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Prof. Sunderland, Noted Law Teacher, Dies At 84

Prof. Sunderland, Noted Law Teacher, Dies At 84 image
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Illness Fatal To Retired Faculty Man
Prof. Emeritus Edson Read Sunderland of the University Law School, an advocate of reform in legal procedure, died yesterday at his home at 1510 Cambridge Rd. He was 84.
He had been ill with pneumonia.
Prof. Sunderland had been on the U-M faculty for 43 years until his retirement in 1944.
His work on legal reform was aided by a six-month trip to England, where he studied court procedure.
In 1931, he drafted the official forms of pleading, adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court. He also drafted the Illinois Civil Practices Act, adopted in 1933.
Prof. Sunderland was the author of more than 120 book-length publications and more than 130 articles on legal problems. His last book was "The History of the American Bar Association," written long after his retirement and printed by the association for distribution among its members.
Prof. Sunderland, born in 1874 at Northfield, Mass., came to Ann Arbor with his family at an early age.
His father, the Rev. Jabez Sunderland, was pastor of the First Unitarian Church here from 1878 to 1898. His mother, Dr. Eliza R. Sunderland, was a distinguished educator and philosopher.
Although Prof. Sunderland attended the University of Berlin and the University of California, he received his degrees from the University.
He received his bachelor of arts degree in 1897, his master of arts degree in philosophy in 1898 and his bachelor of laws degree in 1901, the year he joined the Law School faculty.
On Faculty 43 Years
Of his 43 years at the U-M, 40 were spent with the rank of full professor - first as professor of law, and later, of professor of law and legal research.
In 1952, Prof. Sunderland received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the U-M, an honor seldom bestowed upon one of its own faculty members. He also received honorary degrees from Wayne State University and Northwestern University.
From 1925 to 1934, he served on the Ann Arbor Board of Education. From 1931 to 1943, he was a director of Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills.
Prof. Sunderland, for 25 years, was the business manager for the Faculty Board in Control of Student Publications at the U-M. The new Student Publications Building, built and equipped from profits of the student enterprises, is a memorial to his successful stewardship.
Prof. Sunderland was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Delta Phi, Michigamua, Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of Coif.
Conducted Research
He was a research associate on the Sterling Foundation at Yale University from 1931-33 and was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 1934, the University of North Carolina, 1935-38 and the University of Southern California, 1936.
In 1905, Prof. Sunderland was married to Hannah Dell Read, who survives.
Also surviving are a son, Thomas E. Sunderland of Winnetka, Ill., vice-president and general counsel for the Standard Oil Co. of Indiana; and two daughters, Mrs. Harold E. Wethey of Ann Arbor, and Miss Elizabeth R. Sunderland of Durham, N. C.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, at the 1510 Cambridge Rd. residence. The Rev. Leonard A. Parr of Evanston, Ill., formerly pastor of the First Congregational Church here, will officiate.
The body, however, will be at Muehlig Chapel, where friends may call until Wednesday evening. Cremation will follow.