GGU News
Peter Keane
June 8, 2022 |

Remembering Dean Emeritus Peter Keane

By Alex Wheeler

With a reputation for lawyerly rabble-rousing and impromptu debates about the U.S. Constitution, Peter Keane was, as former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos puts it, “The model public servant.” 

It is with sadness that we share the news that Peter Keane, Dean Emeritus of the Golden Gate University School of Law passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 79. Dean Keane, as he was affectionately known at GGU, served as dean from 1999-2003 and as a beloved professor of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, and Professional Responsibility. 

Dean Keane first demonstrated his flair for the law when he came to San Francisco from Texas in 1970 with a stack of law books and a desire to make a difference. He got that opportunity when he tried to register to vote only to have his application declined due to existing state residency laws. So, he took the state to court before he was even licensed to practice law in the California, and he won. This was just the beginning of a long and storied career and life that would see Dean Keane leave his mark throughout the city of San Francisco and the state of California. 

In addition to his tenure as Dean and professor at GGU, Dean Keane served as a public defender, ethics commissioner, city and state bar officer, police commissioner, and voter initiative author, and TV murder trial analyst. 

Current Golden Gate University Law School Dean Colin Crawford said, “Dean Keane will be greatly missed by those at GGU whose lives he touched. He always said that his greatest pleasure at GGU was getting to know, teach, and learn from his students.” 

The entire GGU community extends our deepest sympathy and condolences to Dean Keane’s wife, Nancy, and their family. To support the GGU Law Dean’s Fund for Excellence in honor of Dean Keane, please give here. 

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