Florida Law Review Honors Six at Dunwody Banquet

Published: April 7th, 2003

Category: Feature

Florida’s finest future legal scholars, faculty and administrators gathered in the O’Connell Center March 27 to honor this year’s speaker for the Dunwody Distinguished Lecture in Law, Professor Lawrence O. Gostin (behind podium below) of Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities. Also recognized were incoming dean Robert Jerry (left) and Dean Jon Mills, who steps down as dean in July to return fulltime to his responsibilities as professor and director of the Center for Governmental Responsibility. (Complete story on Mills to be featured in a future FlaLaw.) Special presentations were made to Professors Francis McCoy, David “D.T.” Smith, Grace W. “Betty” Taylor (see story page 7) and Winton Williams, and long-time Review Staff Editor Vivien Payne, all of whom retire this summer after many years of dedicated service. Each honoree was brought to the podium after a speech — accompanied by projected photographs from their long law school careers — by a Review member summarizing their accomplishments. Pictures and excerpts follow: ❒ Professor Francis McCoy has been making an impact at this law school for more than 45 years. He brought a wealth of knowledge — not only in admiralty law, legal history and family law — but in people and perspectives. He served in the U.S. Army infantry and military intelligence and as judge advocate. He was on active duty in China during WWII with the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of today’s CIA. He was in the U.S. Foreign Service in Shanghai, Tokyo and Madagascar, then returned home to complete his legal education at UF and serve as its law librarian and professor of admiralty law. Every faculty member I spoke with described him as an exceptionally intelligent man with an astonishing thirst for language and history, and one of the most modest and enjoyable people with whom you could hope to spend time. Faculty and students recognize him as a person who diligently, thoroughly and patiently benefits all of us with his tremendous knowledge and ability to communicate that knowledge, for that is the mark of a great scholar and educator. — By Cheryl Priest ❒ Professor David “D.T.” Smith graduated from Yale before attending law school at Boston University, where he was Law Review articles editor. He joined UF in 1968, and in the years that followed his unique combination of humor, scholarship and community involvement have made him an absolute legend in Florida’s legal community. His scholarship is unparalleled, and he is the foremost probate scholar in the state. He has chaired the UF Senate’s Steering and Nominating Committees as well as many committees at the law school, and served as faculty advisor to the Florida Journal of International Law; Moot Court; Estates, Trusts and Elder Law Society; Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity; Omicron Delta Kappa; John Marshall Bar Association; Law College Council; and, most importantly, to Florida Law Review from 1969-1982. In truth, we owe much of our success today to his leadership and guidance. — By Bradley Rothman ❒ Professor Winton E. “Skip” Williams has proven to be a dedicated teacher, colleague and friend to all during his 34-year teaching career. He received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University in Louisiana, then graduated with distinction — first in his class — from the University of Mississippi College of Law, where he not only served as a Law Review member, but also prepared, implemented and chaired the Moot Court Program. He later received an LL.M. from Yale Law School. He joined UF’s law faculty in1969, and since has been honored as “Teacher of the Year” by his students, chosen by the dean as an outstanding teacher in 1990, and selected by UF’s president and provost for the Increased Productivity Award for publications having a significant impact on consumer credit practices. He is a distinguished teacher and accomplished author whose many publications have had a national impact on consumer credit law. As his student, I can attest that he is most well-known and respected for his approachability and generosity to students. He genuinely takes an interest in his students, welcoming them to his office and encouraging their thoughts and ideas in the classroom. He is a true “Southern gentleman,” who — in addition to his extensive teaching career — has served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, practiced law and, last but not least, works in the restaurant business. To thank him for his many years of dedication and service to the law school and its students, Florida Law Review has dedicated its April edition to Professor Williams. — By Lori Moore ❒ Law Review Staff Editor Vivien Payne (left, with Review Advisor/Professor Dennis Calfee) has guided students in Florida Law Review for 26 years. She received the only standing ovation of the evening during the presentation in her honor, after which more than 20 past and current editors joined her on stage (below). “Vivien is more than a Blue Book expert,” said Review Editor-in-Chief Juan Diaz (3L). “She puts a lot of herself into the Review. She’s the reason we publish five times a year — and on time. She has high standards and expectations, and we improve just by trying to live up to them. During her 26-year tenure, she has positively impacted the lives of roughly 1,000 Review students, which is why so many of them showed up at the banquet to honor her.” “She has always been available to students,” Diaz continued. “When they were hungry, she fed them. When they got married, she was there. When they needed help or guidance about anything, personal or law school-related, she was there.” Founded in 1947, Florida Law Review is a legal journal and a student organization, with about 55 students and 22 candidates —including ten senior and ten junior editors — and more than 2,000 alumni. Its five annual issues include one devoted to the Dunwody Lecture. “Due to tremendous efforts by our members, Florida Law Review is one of the few national law reviews to consistently publish on time,” said Diaz. “As a result of this diligence, the Review has attracted interest from myriad legal scholars and practitioners, domestic and abroad. We received more than 400 articles for consideration this semester alone, including many from prominent institutions such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Penn, NYU, Northwestern and Texas.”

Tagged as: