In Memoriam Professor Marty Gardner

Publication year2021
CitationVol. 99

99 Nebraska L. Rev. 8. In Memoriam Professor Marty Gardner

In Memoriam Professor Marty Gardner

Richard Moberly [*]

Professor Martin ("Marty") Gardner loved teaching. I use the term "teaching" in both its everyday meaning-the act of teaching students-as well as the larger, broader use involving the entire enterprise of teaching. Marty loved not only teaching, but everything about being a teacher in a modern law school, which of course requires not only the ability to stand in front of a classroom, but also a dedication to scholarship and a willingness to build the institution of the law school itself. That said, although Marty excelled at the broader responsibilities of this enterprise throughout his 47-year career, what I will remember most about Marty was his pure love of the act of teach-ing-of having an impact on the way a student looked at and thought about the complex world in which we find ourselves.

This focus on his impact on students should not diminish Marty's work on the other aspects of that broader enterprise of teaching, of being a law professor. Although I will leave claims about his scholarship to others who know more about criminal and juvenile law, it is clear that he wrote well and often. Just perusing his list of publications demonstrates the breadth of his research and the success of his writing. He published multiple editions of nationally published case books on criminal law [1] and juvenile law [2] He wrote dozens of articles on a range of topics, including the death penalty, [3] criminal sanctions, [4]


expert testimony, [5] search and seizure law, [6] prisoner rights, [7] the rights of juvenile offenders, [8] and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. [9] These articles appeared in numerous well-regarded journals, including Northwestern Law Review, [10] Vanderbilt Law Review, [11] BYU Law Review, [12] American Criminal Law Review, [13] Ohio State Law Journal, [14] Wisconsin Law Review, [15] and of course several in our own Nebraska Law Review [16] At a time when few, if any, law professors received research grants, in 1987 Marty and another professor were


awarded $400,000 to study juror reaction to "guilty but mentally ill" verdicts. [17]

Moreover, Marty was a consistent and positive citizen of the law school community, qualities that I grew to truly appreciate when I became dean a few years ago and looked to senior faculty members like Marty to provide a sense of camaraderie and project an institution-building ethos. For years he had recruited students to Nebraska from his home state of Utah and developed a tremendous pipeline to the law school. He returned every year to recruit more and then helped those students find a new home in the Cornhusker State. As one article noted in 2006, Marty helped grow the population of Utahans from just a handful to well over thirty through his personal efforts. [18] In typical Marty fashion, he denied playing much of a role in bringing students to the law school; however, as one student noted in the article, "I wouldn't be here if it were not for him." [19]

Marty also recognized that the faculty played a crucial role in the operations of the law school. I will never forget, and always appreciate, an interaction I had with him when I became our interim dean in 2016. Our ABA accreditation review was imminent and I needed a faculty committee to write the required self-study. Given that I had just taken on the interim job, I hoped to have a senior faculty member lead the effort and I asked Marty to chair the committee. No one wants to do this job, especially someone in their fifth decade of teaching-it is time-consuming, under-appreciated, and detailed. Marty, ever the good citizen, never hesitated before fully committing to the effort. (Marty and the committee did a great job by the way-we flew through the accreditation process on the backs of their efforts!) I needed support from people like Marty, and he knew how important the process was-not only for accreditation (which was all but assured) but also for helping the College engage in a serious...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT