|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Mon, 21 Jan 2002
Friends and colleagues said they will remember the dean of the Appalachian School of Law for being a brilliant lawyer, but the fondest memories, they said, will be of his wit.
L. Anthony Sutin, 42, was one of three people shot to death Wednesday by a disgruntled student at the small law school in the mountains of western Virginia. v
“He came to Grundy because he thought he could use his talents to help people in Appalachia, and to help boost the economy of a small coal town,” said Kent Markus, a former Harvard Law School roommate and one of about 500 people who attended a private memorial service Sunday afternoon in an auditorium at Grundy High School. “He was trying to help the sons and grandsons of coal miners.”
Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, left a position at the U.S. Department of Justice to help start the fledgling school to ease a shortage of lawyers in the region and to foster economic renewal in Appalachia.
Former Attorney General Janet Reno said Sutin had a knack for lightening intense moments with his humor.
“Tony could make me laugh at the tensest of moments,” she said in a letter read at the memorial service. “He could make me smile in the saddest. And he knew just which to do and when to do it.”
Sutin held several positions in the Justice Department between 1994 and 1999. He first founded and served as deputy director of the Community Oriented Policing Services, which was created to carry out former President Clinton’s effort to put 100,000 more officers on the streets.
He was serving as assistant attorney general for legislative affairs when he left the Justice Department.