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By Craig Spangenberg in 1989


Some years ago, Francis Hare, an esteemed Past President and Dean of the Academy, constructed a brief history of the I.A.T L. as a preface to a book published by the Academy regarding case experiences of Fellows. Much of this present extensive history has found direction in Francis' reminiscences.

The detailed review by this author is constructed from personal memory, and expanded by a review of all the official minutes in existence of past conventions, and Board and Committee meetings. It reflects as well a search of old Academy Bulletins, and the solicited observations of many Fellows.

I have also, in the process, intruded upon the retirement mode of many of my contemporaries in the Academy and relived some of the fondest days of my life in researching the past with these old friends.

In truth, a "history" is rarely an objective observation. This work is admittedly our Academy as I recall it and try to faithfully reconstruct it from my subjective viewpoint. Time, distance and dimmed perspective may account for inaccuracies or worthy omissions in my recollections and reconstruction of the past.

Jim Dempsey, our oldest living Past President, quips when asked to identify the most remarkable Fellow he has ever known that they are "remarkable prima donnas all." I would concur, and would add that a more literate, talented, noble and intellectually honest fraternity of legal minds has not existed anywhere in the world that I know.

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