Another factor in the investing equation.

Another factor in the investing equation

As an ardent investor for over 50 years, I enjoyed Meir Statman’s article “What do investors really want?”  [Summer 2011 SCM]. I particularly identified with his statement that “investments are about a sense of security in retirement, the hope of riches, joy, and pride in raising our children, and paying for the college education for our grandchildren.”

But one area of the equation universally ignored is the somewhat altruistic practice of providing money for the engine of our economy: small business. Many investors take some of their fruits of our investments and use it to provide seed money for individuals to start new businesses. No government subsidy, no handouts, just belief in an individual and a free enterprise system where if you “teach a person to fish” he/she can provide for themselves, and in the case of small business, others—for life.

Santa Clara University taught me many things, among them discipline (thanks, Fr. Fagothey), tenacity, and respect for the individual. To me the greatest gift I can offer to society is the tools to help the individual lift him-or herself from the throes of dependence on society to the dignity of self-reliance.

Richard Callahan ’59

Orange, Calif.

Altruism v. pragmatism and other international law conundrums

In her article about international law in the summer issue, “Altruism v. apathy,” Beth Van Schaackreports winning a $50 million verdict against two former Salvadoran officials—but she doesn’t say how, or whether, the plaintiffs received their $50 million. That seems to be important to the question, which she addresses, of the effectiveness of international law.

There appears to be an interesting parallel to law as practiced under the traditional culture in Ireland when there were in excess of 100 kingdoms but a set of laws that were applied across their boundaries. Law experts (brehons) acted as judges when cases were submitted to them. The deciphering of legal principles from (very) old sources was a problem for them also.

Bill Egan ’58

Beth Van Schaack replies: Thanks to Bill Egan for his question about whether the judgment we won was ever executed. Few judgments obtained under the Alien Tort Statute or the Torture Victim Protection Act have been fully executed.  Often the defendants flee the jurisdiction or have no assets within reach. In our case, we immediately deposed both defendants and inquired about assets. One was living with his children and testified that he had no assets; the other had an investment account that we were able to have liquidated for the benefit of the clients. Each received about $100,000. One invested the funds in a low-income clinic that serves the Washington, D.C., immigrant community; one used the money to plant organic community gardens in vacant lots in the city of Chicago; the third launched a new organization dedicated
to torture survivors residing in the United States.

Remember to give!

I was a recipient of scholarship money to attend SCU. So giving is personal to me! Classmates of 1976, please consider pledging or giving to the scholarship fund of your choice. It is important for the future of SCU—I know how much it meant!

Robin Ferrari ’76
San Jose

Let’s talk law.

In response to Dean Mack Player’s comment [AfterWords, Summer 2011] regarding his desire for California to secede from the union, I trust there are significant numbers of us in “flyover country” who would support that initiative.

Although it would not serve to eliminate the various forms of pollution California pumps into the environment (unless you believe you can legislate the direction the wind blows), it would surely minimize the political exhaust the balance of us endure as a result of California’s influence at the federal level.

Frank Canepa ’71
Johnstown, Colo.

It was with a mixture of enjoyment, mirth, and chagrin that I read the recent “There oughta be a law.”

With respect to Dean George Alexander’s wish for better representation for the underprivileged, who can disagree with that view? However, achieving that end will require significant resources. Given the present economic climate, those resources will likely need to be diverted from other vital functions and services.

I was most intrigued by Dean Gerald Uelmen’s suggestion to abolish the death penalty. What intrigued me was not the dean’s position, which is not uncommon, but his invocation of the Catholic bishops in support of his view. One wonders whether Dean Uelman is similarly willing to urge people to follow the bishops’ position with respect to

I was amused by Dean Mack Player’s suggestion to “get rid of the two-thirds requirement for budget and taxes,” while extolling the virtues of democracy. I could not help but wonder what Dean Player would say about “the tyranny of the majority” in a country where a recent study indicated that almost 50 percent of the people pay no taxes at all.

Finally, like Don Polden, I would like to see a public ban on smoking. However, Dean Polden’s assertion that the public must pay for those who languish for years in costly treatment for their smoking folly does not necessarily follow. Society could require smokers to pay for the cost of their own treatment or … well, you get the idea.

Scott Swisher J.D. ’85
San Ramon, Calif.

More to a century

“Law at 100” [Summer 2011], I found interesting, yet the features failed to convey the true progress the school has made, rising “from promise to prominence.”

Bergin Hall—named in honor of Thomas Bergin 1857, whose legacy was the basis for founding a law department—has remained the core of the law school over the past 70 years. Other bricks and mortar highlights: After opening in 1963, Heafey Law Library underwent extensive expansion in 1988; Bannan Hall classrooms were remodeled and wired in 1997; and the physical plant of the law school tripled in 2010.

Conspicuously absent was mention of the national acclaim the school had received for the overall strength of its program. In 1997–98 Santa Clara’s program in intellectual property rose to being the No. 2 program in the United States. And in 1998 the school launched three master of laws (LL.M.) degrees, one in intellectual property.

Since at least the mid–1990s, through this centennial year, Santa Clara Law has had one of the five most ethnically diverse student bodies in the United States.

Another development that made Santa Clara a true pioneer in clinical legal education: the 1971 founding of its on-campus law clinic. And the establishment of the law school’s three scholarly journals each reflected a step in an ever-expanding intellectual growth. The most significant indication of the overall intellectual stature of the law school was the school’s election in 2003 to membership in the Order of the Coif, an honor society, which, similar to Phi BetaKappa, is offered only to elite American law schools.

Mack A. Player
Professor of Law, SCU

By now, law alumni should have received the 80–page centennial issue of Santa Clara Law magazine, with extensive coverage of the law school’s history. Find it via santaclaramagazine.com or, for a copy of the print edition, contact Mary Short in the Law Alumni Office at mjshort@scu.edu or 408-551-1748.—Ed.

Mary Emery, we’ll miss you.

Associate Dean and Director of the Library for the SCU School of Law Mary B. Emery J.D. ’63 died on Aug.7. Read an in memoriam tribute to her on page 47. Below are a some of the many tributes to her the University has received in the weeks since her passing.

As a person, as friend, and colleague, Mary is irreplaceable. Her influence on the law school and everyone that has or will pass through it is deep and indelible. Brilliant, caring, and wonderful, her intellect and humor will be forever missed, but will always live on in our hearts.

Ben Martin MBA ’99
San Jose

When I was admitted to the law school in 1990, it was expected that the University would have in place a staff tuition remission program for the law school at the start of the academic year. As the summer arrived, and the policy was still not in place, I was nervous that my tuition would not be covered. Mary assured me that money would not keep me from starting school, and she gave me a scholarship that first year until the staff policy was worked out. She was always generous with the purse strings.

Prano Amjadi J.D. ’94
San Jose

In 1973, Mary Emery hired me for my first job as a professional librarian. During my four years in the Heafey Law Library, she taught me a great deal about the “realpolitik” of law schools, law libraries, and librarianship. Luckily, our paths crossed many times in the intervening years, and it was always a delight to hear Mary’s perspective on the current happenings.

Marcia Zubrow
Eggertsville, N.Y.

I sincerely thank Mary Emery for her insightful vision, gutsy leadership, and decisive actions that helped to create a diverse and inclusive environment for women and students of color at Santa Clara University Law School. 

Joyce Lewis J.D. ’92
San Francisco

Mary B. Emery—or, to me, Mrs. E.—was irreverent, funny, witty, intelligent, and loyal. She loved Santa Clara Law and her fingerprints can be found in every nook and cranny of the law school, not just in the law library. Her sudden and untimely passing leaves an enormous crater in the institution and in our hearts. She was a mentor to so many. She inspired me to become a law librarian, a career I have loved and have never regretted. She encouraged me to go to law school even though, having worked at the law library for a few years, I questioned the wisdom of putting myself through the grind that I had observed others going through, especially since I had absolutely no intention of ever practicing law. One of our last conversations before her vacation revolved around the question of retirement. To quote one of her frequent sayings: “I am never going to retire. They will just have to wheel me out of my office on a stretcher with a sheet over my face and toes up.” We all thought that this would not happen for many years. It gives me comfort to know that she passed away still with her boots on and in the saddle—on her terms, the way she lived her all-tooshort life.

Mary Hood ’70, J.D. ’75
Santa Clara

This Summer Girls Ran the World

Swift Clara, the Bey Hive, honorary mayorships, and more: This summer, fanbases of mainly women helped rebound the U.S. economy.

A Billion for Tomorrow

A billion in support of scholarships, research, and facilities. Find out what it all means

Super Bloom!

What happens after the rains fall can be glorious.


Play—whether via imagination or with perspective—never stops being important to a person’s development.