Remembering Marty Gardner

Publication year2021
CitationVol. 99

99 Nebraska L. Rev. 6. Remembering Marty Gardner


Remembering Marty Gardner


Richard G. Singer [*]


Collaborations can often be difficult so when Matthew Bender suggested that Marty Gardner and I coauthor a text book about criminal law, I was a bit leery. I had read Marty's writings, and knew that we shared an interest in the "just deserts" approach to criminal law. As it so happened, we had each been working on producing "supplements" to the case books we were using, and had separately approached MB about a book. MB suggested-no surprise-a joint work, introducing more materials on "just deserts" and the "excuse-justification" distinction than most case books then used. Ironically, while Marty and I had both begun our teaching careers at the University of Alabama, I had already left by the time he arrived, and we had never met. Because it is not unknown for academics to hold strong, even rigid, convictions, and to fight even after victory on an issue, it was with some trepidation that we held our first phone call. That one phone call (the days of email, much less Skype, etc., were far in the future) quelled those concerns. Marty was easy-going, gregarious, and authentically collegial. This was going to be not merely a fulfilling, but a fun, project. And so it proved over nearly twenty years.

Phone calls facilitated much of the work on the book. But before the final manuscript could be submitted, it was clear that we needed a prolonged session to iron out whatever differences had proved intractable over the phone, and to allow us to see, jointly, the pages to which we were referring. So Marty flew east, and we spent several days together, mostly at the dining room table, trudging amicably, page after laborious page, through our drafts. Marty's good grace, sense of humor, and ineffable gentility lightened the load. His insights into cases, and his common sense in selecting and editing material without a hint of ownership, made the entire experience a delight when it otherwise might have been a toil.

Somewhere between...

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