Since I know that not all Property Profs also subscribe to the DIRT listserv (although you should), I wanted to share that fellow Property Prof and founder of DIRT, Professor Patrick Randolph of University of Missouri at Kansas City, passed away on October 12th. Pat Randolph has had an enormous impact on property professors and real estate lawyers across the country for decades.
Although I did not know Pat Randolph well, I've seen him at least once a year, usually twice a year, at meetings of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. He was always warm, funny, and kind to me. As his constant presence at ABA meetings demonstrates, Pat worked hard to create and maintain connections between academia and the practicing bar. The DIRT listserv is one example of those efforts. He will be missed.
Here's a little more detail about Pat's contributions to the academy and practice, courtesy of his friend and colleague, Professor Roger Bernhardt of Golden Gate University:
It is not easy to adequately describe Pat's enormous contributions to legal education, real estate law and the legal community. Dirt arose as an offshoot of the ABA's Quarterly Development Report, which Pat assembled and provided to us for years, and it was the best way I knew of keeping up with developments outside my turf. Later, when Pat got Dirt underway, it was the Daily Developments' fully briefed and thoughtfully analyzed cases that he provided for us almost every day of the year - that quickly became our bread and butter source of information. I cannot estimate how much discipline and how many hours that Pat had to donate to keep Dirt vibrant for so many years.
Pat also sat on the Executive Committee of the Real Property Probate & Trust Section of the ABA, founded a Legal Education Section there, and pried loose a Real Estate Transactions Section out of the AALS Property Section. He was at the same time going around the country giving his "Top Ten" talks to numerous bar groups, as well as being an entertaining speaker at frequent panels for the ABA, ACMA, ACREL, and PLI. On top of all that Pat wrote Friedman on Leases and played a pioneering role in starting a real estate legal system in China, constantly going back and forth there and accommodating their students in his house in Kansas City) and writing books and journals on it.
What I particularly valued most of Pat's many activities was his effort to bridge the gap between law school academics and the practicing real estate bar. Before Pat, property professors wanted nothing to do with real estate practice, and lawyers typically couldn't even remember the name of who taught the course to them in law school. Pat got the two groups interacting with each other, for which I am truly grateful.