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I first met Fritz Kessler in the Spring of 1983, under somewhat unusual circumstances. When Grant Gilmore died the year before, he was at work with Fritz on a third edition of their contracts casebook. Or perhaps I should say that Fritz was at work, for as things turned out, he had nearly finished his half of the job, but Grant's was barely started. Rick Heuser, the head of the law division at Little, Brown, called and asked if I would be interested in taking over Grant's part of the project. Grant Gilmore had been my teacher and adviser and champion and friend. My feelings toward him bordered on awe. The invitation to take his place on the casebook was irresistible. But what did my coeditor think? Fritz and Grant had been close friends, and I felt like an intruder. I had never met Fritz in person. Rick Heuser assured me that he had spoken with Fritz and that Fritz welcomed my participation. Still, I thought that if Fritz and I were going to collaborate (how presumptuous that word seemed!), we ought to meet face-to-face. And so, a month later, I flew to California and spent a few days with Fritz in Berkeley. We talked, in his office and at his home, about contracts and much else besides. With a warmth and generosity that all Fritz's students will recognize as the essence of the man, my learned and distinguished coeditor invited his very junior partner into a friendship that I have cherished ever since.
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