Robert E. Keeton, 1919-2007

Robert E. Keeton passed away in Cambridge yesterday at the age of 88. Keeton earned two degrees at HLS in the 1950s and was an HLS professor for over twenty years before his 1979 judicial appointment to the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, where he served until last year.

Judge Keeton wrote scores of books and articles on torts, insurance law, trial methods, judicial reform, and legal education. He was also an early advocate of the use of computers in conducting legal research. Here in the library, we have, in addition to Keeton’s many published writings, 77 boxes containing his personal papers from 1962-1977, during which time he was a prominent figure in legal scholarship. We also have his 3L paper and his S.J.D. thesis from the 1950s.

This portrait of Judge Keeton, painted in oil on canvas in the 1990s by Ralph Stone Jacobs, hangs in the northeast quadrant of the 4th-floor Reading Room in Langdell Hall, above study carrel 401.

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