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Sanford Kadish, Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley School of Law, Dies at 92
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Sanford Kadish, Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley School of Law, Dies at 92

Summary: Beloved professor of UC Berkeley School of Law Sanford Kadish has passed away at the age of 92. reports that Sanford Kadish, one of UC Berkeley School of Law’s most distinguished professors, passed away on September 5, 2014 due to kidney failure. He was 92.


The former dean was hailed as one of the leading criminal law scholars at the school. Kadish led several significant developments at the law school as well. He was a major player in the development of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, which gave students the opportunity to analyze the law from a social policy position while incorporating other disciplines such as history, political science, and sociology.

Jesse Choper succeeded Kadish as dean of UC Berkeley School of Law. Choper feels that the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program was the greatest contribution Kadish made while dean of Berkeley. The program was established in 1978, and it set the law school in a category of its own.

Choper and Kadish were very close friends. “I was the younger brother that he never had, and he was certainly the older brother that I never had. He was the wisest person that I have ever met.”

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Kadish and his wife June also started the Kadish Center for Morality, Law and Public Affairs in 2000. This institution facilitated research on state power, and seeks to analyze the moral justice within the criminal law system.

Kadish also created a seminar that united scholars with some of the most interesting and well-respected legal and political thinkers in the world. Christopher Kutz, a law professor and current director of the Kadish Center, stated, “One of the things I love about being at Berkeley is being a part of the large community (Kadish) created. I miss him dearly, but I am glad that what he created will go on.

Kadish was also the leader of several national law associations. He was previously president of the American Association of University Professors, as well as the Association of American Law Schools.

Stephen Schulhofer, a New York University School of Law professor who worked with Kadish to write “Criminal Law and Its Processes,” said he will strive to continue Kadish’s legacy in his lectures and teachings. “I felt then, though much more intensely, an experience that is repeated for me many times throughout the semester, that of (Kadish’s) voice in my head, kind but unyielding,” he said upon learning of Kadish’s death. “His presence will continue to be felt, and treasured, by countless colleagues, students and law school alums.”

Mr. Kadish is survived by two sons, Josh and Peter, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Photo credit: UC Berkeley School of Law


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