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Good morning. It is my privilege, and it truly is a privilege, to welcome you to Fordham Law School's Integrity in the Law Conference, which honors John Feerick on the occasion of his retirement from the deanship after twenty years of remarkable service to the School, to the University, to the legal profession, and to the law.

Dean Feerick's career has been one of extraordinary accomplishment. In fact, as I was preparing my comments and looking at the list of positions he holds and has held, I was amazed, as I have been amazed in the past, that one person could achieve so much.

He graduated from Fordham College and from Fordham Law School, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Law Review. He was one of the first associates hired by Skadden Arps; he became a partner there and a leader in the field of labor law. He is a co-drafter of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. He is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-nominated book about presidential succession.

He has been Chair of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity, where he worked tirelessly in the wake of the corruption scandals of the mid-1980s to make government worthy of the people's trust, to make it worthy of our trust. He has been President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He has been Chair of the Professionalism Committee of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. He has resolved countless labor disputes. Within the past month, he was named by Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals to head a commission studying the judicial selection process. And then, a few days later, he was named by the City of New York and the Legal Aid Society to a three-member panel charged with working to resolve the crisis of homelessness in the City, a panel that would not have existed but for his work to broker the agreement.

Again and again, when there is an intractable problem, people who fundamentally disagree agree about one thing: they agree that they can trust John Feerick.

That's a roster of achievement that would be enough for several lives. Far more important for John, it is a body of good works that would be enough for several lives.

Publication Citation

72 Fordham L. Rev. 251-255 (2003)