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Anthony Waters ’70

October 27, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon.

Born in London, Tony was introduced to the practice of law at a young age. His father was a barrister, and later a Queen’s Counsel, and at the dinner table father and son crossed and matched wits. It was rumored that Tony was the model for Rumpole’s son in John Mortimer’s British television series, Rumpole of the Bailey.

He earned his BA in law and American studies at the University of Keele in England, which included an exchange year at Reed (1969–70), which he maintained was a pivotal experience. He went on to get his master of laws degree at Yale University School of Law and was a teaching fellow and instructor at the University of Chicago School of Law. As at Reed, he made lifelong friends at each institution.

Tony was a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and a visiting professor or scholar at law schools in Santa Clara, New Haven, Buffalo, Eugene, Portland (the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College), Denver, Sri Lanka, and Bristol. As a law professor he published, as required, but he preferred teaching above all else. He said that he taught the Cs—consumer, criminal, constitutional, and contract law—which didn’t mean he hadn’t also mastered tax law, federal criminal law, and legal history.

After his sojourns at the University of Oregon and at Lewis & Clark, Tony could not face the prospect of returning to Baltimore and took an early retirement from the University of Maryland, having been on the faculty for 28 years. He returned to the Pacific Northwest, where he owned and operated Natural Selection, a grocery store in Waldport, Oregon, and he periodically worked in law firms, the last time in a San Francisco consumer law practice.

He met his wife, Laura Joyce Orr, while she was a research librarian at the University of Maryland School of Law, and they married in 1989.

Tony wrote brilliantly on the law, including “The Property in the Promise: A Study of the Third Party Beneficiary Rule,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 98 (April 1985), and on animal rights law, with Lee Hall, “From Property to Person: The Case of Evelyn Hart” in the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, Vol. 11 (Fall 2000).

He spoke French and Italian fluently and was an inveterate traveler, making a fearless and resilient traveling companion. He followed English soccer and tennis and knew a great deal about horse racing, which may have had more to do with his extraordinary head for numbers than with the horses themselves. He had been a strict vegetarian since 1955, when he spent the summer on a family farm. A lifelong, outspoken advocate for animals, he loved and was loved by dogs. His interests included music, photography, art, mathematics, and history. Perhaps his most memorable trait was his wit, both side-splittingly funny and piercingly truthful.

His survivors include his brothers, Brian and Peter; his former wife, Laura; and his dear friend, Krystal. Donations can be made in the name of Anthony J. Waters to Reed College.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2022

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