2006 Archive

Caleb Foote, Leading Family and Criminal Law Scholar, Dies at Age 88

Caleb Foote, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law, Emeritus, passed away in Santa Rosa, California, last week following a brief hospital stay. He was 89.

“He was one of the nation’s preeminent scholars and teachers in both family law and criminal law,” said Dean Christopher Edley in a message to the Boalt community.

Foote joined the Boalt faculty in 1965, specializing in criminal justice and constitutional law issues until his retirement in 1987. He was a prominent advocate for bail reform, and was widely recognized for his 1966 book Studies on Bail. Foote was also the author of a leading casebook on family law and wrote The Culture of the University: Governance and Education, a report of the Student-Faculty Study Commission on University Governance, on which he served as co-chair. In 1983, Foote received the prestigious UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award for teaching excellence.

Born and raised in New England, Foote earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1939 and a master’s in economics from Columbia University two years later. Foote’s interest in law grew out of his experience as a conscientious objector during World War II. Foote received an LL.B. in 1950 from the University of Pennsylvania, and began his teaching career as an associate law professor at the University of Nebraska. Foote returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 1956 as a professor of law and worked there for nine years prior to coming to Boalt.

Foote is survived by his wife, Hope, and their five children, Robert, Heather, Andrew, Ethan and David. He spent his final years in the Point Reyes area of California.