Meet a Colleague: David Eggert David Eggert is a Professor of Practice who teaches a range of courses, including Antitrust, Conflict of Laws, Remedies, Torts, Property, and Complex Litigation.
David Eggert is a Professor of Practice who has been teaching at W&L Law since 2012. He has taught a range of courses, including various Academic Success classes, Antitrust, Conflict of Laws, Remedies, Torts, Property, and Complex Litigation. Before that, he taught at a South Korean law school for three years, and before that practiced law (antitrust, products liability, and complex litigation) for 24 years at a large DC law firm. David is originally from Tampa, FL, went to college in Louisiana (Loyola), and attended law school in North Carolina (Duke) before working in Washington, D.C. He lives in Harrisonburg but also has a cabin 10 minutes from campus near Brushy Hills where he stays often while teaching. He is married to Lynne (a nurse practitioner who recently helped found and now works at the Blue Ridge Free Clinic in Harrisonburg) and has three adult children – Jacob (24), Rachel (22) and Meghan (20).
Q. Where is your favorite location on the W&L campus?
This is a special secret. The best spot on campus can be reached by scampering up the hill into the woods on the far side of the law school’s upper parking lot. Before scrambling up the hill and disappearing into the trees, I normally first quickly glance around to make sure no one else is in the parking lot. No need to raise unnecessary concerns about my behavior. Upon entering the woods, you quickly find yourself in a wonderful glen, almost a private natural cathedral amongst the trees and rocks. Sometimes, if you time it right, the sun streams in, scattered by the leaves in fantastic shades of light. Once, a small fox emerged from a hole just a couple of feet away from me. A magical place to slip away from it all, if only for a few precious moments.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
I have to say that what I love most is to either read or to travel and hike with my wife Lynne.
Q. Book/Podcast/or TV Show Recommendation?
So many good reads!! The Bible is always top on my list. But of late, I have also been taken with the works of the late David Graeber, including “Debt: The First 5000 Years” and the posthumously- published “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity.” As for TV and podcasts, I’ve had trouble figuring out how to work the various TV remotes since my youngest daughter departed for college, so the TV sits largely dormant in the basement. And podcasts seem really cool, but I’m still struggling to overcome my technophobia to really get into them.
Q. What courses are you teaching this semester?
This semester, it’s Antitrust, Academic Success seminar/workshops for 1Ls, Legal Method, and Conflict of Laws.
Q. Who inspired you to teach?
So many people. Throughout my life, I have been inspired by teachers (both official and unofficial) who have inspired me in more ways than I can count. In second grade English, Ms. Ellis inspired me to read, write, and create.; Ms. Tice did the same thing in Sixth grade, introducing the likes of Beowulf and A Wrinkle in Time. My seventh grade Social Studies teacher (Mr. Brown) inspired me to learn the intricacies of international affairs: I still devour newspapers and magazines to this day. In high school, Father Jacques inspired me to study theology (and even taught me a smidgen of Hebrew!!), Father Kaack inspired me to value community service, Dick Peloquin tirelessly taught me Latin, just as he did other students for over four decades, and Mr. Riemersa (Physics and Calculus) provided his most indelible lesson by demanding that all assignments be written in pencil because “only God writes in ink.” In law school, I was inspired by the eccentrics of William Van Alstyne (a brilliant but slightly unhinged Con Law professor famous for riding a horse to school during a snowstorm); George Christie (who taught me Torts and for whom I worked as an assistant); and William Reppy, who introduced me to the esoterica of Conflict of Laws (I hope that I can befuddle my students with half his skill.) I was also surrounded by wonderful teachers while in private practice – Len Becker who took me under his wing and taught me so many skills; Mel Spaeth (who taught me how to think things through and focus relentlessly on the key points on which a case will turn), the recently-retired Doug Wald (the son of DC Circuit Judge Pat Wald) who patiently overlooked many of my rookie mistakes and taught me how to write like a lawyer; and UVA Economics professor Kenneth Elzinga, an incredible man who we hired repeatedly as an economic expert because he could so smoothly and skillfully teach novice jurors.
Q. If you could have coffee or tea with one person (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
Well, that’s a big question, and there are literally hundreds of folks that would be interesting to meet. But I think I would say my Dad, who passed away about six years ago. I’m so glad that I had a chance to sit down with him and record some of his memories about his life before his memory started to fade. But I would love to be able to sit down with him now, tell him again how much he means to me, and talk about what I’ve done and am thinking of doing with my remaining time, his most cherished moments and biggest regrets, and just to be with him again.
Q. What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
That’s a tough one. I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not having a case that was reported in The American Lawyer. It’s not making partner at a big law firm or even scoring a teaching gig at a top law school. Nor is it successfully defending multibillion-dollar lawsuits or working changes by pursuing pro bono litigation. In the end, I suppose that– although it’s really more luck than pride–it’s that after 26 years of marriage I have an incredible wife and three terrific young-adult children who love me and each other and that we can face the world together.
Q. What is your favorite part of working with the Academic Success Program?
My favorite part of Academic Success is getting to know the stories of individual students and then seeing those who I worked with in the program graduate and succeed as lawyers and imagining that perhaps our program had something to do with it. That maybe I helped put a little wind beneath their wings. My whole reason for teaching is to help students be all they can be—to develop their skills and talents and to play my bit part in helping them realize what they are capable of and what’s most important and valuable to them both professionally and in life generally.
Q. Favorite food/restaurant/drink?
I personally think that Thai food is the best cuisine on the planet and, even apart from that prejudice, that Napa Thai is the best restaurant in Lexington. (But I readily confess that I’m also a sucker for the Fishin’ Pig right off of I-64 near Waynesboro. What’s not to like about smoked BBQ pork and brisket, fried catfish, Bang Bang shrimp and mac and cheese? Let’s go!!)
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