Forty-Five Plus Years – Wow!!!!

John Kircher teaches a law school class, 1986
John Kircher teaches a law school class, 1986

Editor’s Note:  This semester, Marquette University Law School students will hear the immortal words, “I already have a  friend,” for the last time.  After a legendary career, Professor Jack Kircher will end his teaching duties in December.  He has influenced and inspired thousands of Marquette Lawyers over the past four-plus decades, and he has graciously agreed to share some reflections on his career.  And if you don’t understand the reference to “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” the answer can be found in John Mortimer’s delightful television series “Rumpole of the Bailey.”

Someone, possibly me, once said that if you find a job you love you will never again work another day in your life. That speaks well of my time here at the Law School.  My work here has been, with all apologies to “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” a love affair.

But my goal, leaving here as a graduate, was not to become a Law Professor.  I wanted to be a lawyer who would spend most of the time in a courtroom.  That is how I started, but then came the phone call.  It was from Professor James D. Ghiardi, my most favorite teacher during my three student years here at the Law School.  He asked me to join him as his assistant at the Defense Research Institute (DRI).  It was a national think tank for lawyers who defend insurance and personal injury litigation. It involved a lot of research, writing and editing.  It was then and there I learned, for the first time, that Jim had two full-time jobs.

My initial thought at his call was pride that he would seek me out to join him. I also came to the conclusion that if I did not like the new job I could always go back to the courtroom. But I did not go back to the court room.  But how did I end up in the classroom? The first step again relates to Jim. (more…)

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People Who Have Shaped the Teaching Careers of Our Faculty—Part 2

The editors of the blog asked several law school faculty to write about the people who have been the most formative figures in their careers as legal educators. This is the second submission in the series, and it is by Professor John J. Kircher. The answer to the question “who has been the most formative figure in your career as a legal educator” is very easy for me. It is one name, Professor James D. Ghiardi. During the course of…

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If the Law Says That . . .

This is the second post in an occasional series entitled “Law Gone Wrong.”  The editors of the Faculty Blog invited Law School faculty to share their thoughts on misguided statutes, disastrous judicial decisions, and other examples where the law has gone wrong (and needs to be nudged back on course).  Today’s contribution is from Professor Jack Kircher.

Alright, the law of subrogation is fairly simple.  If one who is secondarily liable pay a debt that should have been paid by the primarily liable person, the one who pays the debt steps into the shoes of the creditor to pursue the one primarily liable.  Subrogation also applies to an indemnity insurance situation.  An insurer paying on its policy when its insured sustains a loss caused by a tortfeasor may pursue the tortfeasor for the amount the insurer paid.  It thus becomes the alter ego of its insured, the tort victim, as to the tortfeasor.  In this context both insurance and tort law concern themselves with indemnity.

A wrinkle has been added to the basic context in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  (more…)

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Some Exam-Taking Advice from Professor Kircher

[Editor's note:  In this post, Professor John J. Kircher provides the first installment in our new series, "What are your best exam-taking tips for law students?"] To begin with, always be careful to understand the “call” of the question. That is, what is the professor asking you to do? If he or she casts you in the role of the defense counsel and asks you to evaluate that side, don’t waste your time explaining what a great case the plaintiff…

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Memories of Sensenbrenner Hall (Part 1)

As the Law School community prepares to leave our current home and move into a new facility, it seems appropriate to pause and recall some of the memorable events that have taken place in Sensenbrenner Hall over the years.  Professor Jack Kircher shares the first of what we hope will be many faculty memories recounting the various classroom surprises, distinguished visitors, and construction oddities associated with our present surroundings.  These memories will ensure that Sensenbrenner Hall lives on forever in our hearts.  

My first memory of Sensenbrenner Hall goes back to my time as a 1L.  At that time, the library occupied all of the third floor, the second floor had two large classrooms and a moot court room, the first floor had two large classrooms, and the administrative offices (Dean, etc.) occupied the space now used by Admissions.  During the 2d semester of my first year, we were in our Contracts class during the early afternoon in a second floor classroom that occupied all of the east side of that floor (now Rooms 204 and 210). It must have been Springtime, as I remember that the windows in the room were open (they opened back then).  Unbeknownst to us, Marquette University had just announced that the school would no longer play varsity football beginning the following fall.  As we sat there in class, discussing some arcane Contracts issue, we slowly began to hear the chant “we want football” coming from the west. (more…)

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