Ryan H. Easley, a 2004 honors graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, was a Research Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library when he and his wife, Melanie, died in a tragic automobile accident in December 2004. During law school, he served as a research assistant for Professor Alan Hornstein. Ryan was especially proud of his law school work on the Walter Arvinger case, a project in which clinic students earned clemency from Governor Robert Ehrlich for a man wrongfully imprisoned for more than 36 years for a murder he did not commit.
As Professor Donald Gifford, for whom Ryan wrote an outstanding paper about Guido Calabresi's seminal book on tort law The Cost of Accidents, said: One had the sense that the more he went on in life, the more he would have emerged as a really brilliant lawyer or a legal scholar.To honor Ryans memory, his family established the Ryan Easley Memorial Fund at the School of Law. Two of Ryans many interests were access to justice and computers. In light of those interests, the Memorial Fund will be used to complete a digitization project of historical publications of the United States Office of Civil Rights. In addition, a paving stone in the courtyard facing the library was etched in memory of Ryan and Melanie, and future fellows hired for the Thurgood Marshall Law Library will be known as Ryan H. Easley Research Fellows.
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