The seventh-annual John L. Gedid
lecture provided Widener Law an opportunity to honor one of its long-time leaders while the school community also considered issues of privacy in an electronic age.
Begun in 2007, the lecture event has become a spring tradition on the Harrisburg campus and provides a forum for rising stars in legal academia to share their research and scholarship with a Widener Law audience. Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
said it is a fitting, ongoing tribute, given Gedid’s impact on the school.
And it was particularly poignant this year, as Ammons explained Gedid plans to transition into retirement. He helped Widener open the Harrisburg campus in 1989, served as its first vice dean and has continued as a teacher, scholar, mentor and leader. He currently directs the Law & Government Institute
“He’s been in the trenches for some time and people look for me out in the community to tell me, ‘I had John Gedid as my professor.’ I always smile because I know when they have something to say, it’s going to be good,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said at the April 15 event.
Associate Professor Michael R. Dimino Sr.
presented Gedid with a leather folio that includes announcements and memorabilia from each of the annual lectures, all autographed with personal notes from each of the speakers. The law school adds to it each year, and the folio included a signature from the 2013 lecturer, Orin S. Kerr, the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at George Washington University Law School.
Kerr’s remarks, “The Need for a New Electronic Privacy Act,” focused on his position that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 is woefully outdated in a modern global age where internet service providers are asked to share information about the consumers who are their customers.
“We don’t need to raise standards. We need to abolish the current standard and come up with something different,” he said.
Before he began teaching in 2001, Kerr was an honors program trial attorney in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He is a former law clerk for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and he authored a law school casebook on computer crime law, now in its third edition.
Widener is grateful to Wolters Kluwer, which provides sponsorship support to the lecture.