In Memoriam: Professor John F. Carroll, IV

Dana D. McDaniel *

On March 8, 2012, our colleague and friend, John Carroll, was taken from us suddenly at the untimely age of forty-four. John grew up in Richmond, Virginia, attending Midlothian High School. Following high school, John attended Virginia Tech from which he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1989. After working for a couple of years as an engineer and teacher, John entered the University of Richmond Law School in 1992 and received his J.D., with honors, in 1995. From 1995 to 1998, John practiced law full time in Virginia Beach, Virginia, first with Payne, Gates, Farthing & Radd and then with Clark & Stant, which became part of Williams Mullen. In 1998, John entered New York University Law School from which he earned his LL.M. in 1999.

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Tribute to Professor Carroll “John Was Third”

Jim Gibson *

In any law school, there are those of us—most of us, really—who like to hear ourselves talk. We think that no conversation is complete until we have voiced our views.

But then there are those rare few who do not feel that need, who instead have a talent for picking their moments and crystallizing an issue with a single, insightful observation. That was John Carroll. At a faculty meeting, in a colloquy with a visiting scholar, and of course in the classroom, John could be counted on to say the wise thing at just the right time. His quiet voice could fill a room. It is impossible to contemplate never hearing it again.

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Tribute to Professor Carroll: “He was so Kind and Generous”

Meredith J. Harbach *

John had many gifts, and he shared them generously with his colleagues and students at the law school. As I have reflected on the gift of his life and the depth of our loss, many stories and conversations have come to mind. But none is more profound—or more appropriate, I think—than the anecdote that came to me immediately after I found out about John’s death.

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Tribute to Professor Carroll: “Without a Doubt”

Wade Berryhill *

Without a doubt, one of my favorite and most memorable, in fact unforgettable, teaching moments involved John while he was a 1L in my property class. The landmark constitutional takings case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council had recently been handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The question for the Court was whether the state’s regulation that prohibited the petitioner from constructing a house on his beachfront lot amounted to an unconstitutional taking of private property without compensation. Justice Antonin Scalia had written the majority opinion and was our distinguished guest speaker in room 101. I asked Justice Scalia if he would discuss the decision with the class. He, being a former law professor himself, quickly and easily went through the key points of the opinion, finishing with the statement that the issue of the case was quite simple. As the State of South Carolina had stipulated that the petitioner had no reasonable use of his property remaining because of the regulation, Justice Scalia explained that the issue then simply became whether the petitioner’s proposed use constituted a nuisance. Justice Scalia finished and asked for questions. All students seemed enamored with Justice Scalia’s mere presence and pleased with his explanation. A hand rose from the back row of the student-filled classroom. After Justice Scalia recognized the student, John politely offered, “Justice Scalia, if the issue is as simple as you say it is, why did it take you thirty-eight pages to write the opinion?” The room hushed. Myself, I was frozen in place and my mind was flooded with alternating thoughts, “Oh #*@%!” and “That is a really good question that I have always wanted to ask.” Equally as polite, and with professional aplomb, Justice Scalia answered John’s question.

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