Richard Jennings, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of law and advocate for investor protection, dies at 91

By Janet Gilmore, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Richard W. Jennings, a professor emeritus of law at the University of California, Berkeley, and an internationally known expert on corporate law and securities regulation, died on Monday (Aug. 9) in Oakland following a stroke. He was 91.

Jennings was born Oct. 19, 1907, in Bois D' Arc, Missouri. He graduated from Park College, in Parkville, Missouri, in 1927 and earned a master's degree in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. After a stint as a high school algebra teacher, he attended UC Berkeley's School of Law (Boalt Hall), graduating in 1939.

He practiced corporate and securities law in San Francisco before joining the Boalt Hall faculty in 1947. He retired from the law school in 1983 .

Throughout his long and distinguished career, Jennings was a tireless advocate for investor protection and corporate responsibility.

During the 1960s, he wrote a series of law review articles that led to the abolition of the fixed-rate commissions system and to the reform of federal securities law.

His impact on the field of securities regulation, both here and abroad, was immense, according to UC Berkeley law professor Richard Buxbaum.

Jennings, along with co-author Harold Marsh Jr., wrote the first casebook on securities regulation. The 1963 book, "Securities Regulation - Cases & Materials," shaped this new field in the post-war years, Buxbaum said.

During the 1950s, Jennings assisted in the revision of German corporate and securities law. The following decade, he traveled to Japan and held seminars attended by legal scholars. These seminars led to groundbreaking work, comparing Japanese and American securities laws. Jennings assisted Makoto Yazawa with his 1963 book, "The Legal Structure for Corporate Enterprise: Shareholder-Management Relations under Japanese Law in Law in Japan -The Legal Order in a Changing Society."

While at UC Berkeley, Jennings was dedicated to assisting his students and helping them develop their own careers. He also helped establish the campus's International Legal Studies Program.

During the mid-1960s and the tumultuous years of the Free Speech Movement, Jennings served as chair of the campus's Academic Senate. Jennings, who was chair from 1964-1966, helped the faculty Senate play a constructive role in resolving the controversies and preserving the integrity of UC Berkeley, according to Boalt Hall Dean Herma Hill Kay.

Jennings' personal interests involved skiing, foreign travel and golf, which he played regularly through age 89.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Jennings of Oakland; a son, W. Thomas Jennings of Sacramento; his daughters, Susan J. Stangeland and M. Anne Jennings, both of Berkeley; four grandchildren; and one great grandson.

Contributions in Jennings' name may be made to the Boalt Hall Fund, which finances urgent needs of the law school. A memorial service is scheduled for early September ar the law school . For more information on the fund and the memorial service, contact Caroline Glesmann at (510) 642-6073.

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