YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Obituaries

Gary Goodpaster

By From page A5 | December 02, 2012

Goodpaster, Gary

1937 — 2012

Gary Goodpaster, Professor Emeritus of Law at UC Davis, has died.

He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and spent his childhood there. At a very early age, he acknowledged in himself a yearning to excel and to rise above his origins. He entered the seminary after grade school, but realized he did not want to be a priest. Following high school, he was appointed to the first class of the U.S. Air Force Academy; finding that he did not want a military career, he resigned after two years and began to pursue a life of the mind.

In June 1958, Gary married his high school sweetheart, Gracie, and enrolled in Indiana University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Phi Beta Kappa key and received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to study philosophy at Columbia University in New York. At the end of the fellowship, he enrolled in the Indiana University School of Law.

Receiving his J.D. degree, Gary took a position as the law clerk to Chief Judge John Hastings in Chicago. He was invited to join the law faculty of the University of Iowa two years later. While at the university, he took a leave of absence to serve as a law and poverty lawyer at Colorado Rural Legal Services in Boulder.

In 1971, Gary joined the faculty at the recently opened Martin Luther King Jr. Law School at UC Davis. During his tenure at Davis, Gary worked for three summers as a Criminal Trial Attorney for Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. He also served as Chief Assistant State Public Defender, setting up and managing the new state Public Defender’s Office. He took a year’s leave of absence to teach at the University of Hong Kong Law School under a Fulbright Award.

In 1992, Gary became involved in international development consulting, focusing on a broad array of legal and economic concerns: governance reform; decentralization; development project design; law and legal system reform; and a comprehensive list of other development interests. As part of this work, Gary taught the first negotiation skills course to select faculty at the University of Indonesia Law School, a course that became the seed of negotiation skills training courses in many Indonesian law schools. On two leaves of absence from Davis, he was Chief of Party for two major law and economics projects in Indonesia.

Upon retirement from UC Davis, Gary continued his international development work — as a consultant to USAID, the Asia Foundation, and numerous other groups — working for the most part on short-term projects in Afghanistan, East Timor, Egypt, Mongolia, the Philippines and Zambia. In 2005, he taught for a semester at the Johns Hopkins University International School in Nanjing, China.

Gary wrote two books, one on constitutional law and one on negotiation and dispute resolution. The latter was translated into Bahasa Indonesia, and it became the standard negotiation skills text in many Indonesian law schools. He also wrote many academic articles. “The Human Arts of Lawyering: Interviewing and Counseling” was ground-breaking, one of the first in the then-nascent field of academic writing on the teaching of lawyering skills. “The Trial for Life: Effective Assistance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases” was a major article aimed at establishing the basic law on this issue, and it received acclaim from lawyers and judges working on death penalty cases.

Throughout his life, Gary was compelled by an endless, restless striving — for knowledge, for excellence, for understanding, for the transcendent. He read constantly, investigating deeply and broadly all of the leading currents of thought. He travelled the world over, and involved himself thoroughly in the lives of the people whose countries he visited.

He responded to a deep sense of adventurousness and inquisitiveness, and gave form to his curiosity by taking photographs. Over the course of many decades, he honed his photographic skill, sharpened his observing eye, and amassed an impressive catalog of marvelous fine art and travel photographs. In the force of his intellect, the depth of his integrity, his progressive views, and his profound, comprehensive knowledge, Gary was admired, respected and loved by all who had the opportunity to know him.

Gary died at home in the autumn of 2012, surrounded by his family. He is survived by wife Gracie; sons Jude, Blaise and Adam; daughter Jessica; daughters-in-law MaiAnh, Stacie and Gina; grandchildren Joaquin, Maisha, Kai, Cody and Mari; sister Yolanda, nieces Nicole and nephew Victor.

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