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Peter Tillers

Died: October 3, 2015

Peter Tillers was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1943, immigrated to the United States in 1950, and died on October 3, 2015. At his death he was a professor of law at Cardoza School of Law, Yeshiva University, a post he had held since 1986. An authority on the law of evidence, he had built up a curriculum vitae including 39 publications, 59 lectures and talks, and many honors, visitorships, and activities at numerous prestigious institutions.

Peter began at Yale as a member of the class of 1965 and Branford College. He took a year abroad in Munich, Germany; and, when he returned, became a history, the arts and letters major in the class of 1966. After graduation he entered Harvard Law School, taking degrees there in 1969 and 1972.

According to Cardoza Law School’s online bio, Peter’s main work in law built on and revised John Henry Wigmore’s multi-volume treatise on the law of evidence. In between his academic appointments, he practiced law briefly in Los Angeles, 1969-70, and San Antonio, 1978-80.

Peter’s scholarship, says the online bio, maintains that “multiple methods of marshaling and analyzing evidence are important in trials, in pretrial investigation and informal fact discovery, and in other domains. He believes that inference networks offer a useful window into investigative discovery and proof at trial. But he believes that subjective, synthetic, and gestalt-like perspectives on evidence, inference, and proof are also essential.”

In the Class of 1966’s 45th Reunion Directory, Peter wrote, “These days I spend my time trying to keep body and soul together. Otherwise I devote my time to teaching and to writing journal articles, organizing conferences, and assembling collections of papers about the law of evidence…I also keep plugging away at a big book that may someday see the light of day.

“All in all, although I have a few regrets, I am reasonably satisfied with the way I have lived my life; my health is decent; and I enjoy my work.”

Peter leaves two children, Jesse G. Tillers and Lily G. Tillers.