Wayne Barnett, professor emeritus at Stanford Law School, passed away on March 8, 2019 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 90. He was living with his wife, an artist affiliated with Stanford’s art department during his tenure.

Barnett came to Stanford Law in fall 1966, having spent a number of years in both private practice and in government service. After receiving an A.B. in economics in 1950 from Harvard College, he stayed in Cambridge to study law, serving as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review and receiving an LLB in 1953. Barnett was law clerk to Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan of the United States Supreme Court in 1955-56, then practiced with the Washington firm Covington & Burling for two years.

In Memoriam: Professor Wayne Barnett
Professor Wayne Barnett

In 1958, he left private practice to become assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. In this capacity Barnett and his eight colleagues in the office had the responsibility for arguing appeals in cases lost by the government in a lower court or agency. Barnett left the Solicitor General’s office in 1965 to become first assistant in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice.

While at Stanford, Barnett primarily taught in the area of taxation and contracts. Some of the classes that he regularly taught were Taxation I and Tax, Corporations, and Stakeholders.