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PHOTOS, VIDEOS ONLINE - Alumni Weekend 2012—Entertainment and the Law—Featured a Supreme Court Justice, a Great American Lawyer, and a Milestone Birthday


Alumni Weekend 2012 was uniquely memorable for a variety of reasons, among them the appearance of a distinguished Supreme Court Justice, the 80th birthday celebration of a beloved former dean, and the presentation of the Yale Law School Award of Merit to one of the country’s top litigators.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at the Law School to deliver the inaugural Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights. A panel discussion of “Equality’s Frontiers” on Friday, Oct. 19, celebrated Justice Ginsburg’s pioneering work in support of gender equality, and the Justice later took part in a conversation with Linda Greenhouse ’78 MSL before a packed audience at Battell Chapel. Both events were streamed live and are available for viewing on the Yale University and Yale Law School LiveStream channels.

Panel discussions Saturday morning related to the theme of Alumni Weekend 2012, “Entertainment and the Law,” and included the topics, “Streaming and Beaming: Entertainment Where and When You Want It”; “Many Voices, Many Eyes: The Promises and Pitfalls of Social Networks”; “Yours, Mine and Ours: Ownership of Cultural Capital”; and “In the Legal Zone: Hot Topics in Sports Law.” On Saturday afternoon, voting expert Heather Gerken, J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, presented “Countdown to Election 2012: A Last Minute Assessment.”

Other highlights included Friday night’s All Alumni reception and dinner and the ever popular Breakfast Connections on Saturday morning, which matches alums and students with similar interests and allows them to connect and share ideas over a meal. 

The luncheon on Saturday offered up a series of special moments – beginning with Dean Robert Post’s '77 presentation of the Yale Law School Award of Merit to David Boies ’66, a legendary American lawyer known as much for his gentleness and humility as for his immense talent and success in such high-profile cases as the U.S. government’s antitrust proceedings against Microsoft. Among his many other landmark litigation victories over several decades, Boies successfully defended CBS in a libel suit filed by General William Westmoreland; he represented the FDIC against Michael Milken; Westinghouse in a lawsuit with the Philippines over a nuclear power plant; and the New York Yankees in its disputes with Major League Baseball over revenue sharing and trademarks.

“In all these cases,” said Dean Post, “David displayed his incredible strategic mind, encyclopedic memory, and easy-going, unassuming demeanor. As one client remarked, ‘He’s deceptively wise because it doesn’t come in some slick package. He’s a truly brilliant thinker who’s highly intelligent and yet humble and gracious and very human.’”

Read Dean Post’s complete remarks about David Boies here.

The Award of Merit presentation was followed by moving tributes to two Yale Law School legal luminaries who passed away during the previous year – Louis Pollak ’48, honored in comments by Sterling Professor of Law Tony Kronman '75, and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach ’47, honored by Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law Reva Siegel.

The luncheon ended on a joyous note – the celebration of the 80th birthday of Judge Guido Calabresi ’58, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and dean of the Law School from 1985 to 1994. It began with a touching 10-minute video honoring Calabresi, followed by the extraordinary singing, in Italian, of “Happy Birthday” by YLS student Diego Matamoros ’15.

Photos of these and many other Alumni Weekend 2012 activities, as well as videos of the panel discussions and the Guido Calabresi tribute, will be available soon on the Alumni Weekend website. And mark your calendars now for Alumni Weekend 2013, scheduled for Oct. 4-6, 2013.