TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Death of Dick Speidel

SpeidelriRichard Speidel (San Diego) died on September 6 at the age of 75 after a long bout with cancer.  From the San Diego press release:

As one colleague put it, Dick was “a towering figure in the field of contracts,” one of the leading scholars of his generation. He was also one of the nation’s leading experts on arbitration. He authored numerous influential books and articles, and he also played a central role in several law reform projects related to his field.

Dick began making annual, one-semester visits to the University of San Diego in the spring 2000 semester, and he became a member of our tenured faculty in 2006, holding a half-time appointment. Dick joined the Northwestern Law School faculty in 1980, and in 1987 became the Beatrice Kuhn Professor of Law at Northwestern. Prior to his time at Northwestern, Dick had been the Grace N. and Henry L. Doherty Professor of Law at the University of Virginia and the dean of the Boston University School of Law.

Dick earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1957 and was an influential member of our Board of Visitors for many years.

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I had Professor Speidel at UVA Law and he was great. He did nail me in the first year class, the details of which I will spare the reader. I learned a good lesson that really did not set in until the third year when I again took a course from him and was then always prepared. He was very good.

Posted by: Jack Townsend | Sep 9, 2008 6:19:23 PM

Professor Speidel was my first year contracts professor at Northwestern in the early 1980's. He challenged the class to learn the relationship between contracts and torts, in addition to the usual contract law. Prof. Speidel was an excellent teacher, forcing us to learn the material without resorting to berating students like a few other professors. Prof. Speidel's contract case book is the only law school book that I retained because Prof. Speidel's contract class was my fond introduction to legal reasoning.

Posted by: Ron Dickel | Sep 12, 2008 11:29:35 AM