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Honoring Highly Cited Scholar

Scholars, former students to honor Martin Redish’s wide-ranging contributions to law

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March 14, 2012 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso
Martin Redish

Martin Redish

CHICAGO --- One of the nation’s most-cited legal scholars, Martin H. Redish, the Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy at Northwestern University School of Law, will be celebrated at a daylong symposium honoring his work.

Leading academics from across the country will come together later this month to honor and analyze the wide-ranging scholarly contributions of Redish, who will celebrate his 40th year on the Northwestern faculty in 2013. 

Hosted by the law school and the Northwestern University Law Review, the event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the law school, 375 E. Chicago Ave. 

Redish is one of the foremost legal scholars in the fields of federal jurisdiction, civil procedure and constitutional law. He was ranked the 16th most-cited legal scholar of all time by the William S. Hein Co. in 2009. 

“The citation count is a proxy for influence as an academic,” said James Pfander, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Law at Northwestern. “The high number of citations of Marty’s work is very good evidence that his influence extends far and wide.”

Former students as well as faculty will pay tribute to Redish, a much sought-after mentor. Unlike many law professors, Redish developed almost “grad student-like relationships” with Northwestern students, many of whom co-authored papers with him over the years. 

The conference will feature three academic panels: on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law and civil procedure. “Marty is without a doubt the foremost scholar on issues of federal court procedure and jurisdiction of this generation,” said Pfander, who will moderate the panel on civil procedure. 

The panels are designed to capture the breadth of Redish’s legal contributions and demonstrate his influence on students as well as scholars. A luncheon panel will feature his former students, who also will contribute to a special tribute section of the law review’s symposium issue. Papers from the conference also will be published in the 107th volume of the journal in 2013. 

Redish is the author or co-author of more than 90 articles and 16 books, including “Wholesale Justice: Constitutional Democracy and the Problem of the Class Action Lawsuit” and “Civil Procedure: A Modern Approach,” considered one of the leading casebooks in civil procedure. “Federal Jurisdiction: Tensions in the Allocation of Judicial Power” also is an important book in the field of federal jurisdiction. Redish’s forthcoming book, “The Adversary First Amendment: Free Expression and the Foundations of American Democracy,” will be published in early 2013.

Redish also has written significant articles from a variety of perspectives on constitutional law, especially related to his defense of the idea of commercial speech.

“There was an idea for a time that the only speech worth protecting was the speech that had some kind of political purpose,” Pfander said. “Marty broadened the discourse of free speech to encompass other forms of speech as well. So beyond the other areas of law that have brought him recognition, he’s a well-known speech theorist.” 

Redish’s incredibly eclectic work is a testament to the freshness of his scholarly engagement, Pfander said. “He remains very much engaged in the world of ideas. He will sit down and write a book about the rights of individual members of a class and then sit down and write a book about summary judgment. And he is quite good at all the subjects he touches. That’s what makes him such a remarkable figure, really.”

In addition to his scholarly endeavors and teaching, Redish serves as senior counsel to the law firm of Sidley Austin, LLP. 

Click on link for a complete list of symposium presenters: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/symposia.html.