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Tribute to John Sexton, 60 Annual Survey of American Law 123 (2004)

Abstract

Like many of you, I consider John Sexton to be one of the greatest teachers I've ever had. The irony, of course, is that he taught me in a classroom only three times, when I was a first-year student in Arthur Miller's Civil Procedure Class at Harvard Law School more than a quarter century ago. Then, as now, Arthur Miller was one of the most spellbinding teachers in the legal academy, so it was with bemusement that his devoted first-years watched this bearded Paul Bunyan of a man come to substitute teach. Someone whispered that he had been a divinity student. Another claimed he had turned the pigtailed St. Brendan's girls into the high school debate champs of New York. Yet another said John had dueled with Larry Tribe in the National Collegiate Debate Championships. As it turned out, all of them were right. But within seconds, we forgot John's past as he captured us in his spell, a spell that captivates me still. John spent three classes making the bland subject of joinder unforgettable, while sucking down gallons of coffee, and telling an endless stream of stories in that unmistakable Brooklyn accent.

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2004

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