my three-member firm (one lawyer is a daughter), handling only medical malpractice cases on behalf of plaintiffs. Always a fasci-nating, albeit challenging, endeavor. However, I am one of those lucky people who can say I have not had a boring day in the past 40 years. When I get old (I am only 78 now), I will think about retirement.”
Melvin Masuda wrote, “Missed the Pizza Tour and the reunion. I’m the proverbial snug-as-a-bug in my beloved and beautiful Islands-Of-Hawaii…Sincerely and Aloha from your Mid-Pacific Menehune, in the Outlier-Outre Islands-Of-Hawaii, Mel, also known, to his students and Alumni Advisees, as, aka, Uncle Mel and Yoda.”
Chuck Lawrence ’69, also writing from Hawaii, missed the reunion but wrote, “Wish I could be there, but a full teaching load and 6,000 miles will keep me from the celebration. I’m finally retiring in June. Give my best to all, especially Joan, Mathea, Junius, Stan, and Mike Reiss.” From the William S. Richardson School of Law of the University of Hawaii, I learned that he came there in 2008 from Georgetown. He began his teaching career at the University of San Francisco in 1974, was a tenured professor at Stanford and Georgetown, and has visited several other schools, including Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, and the Univer-sity of Southern California. Lawrence is best known for his prolific work in antidiscrimination law, equal protection, and critical race theory. His most recent book, We Won’t Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), was co-authored by Mari Matsuda. Lawrence received the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Most Distinguished Professor Award; the John Bingham Hurlburt Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the 1990 graduating class of Stanford Law School; and the Society of American Law Teachers national teaching award. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Haverford College and Georgetown University, and served as a member of the District of Columbia Board of Education and on many other public interest boards.
After 15 years as President of the Atlantic Legal Foundation, Bill Slattery retired in 2015. Atlantic Legal chairman Dan Fisk stated, “Bill has served our Foundation with tire-less dedication, attention to detail, and commendable distinction. He leaves a legacy of which the Foundation is especially proud and a platform from which the Foundation will continue to pursue its mission with vigor, serving the broad public interest.”
I was glad to hear at last from one of my favorite classmates, Monty Sonnenborn even though he wrote to say he could not join the Pizza Tour!
Paul Dykstra is now listed as retired partner at Ropes & Gray in Chicago.
Richard A. Epstein was honored in April by NYU and the University of Chicago for his 50 years in teaching, “first at the University of Southern California, then at the University of Chicago, and finally at NYU.” He received an honorary degree from the University of Sie-gen in Germany for legal scholar-ship, and was also enrolled in the gold book of the town of Siegen. “I continue to publish on a wide range of subjects, and have a weekly column, the Libertarian for the Hoover Institution, as well as four regular podcasts.”
Eric Schnapper writes, “Sorry to have missed the reunion. I have cut back to working full time, teaching at the University of Washington Law School, and handling appeals in employment discrimination and other civil rights cases. My grandson Theodore, 23 months, has already shown great promise in his LSAT prep, and will be ready for the real thing in a few decades. My wife and I are starting our third year renovating a 92-year-old house. We are looking forward to our third Women’s March, our respective signs (‘Still nasty after all these years’ and ‘The few, the proud, the men in the Women’s March’) at the ready.”
ArchiveIt might be possible to build an archive here of all past Class Notes, so that clicking on links like these would bring up a page containing the Notes for that period: 2018 Winter Summer | 2017 Winter Summer
Please note -- a work in progress; needs classmate input -- of any sort. email@example.com
News as it occurs -- here, Ultimately, to Class Notes. About website: has "responsive template" -- adapts to size screen you're viewing; try it on your phone.
* Item 01/01/2020 Joan Andersson late last fall pulled up stakes from Topanga Canyon (near where the Kobe Bryant crash occurred) and moved to Berkeley. Her husband, Bill Zimmerman, in whose memoir of the Anti-Vietnam-War movement Troublemaker, Joan appears, writes: "Joanie and I have recently upended our lives by selling both of our houses and moving to Berkeley,
where we are renting a place for a couple of years in preparation for a buying a property to share with our daughter and her family, who also recently moved to Berkeley.
It’s all so new we’re still unpacking and getting settled . . . . Nonetheless, we’re dong fine and looking forward to a big change in our lives."
* Item 01/01/2020 Mel Masuda reports that his son, Maka, is now with the Business Payments Division at Amazon Corp. and that Maka and spouse Allison, an engineer with "X-Box" Marketing at Microsoft, have twin sons. His daughter, Kaiewa, and husband Matt, also have two sons. Kaiewa, who has a master's degree in Counseling Psychology "is now 'the' ('thee' -- one-and-only) Career & College Counselor at Waialua High & Intermediate School at the western edge of Oahu's famed North Shore (a mecca for surfing)."
* Item xx/01/2020 At least three of our classmates have taken up such a deep interest in photography that they have created websites to display (and vend) the photographs they take: Tom Grey and Norm Leventhal and Bill Iverson. See our gallery pages here for more.
* Item xx/01/2020 A close reading of the 50th Reunion book reveals engagement with the thespian arts. Jack Carley took up acting at 77. He coyly fails to mention that his second wife is herself the daughter of a rather famous actress. Dave Hopmann is into it in a big way. Earl Weiner acted in college and is Board Chair of The Acting Company, "a professional repertory company that helps to develop young classically trained actors." It could be argued that all lawyers are by nature actors, of course.
* Item xx/01/2020 A close reading also turns up an interesting sentence in Mike Reiss's account: ". . . then representing [Clarence] Thomas himself in one interesting matter." Egad!
* Item xx/01/2020 The following is not news so much as observation. A close reading (we did go to law school, after all) of our 50th reunion book reveals the surprising fact that a number of us have taught in high school and even primary school after graduation.
* The list begins with the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal, Bill Iverson: "Over the last ten years, I have also done some substitute teaching, mostly in charter high schools around the city and mostly in mathematics"
* Doug Blazey: "Upon graduation, my first job was at Trenton (NJ) High School where I taught math and history in a Ford Foundation-funded program for 10th-grade males entitled Upward Bound created shortly after the Trenton riots of the late ’60s. This experience was both positive and eye opening!"
* Len Rubinowitz: "In the first year after graduation, I had a very short stint in the General Counsel’s office of HUD in Washington, taught fifth grade in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and began a two-year period as a Special Assistant to the HUD Regional Administrator in Chicago."
* Henry Woodward: "After graduation I opted for a 2-year stint as Peace Corps Volunteer in Kosrae and Pohnpei, two high islands in the Eastern Carolines, where I learned vastly more than I taught."
* Don't know if he's done any high school teaching, but Mike Reiss says that though his lawyer wife, Shelly: "has been active with organizations supporting foster children . . . I have been more heavily involved with bar associations, high school groups, and on the Board of the American Employment Law Council." Several of us mention teaching college undergrads. That includes these two:
* Richard Pilch: "As the bookstore was winding down, I was invited to teach Political Science at Rutgers University. Initially I taught courses on the American legal system, but soon added International Law."
* Junius Williams: "I ran for Mayor of Newark (1982), and recently retired as the Founding Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University Newark, where I taught leadership and community organization (2002–2018)."
* Item xx/01/2020 Sometimes news can be discovering something about a past event, rather than a fresh occurrence. Here's something that falls into that category. One of our classmates went to high school with two guys who ultimately had careers as IBM sales reps. He just discovered something about a third IBM'er they might have known who is from the same area in the suburbs of Chicago, actually about the son of that person: Beamer
*Item: xx/20/2020 Accomplished genealogists will be the first to send in their Roots for our page. We also need yours.
*Item: x/09/2020 We periodically search the net for classmates whose email we lack and whom we'd like to rengage. The complete list can be found in the Missing Persons Bureau of our Alas page.
PHOTOS : Click here. See also
CLASS BOOK: available Click here.
Warm and enthusiastic thanks to Stan Sanders, Joan Andersson, Steve Weiner, Chuck Stark, and others, including Mathea Falco and Jim Goetz, who helped plan activities for our 50th Reunion. The highlight for many was the afternoon discussion the planning group organized. Stan Sanders prepared a detailed report on the conversations:
Convinced that ours was a law school class fledged in unique times, we set out in the two hours allotted by our Reunion Weekend schedule to discuss among ourselves, which included practically every one of us who made the trip to New Haven, just how special the past 50 years have been. It was a discussion well worth having, our largest exchange since Kessler’s Contracts.
There was little dispute that the language and tone of present times have coarsened. Ham Osborne pointed out the contrast between our insistence on civility as students, despite mayhem in the streets outside and violence ahead in the voter registrars’ queues. Our time at the Law School began with the Watts riots and ended, just weeks before graduation, with the assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy. Junius Williams noted that disagreements between allies were seldom begrudged. We were the beginning of the end of a military draft that confused our reaction to the war then raging wildly on the TV in the student lounge. Opposition to the war was more personal than political.
We were also the last Yale Law School class without visible populations of nonwhite males. In the 50 years since, the triple-digit dominance of Ivy Leaguers has become one in a cluster of diverse groups that make up the student body. Joan Andersson, who chaired the session, invited her daughter, Emma, who was celebrating her 10th Law School Class Reunion, to join the discussion, and these historic mother-daughter alumnae now epitomize the Law School’s graduates. We were conscious not to pre-identify classmates whose gender transitions and sexual reorientations had occurred, but were more willing to embrace these personal odysseys as part of our collective experience, noted Steve Weiner, a co-chair of the Reunion Committee.
Out of this meeting came some recommendations that were at least as noble, say, civil, as you would expect from this meeting, such as Richard Ober’s proposal of universal service and Michael Gross’s plea for still more attention for Native Americans by way of personal commitment. There was a unanimous sense that these exchanges continue in diverse ways for the duration, and that we regroup in 2023, for our 55th, and take another measure of these times.
Joan Andersson remembered from the reunion discussion, “In our Saturday class discussion, Junius Williams told us that in all three years of law school he had never once been called on in class.” She also reports, “My husband and I are currently living bi-coastally in Woodstock, NY, spring summer and fall and in Topanga, CA, during the winter. Both our kids and their families live on the east coast, and we wanted to be as close to our three grandsons as possible.”
Michael Gross wrote, “I enjoyed last week’s reunion very much, especially our class discussion, which lasted a full two hours. Fascinating, primarily because it spontaneously focused on social issues. The views of our black classmates were especially provocative, as was the extended discussion about women at YLS and their rapid climb in numbers since the five who were our classmates with about half the school now female, including our new dean. And then the discussion of progress in gay rights in our school and increasingly in our society. I now understand even better than I did the credit our law school deserves for putting social issues front and center in the pantheon of legal practice. The weekend made me even more proud of our school and our classmates.”
Ham Osborne writes, “I greatly enjoyed our 50th Reunion and wished that it had lasted longer so that I could have spoken with everyone who attended. Many thanks to the members of our reunion committee, Joan Anders-son, Stan Sanders, Chuck Stark, and Steve Weiner, for assisting in planning and implementing a wonderful weekend. The class discussion on Saturday afternoon was, I understand, an innovation they proposed, and I thought that it was very successful. I remained in New Haven until midday Mon-day in order to attend the class brunch on Sunday, and I am glad that I did. The brunch, like all the other events, was a pleasure and gave me one final opportunity to interact with classmates. I returned to my home late Monday afternoon and for the next two days found myself experiencing reunion withdrawal symptoms. I missed my YLS classmates and wished that we could reconvene for another weekend. I am already looking forward to our 55th Reunion.”
Mike Parish agrees about the program: “It was a great event, one of the best I’ve been to at YLS, and Jim and Joan should be congratulated until our gums collectively bleed, as should the organizers of our wonderful two-hour colloquium about the difference between 50 years ago versus now. I believe it could properly be summed up as ‘Not as much as we might have wanted, then and now.’ But the whole event was a truly great pleasure to be a part of, and thanks to you for your part, then and in years past and years to come. This is more flowery than I usually get, but you can quote me anyway.” Mike shared an anecdote about Richard Neely ’67, who aspired to become, and later became, Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court. Mike remembers that in law school, “He described the process of election that this ambition involved, which was learning to dance to fiddle music at family reunions and speaking in short sentences not containing long words. In a Property course with Dean Pollak, the dean asked early in the term whether anyone knew what a mortgage was, Neely’s hand shot up and he was promptly called on. You will recall that he always wore a shirt and tie, often along with a corduroy vest with brass buttons and a relatively new tweed jacket. Neely thereupon launched into a disquisition of considerable extent, including the derivation of the term, from the Old French and relating to the gage (debt) becoming mort (dead) when paid off and thumbnails of the various types of purchase money, chattel, and similarly named documents included under that rubric. Dean Pollak listened peacefully for two or three minutes as his mouth slowly opened and his eyes became somewhat glazed. Then a voice, I would argue for Jeff Greenfield ’67, sounded out, ‘Don’t worry Dean. He didn’t learn it here — he’s a transfer student from UVA.’”
Mike continued that he was not sharing personal information this time because, “I just got the word from the dean’s office that her newly adopted rules for reunions preclude discussion of grandchildren, memory loss, joint replacement, weight loss or gain, and American politics. Please pass this on.”
He is joking. Send me all you can about your trials and joys.
Jack Carley wrote the reunion commit-tee, “Before the memory fades, I want to thank each of you for organizing our 50th Reunion celebration. I know each of you will say ‘I really did not do that much,’ but what you did do made the difference even if you don’t think so. Fifty years is a long time and a milestone of which to be proud, and this reunion met all my expectations. It was good to see class-mates once again, and I thank you for helping to make the weekend so memorable for both me and my wife Pia who now knows why Yale Law School was such an important part of my life. See you at the 55th!” Stan Sanders responded, thanking Jack and concluding, “BTW, the consensus is you should switch party tents; as late in the game as it is, it’s never too late for God, country, and Yale.”
Alan Ziegler ’72 writes, “I hadn’t known that Junius Williams selective ser-vice classification was 4F, which meant his vehement early opposition to the Vietnam War was not driven by the self-interest of survival like so many others at a time when it was not obvious that the U.S. involvement would be disastrous, I was also impressed by the articulateness of the opening remarks of Ham Osborne in our class discussion, that in fluency and duration reminded me of the Bruce Ackerman ’67 of our Law School days.”