David C. Tolley


On October 15, 2004, more than one hundred and twenty people convened at the Yale Law School for what has come to be known as "Jay Katz Day." Many of them former students of Dr. Katz's, they came from as far as Geneva and California, and from as near as their offices down the halls of the law school. It was a day of celebration and reflection on what Harold Koh, Dean of the Yale Law School, called "the healing wisdom of Jay Katz." It was also a day of great anticipation.

I had the privilege of serving as the primary coordinator for this conference, and I was in dialogue with Dr. Katz from the beginning-"What are you planning?" he often wanted to know. "Who will be there? What are the topics?" For many weeks through the spring and summer of 2004, Dr. Katz and I spoke often about how much he was looking forward to this great event. Besides the many scholars we invited, I sent more than one hundred invitations to friends and family of the Katz's.

However, two weeks prior to the symposium, Dr. Katz fell ill with a serious respiratory infection. He spent the better part of those two weeks in a Boston hospital. Knowing that he had been discharged from the hospital on the afternoon of the October 14th - the day before the conference was to begin - we all hoped that he would be able to attend, but we were unsure. I met a friend of the Katz's, a gentleman who had been taking care of their New Haven home while Dr. Katz and his wife were in Boston, at 7:30 a.m. on Wall Street behind the law school. He and I carried Dr. Katz's recliner into the conference hall in hopes that he would be able to be with us.