Monday, April 25, 2011
Craig Callen, a professor at the Michigan State University College of Law and one of the foremost Evidence scholars in the world, passed away on Saturday. News of his passing was posted on the Evidence Professor listserv last night at 8:43 P.M., and already numerous prominent Evidence professors have chimed in with thoughts about how wonderful he was as a teacher, scholar, and, more importantly, person. Craig was actually the first Evidence professor with whom I interacted after law school. In my third year of law school, I had written a short piece about Brady v. Maryland and the circuit split over whether the failure to turn over inadmissible can form the basis for a Brady violation.
At that time, I didn't know much about writing law review articles or the law review submission process, but I did know that I wanted to be an Evidence professor, and I was aware of the excellent International Commentary on Evidence. Craig was the Editor-in-Chief of ICE, and I submitted my piece to the journal, having no expectation that it would be accepted for publication. To my surprise, I got a personal e-mail from Craig informing me that the Editorial Board really enjoyed the piece. Of course, there were tons of flaws with it, and Craig did a terrific job of working with me on improving it, really teaching me about what constitutes good legal scholarship. Without that advice, I don't know that I would be a law professor today. He will be missed.