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The Collapse of the Federal Rules System

A prominent federal judge who knows the field well suggested that I immerse myself in Steve Burbank’s work when I started as a civil procedure scholar and teacher. “Burbank could have dined out his whole career on the Enabling Act history alone,” I recall the judge telling me. This advice was sound for reasons that went well beyond scholarly inspiration. The judge’s advice prompted me to send Professor Burbank an e-mail asking for feedback on one of my first articles. I had hoped for just enough of a response to warrant including his name in the article’s acknowledgments. I could never have imagined all that followed. Professor Burbank has given me years of generous, undeserved mentorship. By his example, he has shown me time and again how a revered colleague draws on a rich reservoir of professional capital to build a national community of scholars. His guidance and friendship have enriched my career beyond measure. I am deeply honored to contribute to this Festschrift.