When I was a first-year evening student at Brooklyn Law School, I was meeting a friend for dinner on a fall night at a restaurant then called Picadelli’s on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. My books were piled high on a table when I thought the woman at the next table was staring at me. I said to her, “Can I help you?” She replied, “My husband wrote that book.” Not knowing which book or who her husband was I responded irreverently, “Perhaps he would autograph it for me.”

Sure enough my Elements of Civil Procedure book was quickly penned: “To John Leventhal who should be a great lawyer—judging by his taste in restaurants. Jack B. Weinstein, October 10, 1975.” Three years later I would meet him again in a Brooklyn Heights movie theater and he seemed to remember our restaurant encounter.