Clark, Charles Edward, 1889-1963

Alternative names
Birth 1889-12-09
Death 1963-12-13

Biographical notes:

Charles Edward Clark was born in Woodbridge, Connecticut on December 9, 1889, the son of Samuel Orman and Pauline C. Marquand Clark. He graduated from Yale College in 1911 and Yale Law School in 1913; in the same year he was admitted to the Connecticut bar.

In 1919, after six years of private practice in New Haven, Clark was appointed to the faculty of the Yale Law School as assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1922, full professor in 1923, the Lines Professorship in 1927, and Sterling Professor of Law in 1929.

He served as Dean of the Law School from 1929 to 1939, one of the most productive and critical periods in the School's history. The Sterling Law Buildings were completed in 1931 and the Faculty of Law expanded. Clark's term as Dean was notable for a reorganization of the School's curriculum to place more emphasis on the social functions of the law, including the interrelation between law and commerce, sociology, medicine, psychology, and economics.

Clark was active in Connecticut politics and served on several committees seeking to improve the State's administrative and judicial systems; these included the Commission on Reorganization of State Executive Departments 1935-1936 and the Commission on State Government Reorganization 1949-1951.

Nationally, Clark was best known for his service on the United States Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Civil Procedure from 1935 to 1956. In his capacity as committee reporter he became the principal architect of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which were adopted for all Federal trial courts and copied by many state courts.

In 1939 he was appointed associate judge of the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont). From 1954 to 1959 he was chief judge of the Court. He resumed his seat as associate judge until his death on December 13, 1963.

Clark was the author of numerous articles and books, including Code Pleading, 1928; Real Covenants, 1929; and Cases on Pleading and Procedure, 2 vols. 1930, 1933.

For further biographical detail see the section of biographical newspaper clippings 1907-1963 in Series VI.

From the guide to the Charles Edward Clark papers, 1907-1967, 1935-1963, (Manuscripts and Archives)


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  • Puerto Rico (as recorded)
  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • Connecticut (as recorded)
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