Earlier this week, those of us in the legal community (and many beyond it) received some terrible news. Our friend and colleague, Professor Dmitry Karshtedt, died aged merely forty-five. Death is always a sad time, but doubly so when it comes unexpectedly for someone in the prime of their life. And Professor Karshtedt was certainly in his prime.
Dmitry was an accomplished academic and scientist—a tenured professor at a Top 20 law school, a named co-inventor on a number of patents, a beloved teacher, a frequent presenter at various academic conferences, a cheerful debating partner of things large and small, and more. But to those of us who knew him a bit more closely, he was so much more than that. He was simultaneously mischievous spirit with edgy jokes and a deeply serious man. He was a both a world traveler and someone who just as often would want to spend time in his office or his apartment, away from the hustle and bustle of the world, so that he could read, write, listen to music, or simply contemplate. He held strong views, but he avoided being doctrinaire or purely partisan, and he remained open to persuasion. Over the time that I knew him, we discussed everything from patent scholarship to politics, travel itineraries to our favorite drinks.
In addition to being a good friend, Dmitry was also a good citizen in the broadest sense of that word. Whenever asked for help—whether with a mock job talk for an aspiring academic, to judge a moot court competition, to substitute teach a class, or almost anything else—Dmitry would never say no. On more than one occasion, I joined him in helping moot candidates on an academic job market. I did my best to try to read the papers beforehand and familiarize myself with the candidates’ arguments. But Dmitry really read the papers. Even when the paper touched on a subject matter unrelated to IP, he would come to the session well-versed in the topic, prepared to ask questions and engage with answers. He did it not only because he was intellectually curious (though he certainly was that), but because he truly believed that this is what is required of a member of a community. In that, he was unmatched.
There are many more things that can be said about Dmitry, and I suspect we will be saying them for quite some time. I am sure that, every so often, we will think how this event or that conference would benefit from his input, or how our dinner outing would be so much better for his jokes. We have lost a scholar, a true member of the community, a helping hand, and a brilliant mind. I have lost a dear friend. Like many, I will miss him dearly, and his memory will be a blessing indeed.
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