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Dan Robinson

Dan Robinson

Retired tax court judge | State of Oregon | Class of 1981

A toast to the White Horse Inn, from retired Oregon tax court judge Dan Robinson (’81), who spent his fair share of nights at his favorite Campustown bar.

“I used to go there on Friday nights after a long week of attending classes and doing homework in one of the little enclaves in the basement of the Student Union building,” says Robinson (’81), now living the good life in Punta Gorda, Fla. “I also ducked out of a statistics class one day with a female classmate who, later that day, I started dating. 

“It was in the winter approaching either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The snow was falling heavy and by the time we left The White Horse it was dark and very difficult to make our way through the snow back to our dorms because I’m a quadriplegic and use a power wheelchair for mobility.

"My wheelchair got stuck in the snow, but fortunately some students who happened to be passing by helped my new girlfriend push me up the slight hill so I could return to my room at Beckwith Hall.”

As for a favorite memory involving a professor, that’s easy.

“I took an ethics class from Professor Jan Gorecki,” Robinson says. “He had written a book called ‘A Theory of Criminal Justice.’ At Professor Gorecki’s request to the class, I volunteered to give the class an overview of a number of chapters from that book. The presentation was to last only last 10 minutes. I read the chapters multiple times and prepared my summary, but it took about 111/2 minutes to deliver. 

“I went to see him in his office to ask him if that additional time would be OK. He knew that I was planning to go to law school, and he had been a member of Poland’s highest court before fleeing to the U.S. to avoid governmental political persecution. When we met in his office, I told him that I needed a little extra time. He was smoking a pipe as I recall, which he placed in an ash tray. 

“After a prolonged period of silence, he looked at me and said: ‘It is your intention, is it not, to go to law school?’ I confirmed that it was. His response: ‘Brevity, my son, is the key to law.’

“He then stared at me again momentarily before going back to what he was working on when I arrived. I understood the cue and simply thanked him for his time and left his office. 

“Naturally, I further modified my presentation to fit within the prescribed 10 minutes.”