January 20, 2015

In Memoriam: Henry G. Manne (1928-2015)

Professor Henry Butler at George Mason kindly shared this obituary:

Henry Girard Manne died on January 17, 2015 at the age of 86. A towering figure in legal education, Manne was one of the founders of the Law and Economics movement, the 20th century’s most important and influential legal academic discipline.

Manne is survived by his wife, Bobbie Manne; his children, Emily and Geoffrey Manne; two grandchildren, Annabelle and Lily Manne; and two nephews, Neal and Burton Manne. He was preceded in death by his parents, Geoffrey and Eva Manne, and his brother, Richard Manne. 

Henry Manne was born on May 10, 1928, in New Orleans. The son of merchant parents, he was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He attended Central High School in Memphis, and graduated with a BA in economics from Vanderbilt University in 1950. Manne received a JD from the University of Chicago in 1952, and a doctorate in law (SJD) from Yale University in 1966. He also held honorary degrees from Seattle University, Universidad Francesco Marroquin in Guatemala and George Mason University. 

Following law school Manne served in the Air Force JAG Corps, stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He practiced law briefly in Chicago before beginning his teaching career at St. Louis University in 1956. In subsequent years he also taught at the University of Wisconsin, George Washington University, the University of Rochester, Stanford University, the University of Miami, Emory University, George Mason University, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

Throughout his career Henry Manne ’s writings originated, developed or anticipated an extraordinary range of ideas and themes that have animated the past forty years of law and economics scholarship. For his work, Manne was named a Life Member of the American Law and Economics Association and, along with Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase, and federal appeals court judges Richard Posner and Guido Calabresi, one of the four Founders of Law and Economics.

In the 1950s and 60s Manne pioneered the application of economic principles to the study of corporations and corporate law, authoring seminal articles that transformed the field. His article, “Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control,” published in 1965, is credited with opening the field of corporate law to economic analysis and with anticipating what has come to be known as the Efficient Market Hypothesis (for which economist Eugene Fama was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2013). Manne’s 1966 book, Insider Trading and the Stock Market was the first scholarly work to challenge the logic of insider trading laws, and remains the most influential book on the subject today.

In 1968 Manne moved to the University of Rochester with the aim of starting a new law school. Manne anticipated many of the current criticisms that have been aimed at legal education in recent years, and proposed a law school that would provide rigorous training in the economic analysis of law as well as specialized training in specific areas of law that would prepare graduates for practice immediately out of law school. Manne’s proposal for a new law school, however, drew the ire of incumbent law schools in upstate New York, which lobbied against accreditation of the new program.

While at Rochester, in 1971, Manne created the “Economics Institute for Law Professors,” in which, for the first time, law professors were offered intensive instruction in microeconomics with the aim of incorporating economics into legal analysis and theory. The Economics Institute was later moved to the University of Miami when Manne founded the Law &Economics Center there in 1974. While at Miami, Manne also began the John M. Olin Fellows Program in Law and Economics, which provided generous scholarships for professional economists to earn a law degree. That program (and its subsequent iterations) has gone on to produce dozens of professors of law and economics, as well as leading lawyers and influential government officials.

The creation of the Law & Economics Center (which subsequently moved to Emory University and then to George Mason Law School, where it continues today), was one of the foundational events in the Law and Economics Movement. Of particular importance to the development of US jurisprudence, its offerings were expanded to include economics courses for federal judges. At its peak a third of the federal bench and four members of the Supreme Court had attended at least one of its programs, and every major law school in the country today counts at least one law and economics scholar among its faculty. Nearly every legal field has been influenced by its scholarship and teaching.

When Manne became Dean of George Mason Law School in Arlington, Virginia, in 1986, he finally had the opportunity to implement the ideas he had originally developed at Rochester. Manne’s move to George Mason united him with economist James Buchanan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1986 for his path-breaking work in the field of Public Choice economics, and turned George Mason University into a global leader in law and economics. His tenure as dean of George Mason, where he served as dean until 1997 and George Mason University Foundation Professor until 1999, transformed legal education by integrating a rigorous economic curriculum into the law school, and he remade George Mason Law School into one of the most important law schools in the country. The school’s Henry G. Manne Moot Court Competition for Law & Economics and the Henry G. Manne Program in Law and Economics Studies are named for him.

Manne was celebrated for his independence of mind and respect for sound reasoning and intellectual rigor, instead of academic pedigree. Soon after he left Rochester to start the Law and Economics Center, he received a call from Yale faculty member Ralph Winter (who later became a celebrated judge on the United States Court of Appeals) offering Manne a faculty position. As he recounted in an interview several years later, Manne told Winter, “Ralph, you’re two weeks and five years too late.” When Winter asked Manne what he meant, Manne responded, “Well, two weeks ago, I agreed that I would start this new center on law and economics.” When Winter asked, “And five years?” Manne responded, “And you’re five years too late for me to give a damn.”

The academic establishment’s slow and skeptical response to the ideas of law and economics eventually persuaded Manne that reform of legal education was unlikely to come from within the established order and that it would be necessary to challenge the established order from without. Upon assuming the helm at George Mason, Dean Manne immediately drew to the school faculty members laboring at less-celebrated law schools whom Manne had identified through his economics training seminars for law professors, including several alumni of his Olin Fellows programs. Today the law school is recognized as one of the world’s leading centers of law and economics.

Throughout his career, Manne was an outspoken champion of free markets and liberty. His intellectual heroes and intellectual peers were classical liberal economists like Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig Mises, Armen Alchian and Harold Demsetz, and these scholars deeply influenced his thinking. As economist Donald Boudreax said of Dean Manne, “I think what Henry saw in Alchian – and what Henry’s own admirers saw in Henry – was the reality that each unfailingly understood that competition in human affairs is an intrepid force…”

In his teaching, his academic writing, his frequent op-eds and essays, and his work with organizations like the Cato Institute, the Liberty Fund, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Mont Pelerin Society, among others, Manne advocated tirelessly for a clearer understanding of the power of markets and competition and the importance of limited government and economically sensible regulation. 

After leaving George Mason in 1999, Manne remained an active scholar and commenter on public affairs as a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal. He continued to provide novel insights on corporate law, securities law, and the reform of legal education. Following his retirement Manne became a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ave Maria Law School in Naples, Florida. The Liberty Fund, of Indianapolis, Indiana, recently published The Collected Works of Henry G. Manne in three volumes.

For some, perhaps more than for all of his intellectual accomplishments Manne will be remembered as a generous bon vivant who reveled in the company of family and friends. He was an avid golfer (who never scheduled a conference far from a top-notch golf course), a curious traveler,  a student of culture, a passionate eater (especially of ice cream and Peruvian rotisserie chicken from El Pollo Rico restaurant in Arlington, Virginia), and a gregarious debater (who rarely suffered fools gladly). As economist Peter Klein aptly remarked: “He was a charming companion and correspondent — clever, witty, erudite, and a great social and cultural critic, especially of the strange world of academia, where he plied his trade for five decades but always as a slight outsider.”

Scholar, intellectual leader, champion of individual liberty and free markets, and builder of a great law school—Manne’s influence on law and legal education in the Twentieth Century may be unrivaled. Today, the institutions he built and the intellectual movement he led continue to thrive and to draw sustenance from his intellect and imagination.

There will be a memorial service at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia on Friday, February 13, at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in his honor to the Law & Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201 or online at www.masonlec.org.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 20, 2015 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

December 23, 2014

In Memoriam: Jeremy Blumenthal

Professor Jeremy Blumenthal of Syracuse University School of Law passed away last week.  He was young and still early in a very productive career.  

Posted by Dan Filler on December 23, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

December 06, 2014

In Memoriam: Warren Schwartz (1931-2014)

An early pioneer in law and economics, Professor Schwartz taught at the University of Texas and the University of Virginia, before joining the faculty at Georgetown  University in 1979, where he spent the remainder of his career and where he was Professor Emeritus.  I will add links to memorial notices as they appear.

(Thanks to Abe Wickelgren for the information.)

UPDATE:  The Georgetown memorial notice.

UPDATE:  My colleague Lisa Bernstein writes:

Many years ago when I had the honor of teaching with Warren Schwartz at the Georgetown University School of Law, he would routinely ask me to tell him what I would say at his funeral. I would begin (for this was our ritual), "At every workshop he ever attended Warren asked the question that got to the heart of the matter." At that point he would put up his hand and say, "okay, Lisa, now turn it over to Avery (Katz), to say something pleasing and polite."  And so we would leave it. Warren was part of a rare breed of colleague who would love you, criticize you, take you dress shopping, and needle you. Indeed,
in my years since leaving Georgetown I have had many colleagues who provided some of the collegial qualities Warren exhibited, but none that had his unique mix, all tied up in a bow of humor, fire in the belly and love for the good of the profession. I will miss him greatly, as will many who knew him well. His contributions both scholarly and personal should inspire us all.

Comments are open for other remembrances, since it's clear Professor Schwartz made a deep impression on many people.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 6, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink | Comments (7)

November 29, 2014

In Memoriam: Jean Braucher (1950-2014)

Henderson Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, Professor Braucher was a leading scholar in the areas of contracts, bankruptcy and commercial law.  There is a memorial notice here.

(Thanks to Keith Rowley for the pointer.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 29, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

October 13, 2014

In Memoriam: David Siegel

Emeritus Professor David Siegel of Albany Law School passed away last week.  He was 82.  Siegel joined the Albany faculty in 1972 and retired in 2007.

Posted by Dan Filler on October 13, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

September 30, 2014

In Memoriam: William Quirk

Professor William Quirk, a senior member of the University of South Carolina Law faculty, died last week.  He was 80.  Quirk joined the USC Law faculty in 1970 and was the law school's most senior active faculty member.

Posted by Dan Filler on September 30, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

September 05, 2014

In Memoriam: Sanford Kadish (1921-2014)

A giant in the field of criminal law, Professor Kadish spent most of his career on the law faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.  I will post links to memorial notices when they appear.

UPDATE:  Berkeley's memorial notice.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 5, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

July 29, 2014

In Memoriam: Cheryl Hanna (1966-2014)

A scholar of legal issues related to gender, she was professor at Vermont Law School, well-known in Vermont and elsewhere for her public commentary on legal issues.  There is an informative news item about her career here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on July 29, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

July 26, 2014

More on the murder of Dan Markel

An unusually informative piece from a Miami newspaper, with new (to me) details about the murder and his acrimonious divorce.  This bit, however, was rather surprising:

But Markel also had critics, including some conservative bloggers and law-school skeptics who complained PrawfsBlawg failed to challenge the legal establishment.

In 2012, Markel was the subject of an anonymous comment on the blog Inside the Law School Scam.

“Bullies like this need to be made radioactive,” the writer said, alleging Markel had deleted anonymous comments on PrawfsBlawg. “Their arrogance and imperiousness speaks for itself. All means necessary must be employed.”

A Florida State spokeswoman declined to say whether  Markel had reported the incident to the university or had raised concerns about his safety.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/25/4255588/the-shooting-death-of-a-well-known.html#storylink=cpy

That comment comes, of course, from the blog of Crazy Campos, who certainly did his best to incite hatred and calumny against many academics, including Dan Markel.  But it seems a stretch to connect this blog comment with the heinous crime!  One wonders how the reporter dug this up out of the bowels of cyberspace?

UPDATE:  More gruesome details:  the killer was waiting for him, shot him through the window of his car while he was talking on the phone.  Earlier reports that he knew the killer seem to have been mistaken.

Posted by Brian Leiter on July 26, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

July 19, 2014

In Memoriam: Dan Markel (1972-2014)

I am very sorry to report the horrible news that Professor Markel, a well-known criminal law scholar and theorist at Florida State, has died, apparently murdered during an attempted robbery of his home in Tallahassee on Friday.  (The details are unclear at this point, I will post more as soon as I know more.)

UPDATE:  This news item confirms that he was shot and died of the gunshot wound.  The circumstances of the shooting and the perpetrator remain unspecified.

ANOTHER:  From what colleagues at FSU tell me, Prof. Markel was murdered after opening the door of his home, though whether as part of a robbery or something else is unclear.  It's just ghastly.

AND ANOTHER:  His colleagues at PrawfsBlog have posted a memorial notice, and the thread is open for remembrances and condolences.

MORE:  Local police have confirmed they are investigating the crime as a homicide, without any mention of robbery, attempted or otherwise.

JULY 21:  Local police now confirm that Prof. Markel's murder was "targetted," not a random act of violence.  I would imagine there are a rather limited number of people with the requisite motive, so we may hope a perpetrator of this heinous crime will be apprehended soon.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  I did not know Dan Markel nearly as well as many others who have written movingly about him (see, e.g., here, and here and here).  We met a couple of times, I knew a bit about his criminal law scholarship, and we corresponded periodically, often about legal academia and "blog stuff."  One thing I always liked about Dan was his forthright manner and his ethical standards, so rare in the blogosphere.  During his years of running the successful Prawfs blog, he was always good about moderating comments and deleting nonsense, and never hesitated to identify, expose and, if necessary, ban cyber-miscreants; he succeeded in making Prawfs a place where a serious, adult discussion could actually sometimes take place in cyberspace!  He was feisty and principled, and admirably so (I felt that way even when I disagreed with the principles!).  In addition to his collegial and scholarly constrributions (to which the many on-line testimonials attest), he also made the "blawgosphere" a better and more interesting place.  Like so many others, I deeply regret his passing and extend my deepest condolences to his colleagues, his family and his many close friends.

AND MORE:  The FSU memorial notice is here.

A FINAL UPDATE:  Based on the latest reports from police, it is clear that Prof. Markel was the victim of a pre-meditated murder.  Who was behind it is still unknown, but I suspect there is quite a lot that is not yet known.

Posted by Brian Leiter on July 19, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink