Dick Speidel was no ordinary law professor. He was one of the giants in the field of contract and commercial law for over four decades and a respected, important leader in legal education and law reform. Tributes to this effect have already poured in to the contracts listerve, this blog, and elsewhere and there is no need to repeat the obvious. What set Dick apart, in addition to his professional accomplishments, was his humility, sense of humor, and perhaps most important his generosity. As for the latter, Dick was eager to nurture beginners whether they were members of his faculty or another. I never had the good fortune to be on the same faculty with Dick, but he was always willing to read my drafts, offer suggestions, and generally to offer encouragement. In fact, Dick often sent supportive messages just when I needed them the most. For example, when a not-so-favorable review of one of my books appeared, out of the blue Dick sent a message of support. Dick helped out in other ways. When our planning committee for the Montreal AALS
contracts conference sought a leader to give a keynote address, we didn't hesitate to ask Dick. And he didn't disappoint. His address tracing many of the modern issues of contract law was thoughtful, poignant, and educational.
In short, Dick was a mentor, friend and supporter. And what is most impressive, our large family of contract and commercial law scholars can all say the same thing about Dick.