Andrew Eric Taslitz, 57, a law professor at the Washington College of Law at American University and formerly at Howard University, died Sunday, Feb. 9, at Virginia Hospital Center from complications related to lung cancer.
Considered a brilliant thinker, prolific writer and passionate mentor of students and new law professors, Mr. Taslitz had been a faculty member of Washington College of Law at American University since 2012, after 23 years of teaching law at Howard.
Mr. Taslitz graduated Summa Cum Laude from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1978 and earned his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. After working two years at a private law firm in Philadelphia, Mr. Taslitz was an Assistant District Attorney with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for nearly four years, and then in private practice for another year. In 1989, Mr. Taslitz found his true calling and passion – teaching law.
Mr. Taslitz, known as "Andy" or "Taz," was named one of the Best Law Teachers in America in Michael Hunter Schwartz's "What the Best Law Teachers Do," published in Harvard University Press in 2013.
In his short time at American, he created and became director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Practice and Policy, bringing together the law school's criminal law-related programs, such as the Criminal Justice Clinic, Trial Advocacy Program and Project on Addressing Prison Rape.
American University law school dean Claudio Grossman said "Taz was an extraordinary human being. He had enormous intellectual creativity, an unparalleled passion for teaching, a warm and affectionate personality, a well-deserved reputation as a remarkably generous mentor and champion to students and junior colleagues and a sense of humor that was as bold and endearing as his contagious laugh."
He was a visiting professor at Villanova University School of Law, Duke University School of Law and University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
He is the author of two books, "Rape and the Culture of the Courtroom" and "Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868," co-author of numerous law school case books and a contributor to numerous other scholarly books.
In addition to his two Norwegian Elkhounds, B'lanna and Odo, Mr. Taslitz is survived by his wife, Patricia Sun, a lawyer at the Federal Railroad Administration, his sister Ellen Duncan, of New York; his father Saul Taslitz, of New York; nephews David Schoenberg, Adam Schoenberg and Jason Duncan, and god-children, Ben and Ethan Bogard, and Lindsay and Kyle Lee.
A memorial service will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Lake Anne Community Center in Reston, Va., 1609 Washington Plaza N.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made to the Humane Society of Fairfax County, 4057 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030 or to the "Professor Andrew E. Taslitz Memorial Scholarship in Criminal Law" at American University Washington College of Law, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, c/o Duante Stanton, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 373, Washington, DC, 20016.
Published on NYTimes.com from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2014