2006 Archive

Boalt Conference Honors Work of Federal Courts Scholar Paul Mishkin

Dozens of the country's leading scholars and practitioners of constitutional and federal courts law gathered on October 27 to honor Paul J. Mishkin, the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law Emeritus, at a conference devoted to examining his ideas and life's work. Participants, many of them Mishkin's students, joined in a broad look at multiple substantive and procedural aspects of federal courts law, from U.S. Supreme Court decision-making to class actions and protective jurisdiction.

The event drew on the work of Mishkin, who joined the Boalt faculty in 1973 after 22 years of teaching law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During his career, Mishkin has participated in a wide range of constitutional litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court, including acting as special counsel for the Regents of the University of California in the Bakke case. He is coauthor of two books, On Law in Courts and The Federal Courts and the Federal System.

"Paul Mishkin's enormous influence on the subject of the jurisdiction and role of federal courts in the United States involves much more than being one of his generation's small handful of leading scholars," observed Boalt Professor Jesse Choper. "The conference just held in his honor was attended by a large percentage of the major figures in the field today. Many were Paul's former students…Paul was my teacher and mentor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School before he was enticed to come to Berkeley. Without question, he had the most profound effect on my intellectual approach to law. "

Echoing those sentiments, Boalt Professor John Yoo, who helped organize the two-day symposium, said, "Paul Mishkin is a giant in the law, and a giant at Boalt."