A.E. Dick Howard : World is UVa. law professor's classroom

Jeff E. Schapiro
Richmond Times-Dispatch

After a dispute with conservatives over gay rights erupted in 2006, threatening to fracture the Episcopal Church, church lawyers and the head of the Virginia diocese traveled to Charlottesville on a wintry day to enlist A.E. Dick Howard, the constitutional scholar, in the court battle to decide whether breakaway anti-gay parishes had to surrender to the diocese property worth millions of dollars.

Meeting over tea and scones in a parlor at Howard’s brick Colonial-Revival house, Bishop Peter Lee, lawyers Russ Palmore and Brad Davenport and Howard discussed the legal questions raised by the fight. The conversation continued as Howard poked about the fireplace, trying to figure why smoke was billowing into the room rather than out the chimney.

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