Donald G. Marshall Leaves Legacy of Commitment and Love of Law
JUNE 2, 2010—Professor Emeritus Donald G. Marshall, a member of the Law School faculty since 1967, passed away May 28, 2010, at age 79 after a fall in his home in Edina, Minn. In 2004, Marshall estimated that he had taught more than 7,500 students, and more were to come, all prepared to practice diligently and ethically on the foundation of his signature mantra, "Never whisper 'justice.'"
When then Dean William B. Lockhart recruited him from his private practice at Lowenstein and Spicer in Newark, New Jersey, Marshall thought he would stay two or three years, he explained in a 1994 lecture to commemorate his appointment as the first Law Alumni Distinguished Teacher. But the Marshalls found that they loved Minnesota, and he found that he loved the classroom.
"This is my 28th year of teaching," he said in the 1994 lecture (published in Minnesota Law Review in 2005), "and I have loved teaching from the moment I entered my first class." He believed that a class "develops a life of its own—a spirit of inquiry, an ethic of civility and mutual support, a standard of professional behavior," and he led his students in creating that atmosphere.
Marshall's students also were the beneficiaries of his spiritual connection with teaching law, a role he considered an honor. "In my view, there is no more important professional endeavor than the practice of law," Marshall said when he was profiled in the spring 2004 alumni magazine. When he retired at the end of the 2004-05 academic year, alumni, colleagues, and friends created the Donald G. Marshall Scholarship to honor his challenging, inspiring, and principled teaching and to recognize his dedication and influence on their lives.
Marshall received his B.A. from Williams College and his LL.B. from Yale University and clerked for Justice Haydn Proctor of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He served as a consultant to the New Jersey Corporation Law Revision Commission and to the Minnesota Association of Juvenile Court Judges.
At the Law School, he taught evidence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, insurance, and media law. He was named Teacher of the Year in 1971 and 1979, and Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year in 1983, 1989, 1992, 1995, and 2005.
Marshall was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine, in 2006, and a son, Bruce. He is survived by sons Andrew ('86), David ('87), and Daniel Marshall and grandchildren Mathew, Aubrey, Max, Oliver, and Evelyn Marshall.