YAM Notes: November/December 2017

By Richard Banbury, Notes Correspondent
E-mail: banburysixty@aol.com

Peter Wells, Secretary

While glancing at the Summer issue of the Yale Law Report, I was surprised to see two of our undergraduate classmates who are now scribes for two of the Yale Law class notes.  There was Bob Sugarman for the class of ’63 and Monroe Price educating his law spirited Law class of ’64.  There were quite a few undergrads, Yale or otherwise, who took up a gap year between graduation in 1960, before entering Yale Law with ‘64.  Having entered the Law School in 1961, Monroe has been writing the 1964 Notes with the beam of a grand jury, digging up positive accomplishments not well known to the general population.  Let it be said that the Yale Law Report publishes just twice a year, giving Monroe half a year for collecting the number of accomplishments.  The protocol for journalists is to protect their work from another storyteller.  However, I dare mention of Jon Blake, without chancing misdemeanor.  I can report that Jon, our Cross Country Captain, has been seen running to work, as he regularly ran around the campus in our days.  That professional employment included the esteemed Chair of Covington & Burling in Washington, from 1996-2001.

This was Bob Sugarman’s first dance with the Law Report, replacing Charley Needle, a Harvard undergrad.  You may wish to know that our Law class of ’63 included 37 from Yale while 14 were Princeton Tigers.  Hard to believe, but there was only one Harvard man, being the aforesaid Charley Needle.

At the time of this submission, there was quite an interest in the Pacific island of Guam, which is an American territory.  There are approximately 162,742 inhabitants who live on 210 square miles and is not far, by Pacific dimensions, from east of Japan.  As it happened to be, we have been advised by Peter Green of St. Louis that his father was assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Station WXLI-Guam in 1945.  In that position Ben Green was the one to scoop the news to the world that Japan would surrender.

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I learned today, September 12th, Barry Schaller, one of the brightest stars of our Class, had passed away.  The following is taken from the obituary.  “Barry took life to the full, including certain triathlons on a regular basis. Barry R. Schaller, retired Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court and a noted author and educator, particularly on issues of legal ethics, bioethics, and public policy, died peacefully Saturday, September 10, surrounded by family.  He was 78, and had suffered from a rare form of leukemia.  A distinguished jurist, he was known not only for his stint on the state’s highest court (2007-2008), but also as a respected judge on the Connecticut Appellate Court, where he served from 1992 to 2007.  Before that, he was a trial judge for 18 years.  Barry was appointed to the Superior Court in 1974.  In addition to his work on the bench, Barry served as an adjunct professor at many of the state’s most esteemed colleges and universities – Trinity, Wesleyan, Quinnipiac, and Yale, where he has been teaching an annual fall course at the Yale Law School in Appellate Law.  In 2008, Quinnipiac awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.  He had an abiding interest in bioethics and served on committees addressing these and other medical ethics concerns at both Middlesex Hospital in Middletown and Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.  This work later inspired Barry’s book, Understanding Bioethics and Law, which was published in 2007.  Similarly, his work at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics addressing the psychological challenges posed to those who had experienced the rigors of combat led to Veterans on Trial in 2012.  In 2016, Barry published his first novel, The Ramadi Affair, and only days before his death, he completed another work of fiction, Flight from Aleppo, which will be published posthumously.  His very first book was building on Barry’s appreciation for literature.  In A vision of American Law:  Judging Law, Literature and the Stories We Tell, he examined the legal issues and societal values at the core of some of the greatest works of American literature, including those written by William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, Eugene O’Neill, John Steinbeck, and many others.  There, Barry lamented how “. . . in focusing on our differences, we overlook the common ground we share” and he closed with a quote from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man:  “America is woven of many strands . . . Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in the face of certain defeat.  Our fate is to become one, and yet many . . . .”

“Physical fitness mattered to Barry throughout his lifetime and he enjoyed competition in local marathons, often prevailing over considerably younger competitors. At his death, Barry lived with his wife of 38 years, Carol, in Guilford, CT.  In addition to her, he is survived by a blended family of 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to ‘The Schaller Family Leukemia Research Fund’ and mailed to Smilow Cancer Center in care of Amer M. Zeidan, M.D., Fund Director, 37 College Street, First Floor, New Haven, CT 06510.”