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Remembering Dan Markel: FSU Holds Memorial for Slain Law Professor

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on September 17, 2014 1:25 PM

Yesterday, Florida State University College of Law held a memorial service for the late Professor Dan Markel. In addition to teaching, Markel was a well-known legal blogger who founded the widely read PrawfsBlawg.

Markel, 41, was shot and killed in his garage in Tallahassee, Florida, on July 18. His murder remains unsolved.

Legal Eagle

Dan Markel was truly a legal eagle, graduating from Cambridge University with a master's degree and earning a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He clerked for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins on the Ninth Circuit before moving on to white collar criminal defense at a prestigious Washington, D.C., firm. He then became a law professor at FSU College of Law.

Those facts alone are laudable, but as mentioned above, Markel remains near and dear to those of us in the legal blogging community because he founded PrawfsBlawg, a legal blog populated by law professors who discuss everything from movies to labor law to criminal defense. Markel was known for his excellent legal scholarship and intellectual integrity.

Markel's colleagues and students shared fond memories at his memorial service Tuesday, as seen in this video report by the Tallahassee Democrat:

Murder Investigation Continues; $25K Reward Offered

As for Markel's murder, Tallahassee police are slim on details, either because they don't know or because they don't want to say. The incident report of the murder was heavily redacted, according to Gawker. The redactions read "119.071(2)(c) F.S," which is a Florida statute exempting from state public records requirements information related to an active criminal investigation.

Apparently the only information publicly available is that Markel was the intended target and that police are looking for a silver Toyota Prius that was seen at the time of the murder. Markel was shot in his garage on the morning of July 18; according to CNN, Markel's keys were in his car, the doors were unlocked, and there were no signs of forced entry into his house, suggesting that he may have known the shooter. The reward for information leading to an arrest is currently at $25,000.

Tributes to Dan Markel came from as far away as UC Berkeley, where former colleagues from his Harvard days and former students remembered him fondly. We'll keep you posted on the investigation.

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