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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Posthumous naming rights

Having ended our blogging shiva, I was struck by the question of what to write about to start. It seems odd to go right back to complaining about courts conflating jurisdiction and merits or fans being tossed out of ballparks. I will write a tribute, hopefully as part of a broader on-line celebration. Fortunately, I found something that combines academics, memorials, a bit of humor, and a lot of WTF.

My wife's father was a well-known academic oncologist, who spent his career on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Med School and headed the oncology center there. The tributes that have followed Dan's tragic death echo those that we heard when my father-in-law died in 2007: passionate, energetic, committed, humble, effective leader, supportive and encouraging of junior colleagues.

Last weekend, while whiling time at SEALS, Jen googled her dad. And she discovered the Martin D. Abeloff Laboratory Cancer Research Center in Tbilisi, Georgia (if you read Georgian, let me know what it says). Who knew? It seemed like a nice honor, and JHU did enough internationally that it made some sense; we figured Jen's mother just never mentioned it. Well, it turns out my mother-in-law knew nothing about it, so she called someone at Hopkins. And that person called lawyers, pointing out that no one authorized this or knows anything about this place or what they do--so neither JHU nor the family should want his name attached without knowing more. We will have to keep checking in on these sites and see if/when they remove his name.

And to bring it around to the present: Let this serve as a lesson to any law school that tries to call itself the Dan Markel College of Law.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 6, 2014 at 09:31 AM | Permalink


I wonder if Thomas Jefferson's family was consulted about the law school in San Diego named after him. There is also the Abraham Lincoln Law School in California. Was Thomas Cooley's family consulted about the law school named after him in Michigan?

Posted by: Blahblah | Aug 9, 2014 10:44:36 AM

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