Judge Cannon and the Continuity of the Profession

Posted on Categories Legal Practice, Milwaukee

old-courthouseEach May the Milwaukee Bar Association holds an annual Memorial Service to remember lawyers in this region who have passed away within the previous year. It occurs in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Milwaukee County Courthouse and is attended by a variety of judges, lawyers, family of deceased lawyers, and others. When I was appointed dean in 2003, my friend, Tom Shriner, invited me to give the annual Memorial Address, in light of my association with the late Dean Howard B. Eisenberg, and I have tried to attend the event each subsequent year as well. This year, one of the “responses” to the Memorial Address (or remembrances) was delivered by Tom Cannon, director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee and former faculty member of the Law School (see this previous blog post by Professor Blinka). Tom remembered his father, the late Judge Robert C. Cannon, L’41.

Here is a bit of the beginning of Tom Cannon’s remembrance:

Dad was probably destined to become a lawyer. By the time he was born in 1917, his father was already emerging as an iconic figure in the legal profession. Dad’s uncle, Ed Carey, was also a lawyer. And many of Dad’s numerous cousins became practicing attorneys as well. These included the Jenningses, Foleys, Tierneys, Gillicks, and Flemings — all well-known, multi-generational legal families in Milwaukee.

One of Dad’s earliest memories was sitting in a high-ceilinged courtroom in the ornate old Milwaukee County Courthouse on what is now Cathedral Square. His father was trying a case there against a cousin, Joe Tierney, Sr. As the sun streamed in through a bank of tall, stately windows, and crept toward the jurors’ faces, Dad watched his father walk over and slowly draw the shades. Perhaps it was that early moment that influenced him to become a lawyer.

Tom’s remarks are well worth the few minutes that it will take to read them — and to remember both Judge Cannon and others of our forbears who contributed much to society through the legal profession. You can find a link to them here.

Author: Joseph D. Kearney

On July 1, 2003, Joseph D. Kearney became the ninth dean of Marquette University Law School. Dean Kearney has been a member of the Marquette faculty since 1997. Prior to coming to Marquette Law School, Dean Kearney practiced for six years at Sidley & Austin, Chicago's largest law firm. He served as well as a law clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dean Kearney is an accomplished teacher, scholar, and lawyer. His teaching focuses on civil litigation, including courses in Civil Procedure and Advanced Civil Procedure. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Columbia Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Marquette Law Review, among other journals. They variously focus on regulation of industry (particularly telecommunications), civil litigation, and judicial selection. His background as a practitioner is in appellate and telecommunications litigation, and he has argued cases before the Wisconsin and Illinois Supreme Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and has been the primary draftsman of winning briefs on the merits in the United States Supreme Court. Dean Kearney is an honors graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

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