By Jed Scully
Master of the Kennedy Inn 1988
Professor of Law, Emeritus
In early 1988, Gordon D. Schaber, Dean of the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, had lunch with Anthony M. Kennedy, then a Judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They were joined by Milton Schwartz, a Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, and Professors Robert O’Neal and Jed Scully, the two full-time faculty teaching in the trial advocacy program at McGeorge School of Law. Conversation focused on how to establish and bring to life a local Inn of Court and locate it at McGeorge. Membership would be drawn from the actively practicing Sacramento trial bar, including both state and federal trial and appellate judges, as well as a representative number of selected senior law students.
Anthony Kennedy was born in Sacramento, practiced law here, and after appointment to the Court of Appeals, maintained his chambers and his personal and professional affiliations in Sacramento. He continued to teach constitutional law, maintaining a tradition of teaching and practice as complementary aspects of professional life. Because then Judge Kennedy was under consideration for nomination to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Schwartz agreed to assume leadership as the interim President of a prospective Inn.
With the enthusiastic approval of the other invitees, Dean Schaber contacted Georgetown Professor Sherman Cohn, who was President of the American Inns of Court Foundation. Cohn suggested that Judge Schwartz, along with Professors O’Neal and Scully, attend a conference at Georgetown in order to present their application and credentials to the Foundation and seek a charter as a new Inn. Because Schwartz was unable to attend, the planning committee dispatched O’Neal and Scully to the Foundation’s conference. They brought with them the required documents to support the establishment of a new Inn along with the agreement of Schwartz to serve as its President and the agreement of Scully to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer. Subsequently, at the annual convention held in June 1988, the Foundation approved issuance of a charter of the American Inns of Court for “Inn Number 48.”
As it happened, the question of the selection of a name for Inn 48 arose concomitantly with the nomination of Anthony M. Kennedy to the United States Supreme Court. Kennedy agreed to sponsor the Inn under his name.