Trial by Jury or Trial by Motion? Summary Judgment, Iqbal, and Employment Discrimination

Robert Belton Dedication

Acknowledgements and Dedication

The articles in this issue are based on the symposium Trial by Jury or Trial by Motion? Summary Judgment, Iqbal, and Employment Discrimination, which was developed and co-sponsored in partnership with The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (www.employeerightsadvocacy.org) and held at New York Law School on April 23, 2012. For more information about the symposium and to access the articles online, visit nylssites.wpengine.com/nylslawreview.

In Memory of Professor Robert Belton

Volume 57, Issue 4 of New York Law School Law Review, Trial by Jury or Trial by Motion? Summary Judgment, Iqbal, and Employment Discrimination, 57 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 653-986 (2012-2013), developed in conjunction with The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (“The Institute”), is dedicated to the memory of Professor Robert Belton, Professor Emeritus of Vanderbilt Law School, who passed away in February 2012. Professor Belton was a founding member of The Institute’s National Litigation Strategy Project, and this symposium, held April 23, 2012 at New York Law School, was his brainchild. We are proud to have made his vision a reality.

Professor Belton touched the lives of hundreds of attorneys as a mentor and a friend. A pioneer of civil rights, and a nationally recognized scholar of labor and employment law, Professor Belton’s body of work is used and cited by employment lawyers every day—including such seminal cases as Griggs v. Duke Power Co., Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, and Harris v. Forklift Systems. In the words of Matthew C. Koski, The Institute’s first Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow, “Professor Belton led a remarkable life, and he will deservedly be remembered not only for his tireless efforts and many accomplishments in pursuit of social justice and equality, but also for the thoughtful and dignified manner in which he carried himself.” A colleague of Professor Belton remarked, “Bob was a pioneer in many ways, including using his academic position to research and develop new theories that could get relief to victims of discrimination, and litigating some of those theories himself. He cared deeply about everyone else’s clients as well as his own, and was always a delight to talk and work with. He will be greatly missed.”

Professor Belton joined Vanderbilt Law School in 1975 and became the first African American to be granted tenure at the law school. He was a popular and beloved teacher and mentor who particularly enjoyed working with students interested in social justice. Professor Belton played an important role in mentoring law students of color, serving as faculty adviser to the Black Law Students Association, and working with other African American faculty on equality issues at Vanderbilt. During his tenure on the Board of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), Professor Belton worked to enhance the participation of lawyers and students of color in NELA, as well as law school professors who specialized in employment and civil rights law.

To say Professor Belton will be missed is an understatement, but his legacy in advancing equality and justice will live on through all of us—and in the next generation of employee rights lawyers he inspired.