CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don Dripps, on the occasion of Yale Kamisar's (second) retirement

Dripps Kamisar We at the University of San Diego have been privileged to count Yale Kamisar as our colleague since 2002. He has taught for us every spring semester since. However, the lure of travel has led Yale to retire fully from teaching; he taught his last class last week. We honored him at a reception on campus Thursday, and our mutual colleague, Don Dripps, delivered a stirring tribute from the vantage of former student, professor of Criminal Procedure, and faculty colleague. Download Dripps on kamisar

We gave Yale a standing ovation as a way of coercing him to say a few words--our version of poetic justice. We will miss having Yale around, but we will always have fond memories of his time with us. And we will do what we can to get him back from time to time.


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That is a wonderful tribute, and incredibly well deserved. Beyond his immense and important scholarship of which we are all aware, Yale Kamisar has helped many people in academia over the years (including me). Without going into the details, I can also recount seeing his belief in academic freedom extend to someone whose beliefs, political and legal, were diamnetrically opposed to his. He did this when, I am ashamed to say, some of my liberal cohorts, remained silent. And, if anyone ever wants to talk about the Odd Couple of the Criminal Procedure world, it was back in the 1980s when Yale and Joe Grano debated Miranda (and, another time, the Fourth Amnendment exclusionary rule) in various forums (including, once, the Today show). Have wonderful travels, Yale, and thanks for everything you have done so far in your life.

Posted by: Joshua Dressler | Apr 30, 2011 10:13:16 AM


Your encomium to Kamisar is wonderful. Thanks for capturing him so precisely, so eloquently, and for sharing your comments with the rest of us.

I remember numerous occasions when, as a student, I persisted with Yale on some point after crim pro or con law class; he would jab his finger in my face and fulminate, while I was pressed against the wall in the narrow hallway outside his office. He was vehement, I came to understand, because ideas matter. Passion, rigor, but, as you say, genuine kindness under the prickly exterior.

Posted by: Ken Simons | May 1, 2011 7:09:28 AM

I second everything Don, Joshua, and Ken said about Yale. I had the honor of moderating one of the Kamisar-Grano debates about Miranda at a AALS event. What came through the heat and disagreements over issues was that they were truly fond of each other. It was the best kind of academic debate. I had just begun my career as an academic when a flyer arrived advertising Yale's 1980 book on Police Interrogation. I bought it, devoured it, and became a huge Yale Kamisar fan. A few years later, when I began to write about interrogation, I timidly sent Yale a manuscript. He called with lots of helpful suggestions and we became friends. Please continue to be involved in the academic discourse, Yale, even as you enjoy your travels.

Posted by: George Thomas | May 6, 2011 5:43:59 AM

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