Two professors bring their fathers to work this semester at Wake Forest Law

When Wake Forest Law promotes a family atmosphere, it’s not just lip service.

Two Wake Forest Law professors – Jonathan Cardi and Tanya Marsh – brought their fathers to work this semester.

In what is believed to be an unprecedented set of circumstances at Wake Forest Law, Vince Cardi and Bill Marsh are providing the law school with concurrent father-son and father-daughter teaching duos.

Vince Cardi is visiting from West Virginia University College of Law.

“Besides being a wonderful guy and a fabulous teacher, Vince is all about commercial law and contracts,” explains Suzanne Reynolds (’77), Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. “This semester he is teaching a section of Contracts II and the Sales course to some very lucky students.”

Vince Cardi holds the Bowles Rice Professorship at WVU Law. A JD graduate of Ohio State University with an LL.M. from Harvard, he is the recipient of the West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching. He teaches Contracts, Sales, Secured Transactions, Federal Bankruptcy, Law of Creditors and Debtors and Drafting Legal Documents in Commercial Business Transactions, among others. He serves on the West Virginia Commission of Uniform State Law, The West Virginia State Election Commission, The West Virginia Law Institute Governing Council, and is a Commissioner on the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) along with Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Suzanne Reynolds (’77). He was on the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review Advisory Board, and was president of Legal Aid of West Virginia.

“Being close to Jonathan has always been special, and experiencing this closeness as a colleague at such a great law school is wonderful,” he said.

“Knowing he is in his office two doors down from me brings a smile to my face every time I think of it. And like any parent, I am especially proud when I observe his interactions with his colleagues. My only disappointment is that I cannot see his interaction with students because our classes meet at the same time.”

It’s a second stint at Wake Forest Law for Bill Marsh, who taught a condensed practical skills course, “Federal Criminal Practice,” at the law school during Spring Semester 2013 after Tanya Marsh suggested he teach a class at Wake Forest. He liked it so much, he decided to come back for a full semester this year to teach “Criminal Procedure: Investigations.”

“Donna and I came down because it was an opportunity for me to continuing working with law students, which I love to do and, teaching on a faculty with Tanya is a special experience.  Added bonuses are that our grandsons are here and we are escaping a lot of snow,” he said with a smile.

Bill Marsh is no stranger to teaching law students. A graduate of University of Nebraska, he clerked for a federal judge and practiced for a few years in a law firm in Phoenix before entering law school teaching.  He taught criminal procedure among other courses at Indiana University Law School-Indianapolis as a Professor of Law from 1971 to 1994.  During the time he was a full-time professor he was also a consultant at Legal Services Organization, which included serving as lead counsel for a number of prison reform class action cases in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bill Marsh left full time teaching in 1994 to create the Federal Public Defender Program for the Southern District of Indiana and then served as the director until he retired in 2012, during which time he continued teaching criminal procedure at IU-Indianapolis as an adjunct professor Bill Marsh’s first experience with Wake Forest Law School students came in 2011, when he argued Sykes v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court. Coincidentally, Professor John Korzen (’91), director of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic, and some of his clinic students were visiting the court and heard Marsh argue.

“The students heard the arguments so I came to the law school a few months later and discussed the case and the experience with them,” he said.

His other daughter, Andrea Marsh who lives in Indianapolis, is a public defender. All three Marshes have been sworn into to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, which allows them to argue in front of the high court.

“It surprised me that they both followed in my footsteps because neither one of them talked about being lawyers when they were growing up,” he added.  His wife, Donna, is also retired and joins  him in Winston-Salem for the semester.

Tanya Marsh teaches Property, Real Estate Transactions, and Funeral and Cemetery Law.  She is also developing and teaching the new 1L Professional Development class.  Her scholarship addresses commercial real estate, the regulation of community banks, and the laws regarding the status, treatment, and disposition of human remains.  A graduate of Indiana University and Harvard Law School, she practiced corporate and real estate law in Indianapolis for 10 years before joining the Wake Forest faculty in 2014.  She also taught as an adjunct professor at IU-Indianapolis law school for five years.

“Personally, my family is thrilled that my parents have such a great reason to be in Winston-Salem for the semester,” Tanya Marsh said. “Professionally, it is an honor to teach with my father. He was a full-time law professor my entire childhood, and I’ve often said that I grew up in law school. I can’t tell you how many attorneys in Indianapolis, particularly among the criminal law bar, have gone out of their way to tell me that Dad was the best professor they ever had, that he respected and cared about them, and that his example inspired them as a professional and ethical attorney. My Dad is absolutely my role model as a law professor, an attorney, and a human being, and I’m so glad that Wake Forest Law students get to learn from him too.”

Jonathan Cardi is used to bumping into family around the Worrell Professional Center. His younger brother, Michael, graduated from Wake Forest Law in May 2013.

Jonathan Cardi joined the faculty of Wake Forest in July 2010. Professor Cardi specializes in tort law, the law of remedies, and the intersection of race and the law. He is co-author of a torts casebook, a remedies casebook, two commercial outlines, and is co-editor of a book entitled Critical Race Realism. Professor Cardi received his BA from Harvard and his JD from the University of Iowa. He then clerked for the Honorable Judge Alan Norris, U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Judge for the 6th Circuit before working as a litigator at the D.C. law firm, Arnold & Porter. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Professor Cardi was a faculty member at the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he taught for eight years.

When asked what it’s like working with his father on a daily basis or having his brother in class, Jonathan Cardi replied: “I adore my family. It brings a smile to my face every time I see my Dad at the law school or hear him whistling as he walks down the hall. I know students are lucky to have him as well. I have seen his student evaluations from West Virginia – students routinely describe him as the best professor they have ever had. It was wonderful to have my brother here as well. He actually took two of my classes and I was not shy about calling on him nor was he shy in participating!”