Emory Law Journal

Volume 61Issue : Special
In Memoriam: David J. Bederman


Lorre Barbara Cuzze, Esq | 61 Emory L.J. 945 (2012)

David Jeremy Bederman was intellectually fearless. His boundless intellect, however, was distinguished by his compassion, imagination, rigor, humor, and the wisdom of the ages. In announcing David’s death to the members of the American Society of International Law, Professor David Caron wrote, “In the law, David was a giant, a person seen once in a generation.” And, so he was.

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The Bederman Lecture on Law and Jurisprudence: Public Law & Custom

David J. Bederman | 61 Emory L.J. 949 (2012)

Law professors love puzzles. Give us a legal doctrine that does not make sense, or appears counterintuitive, or does not appear to comport with some methodological assumption, and we can spend months (if not years) plumbing its depths and producing reams of paper in exploring its contours. The good news today is that my exegesis shall be limited to the length of this lecture. Let me first set out the character of the puzzle and see if I cannot solve it in the time allotted.

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The Harold J. Berman Lecture: Religious Freedom—A Second-Class Right?

Mary Ann Glendon | 61 Emory L.J. 971 (2012)

Although the Bill of Rights does not establish a hierarchy among the values it seeks to protect, Supreme Court decisions over time have classified certain rights as essential to a fundamental scheme of ordered liberty. The prominent place of the First Amendment’s provisions protecting religious freedom on this “Honor Roll of Superior Rights” has seldom been openly challenged.

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Christianity’s Mixed Contributions to Children’s Rights: Traditional Teachings, Modern Doubts

John Witte, Jr., Don S. Browning | 61 Emory L.J. 991 (2012)

(CRC) is a landmark in the modern international protection of children’s rights. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, its fifty-four articles and two Optional Protocols set out a lengthy catalogue of rights for children. The CRC bans all discrimination against children, including on grounds of their birth status. It provides children with rights to life; to a name, a social identity, and the care and nurture of both parents; to education, health care, recreation, rest, and play; to freedom of association, expression, thought, conscience, and religion; and to freedom from neglect or negligent treatment, from physical and sexual abuse, from cruel and inhumane treatment, and from compulsory military service.

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A Man in Full

Robert B. Ahdieh | 61 Emory L.J. 1015 (2012)

More than a decade ago, when I shared with friends and colleagues that I was leaving Washington for a faculty position at Emory, many advised me to read Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full for its insights into the character of my newly adopted home. And I dutifully did so. Looking back, though, I ended up learning far more about character (and even Atlanta) from the “man in full” I was honored to work alongside than I did from that reading.

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David Bederman, Model Law Professor

Thomas C. Arthur | 61 Emory L.J. 1017 (2012)

It is an honor and privilege to contribute to this Issue of the Emory Law Journal remembering my longtime friend and colleague, David Bederman. It is right that we should do so, for David was the model law professor, excelling as an advocate, scholar, teacher, colleague, and friend. He set the standard for all of us.

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Teacher, Advocate, Friend: Remembering David Bederman

Anthony M. Balloon, Christopher C. Bly, Rachel King Powell | 61 Emory L.J. 1021 (2012)

David Bederman was a superb teacher, a skilled advocate, and a gracious human being. The three of us saw each of these qualities firsthand when Professor Bederman invited us to work with him on a case he argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, Lapides v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, while we were third-year law students.

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A Mentor for the Ages

Kedar S. Bhatia | 61 Emory L.J. 1025 (2012)

I met Professor Bederman for the first time on my very first day of law school. The story actually begins a few days earlier, when I spoke to a handful of professors and administrators about the possibility of starting a Supreme Court litigation project at Emory Law School. The idea was barely half-baked at the time, but those with knowledge of the law school all gave me a seemingly simple piece of advice: “You're going to want to speak to David about this.”

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Laurie R. Blank | 61 Emory L.J. 1029 (2012)

Two of David Bederman’s recent works focus on the role and development of custom in international law—The Pirate Code—and Custom as a Source of Law. Both of these works showcase David’s long celebrated and admired ability to weave together multiple legal concepts, components, and regimes to find cross-cutting ideas, values, and principles. His intellectual agility and breadth of interest and expertise surely made David one of the top modern international law scholars; it also made him a sought-after attorney and consultant in “the real world” outside of academia.

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David Bederman, Master and Commander

Katherine Brokaw | 61 Emory L.J. 1031 (2012)

Deep down, Professor David Bederman identified, I am convinced, with Captain Jack Aubrey. This may surprise the reader who knew David as a slightly built, mild-mannered, gentle, and bespectacled scholar, given that Jack Aubrey (played by Russell Crowe in the movie Master and Commander) is described throughout the books that chronicle his maritime career as an enormous, blond, muscular Anglo-Saxon. You may not think of David Bederman as a swashbuckler á la Errol Flynn.

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Custom as a Source of Jewish Law: Some Religious Reflections on David J. Bederman’s Custom as a Source of Law

Michael J. Broyde | 61 Emory L.J. 1037 (2012)

Professor David J. Bederman's seminal work, Custom as a Source of Law, seeks to answer several foundational questions in the fields of legal theory and formation. One of the central concerns: Can custom itself be law? That is to say, can custom alone become binding as custom, acting in ways that we would typically think of as legal, even before it is ever recognized or stamped as obligatory by the institutions that we would normally think of as creating compulsory law, for example, by word of an authoritative legislative body or by way of judicial precedent?

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The Pirate Hat

Carter Dillard | 61 Emory L.J. 1047 (2012)

A law professor at another law school told me about David Bederman before I transferred to Emory. She studied with him at the University of Virginia and wanted me to take any course he offered. She described him as “very smart.”

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Litigator and Scholar

Richard D. Freer | 61 Emory L.J. 1049 (2012)

David Bederman must have found more than twenty-four hours in each day. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain all that he accomplished. David's achievements as a scholar are well documented. I merely summarize: a dozen books, published by the leading academic presses; over 125 articles, plus monographs and book chapters; and nearly 100 public lectures.

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Michael J. Perry | 61 Emory L.J. 1055 (2012)

In the summer of 1991--the summer he turned thirty—David Bederman began his career as a law professor. This past summer (2011), David turned fifty. Fifty is, from my vantage point, young. (I turned sixty-five about six months before David turned fifty.) Young enough to make David's overall record of accomplishment all the more remarkable.

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The Classical Foundations of David Bederman

Polly J. Price | 61 Emory L.J. 1057 (2012)

Professor David Bederman’s scholarly contributions spanned many fields. Underlying his work was an immense facility with history—a judicious understanding of historical method along with breadth of knowledge, painstakingly obtained. His contributions in admiralty and international law, for example, proceeded from a keen understanding of developments over time in those fields.

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David J. Bederman: A Tribute

Judith B. Prowda | 61 Emory L.J. 1061 (2012)

I met David at New York University School of Law in the fall of 1995, at the beginning of the semester when David was a visiting professor and I was to begin a year as a research fellow. A student of David’s introduced us at a reception, and I thought David was a classmate. He looked so young that I couldn’t believe that he was teaching a lecture course in international law. I had taken that course just the year before—taught by two preeminent scholars—and found it to be one of the most challenging courses in law school.

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Charles Shanor | 61 Emory L.J. 1065 (2012)

My last encounter with my colleague, David Bederman, was typical. As he slowly made his way to his office only a week before cancer bore him away from us, I departed my office heading belatedly for class. David said, “Have a good class, Charlie,” and I was speechless. All the things I might have said were cut off by my thoughts of his obviously deteriorating condition. It was a simple sentence, one we say to each other many times. But from David at that moment, it was a touching one, words of encouragement from a man in great pain who was shortly to teach his last class.

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David Bederman as Mentor and Model

George Shepherd | 61 Emory L.J. 1067 (2012)

Others in this Issue have noted David Bederman's unsurpassed intellect as a scholar in admiralty and international law. Still others have focused on David's skill as an advocate before the Supreme Court. I instead will focus on David’s central role as a mentor and model for other faculty.

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David Bederman: Remembrances of a Friendship That Began at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C.

Peter D. Trooboff | 61 Emory L.J. 1071 (2012)

David and I became friends when he was a summer associate at Covington & Burling LLP during the summer of 1987. As our hiring partner during this period, I was asked to maintain the liaison with David during his two years as a clerk, first with Judge Wiggins, and then at the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal.

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Tribute: David Bederman

Johan D. van der Vyver | 61 Emory L.J. 1077 (2012)

There is much that can be said about the academic excellence, practical skills, and general prestige of David Bederman within the legal fraternity. His résumé records the many achievements that attended his academic studies at Princeton, the London School of Economics, and the University of London, where he in 1996 received the Ph.D. Degree in Laws.

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¡Cuba Sí!: A Tribute to Professor David Bederman and a Letter to President Obama

Frank J. Vandall | 61 Emory L.J. 1081 (2012)

My chief memory of David Bederman is his tremendous intellect and interest in solving challenging international legal issues. He often argued for the just use of beaches and an island, Antarctica. His first lecture to the Emory faculty dealt with the critical importance of a very small lighthouse in southwestern Europe. David, I am sure, would have enjoyed discussing the question of the United States' recognition of Cuba. Indeed, his home in Florida faces Cuba. I therefore dedicate this Tribute to my irreplaceable colleague, David Bederman.

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