Law Professor, Scholar
his students, he was boyish, endearing, encyclopedic, and brilliant,
saidJonathan D. Varat, dean of the UCLA School of Law School. Gary
Schwartz, a UCLA law professor for 30 years, was a nationally recognized
scholar of personal injury cases and other forms of tort whose commentary
on trend-setting cases was sought by the news media. He died of
a brain tumor July 31, 2001, at his Los Angeles home at age 61.
Widely respected for his for his expertise, Mr. Schwartz was a consultant
to several private and governmental groups, including the Rand Corp.
Institute for Civil Justice, the Committee for Economic Development,
the California Legislature Joint Committee on Tort Liability, the
Association of Bay Area Governments, the California Citizens Commission
on Tort Reform, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Legal Services
Society. He was able to explain law in down-to-earth terms and once
explained the legal definition of nuisance to a Los
Angeles Times reporter inquiring about a suit over neighbors
smoking, as loosey-goosey, meaning it can expand to
cover almost any situation where an annoying activity interferes
with a neighbors use of property.
He made clear for laymen complex legal issues in cases involving
cigarette smoking, auto manufacturers liability for car crashes,
and other torts. Although noted for his high level of scholarship,
Mr. Schwartz loved faculty tennis games, faculty-student softball
games, theater, opera, books, fine arts photography, and good food.
A Clevelander by birth, he was deeply loyal to the Cleveland Indians,
but nevertheless always bought season tickets to the Los Angeles
After Oberlin, Mr. Schwartz attended Cornell University and earned
his law degree at Harvard, working first for the U.S. Department
of Transportation and Neighborhood Legal Services in Washington
before teaching at UCLA.
He is survived by his mother and a brother, Ken Schwartz 67.