Meyer Fisher Dies at 93;
Created Gilbert Outlines

By Stan Chess
February 22, 2011

Meyer Fisher, the man who created the Gilbert Law Summaries and thus invented law-school study aids, died on February 17.  He was 93.

A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Fisher heard of a law student named Bill Rutter who had written an outline for his law-school finals at U.S.C. 

Fisher took Rutter's outline, had it typeset and printed, and put the books in the backseat and trunk of his car.  He then drove from law school to law school, peddling the original Gilbert outline.

Fisher subsequently opened bookstores throughout California and created Law Distributers, Inc., which at one time was the nation's largest seller of law-school study aids.  In 1974, Law Distributors and its sister companies BAR and BRI were sold to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, where Fisher worked until his retirement.

As a book distributor, Fisher knew the owner of virtually every law bookstore in the United States, and knew also every book on the owners' shelves.

For many years, Fisher, along with Bill Rutter (who now heads The Rutter Group), Jan Horn, Stan Chess, Steve Levine, and Richard Conviser sat on the Board of Directors of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Legal & Professional Publications, Inc., which oversaw BAR/BRI, the Gilbert outlines, and other study aids.

"Meyer was certainly one of a kind," said Rutter.  "We'll all miss him." 

"To everyone," said Rutter Group executive Linda Diamond Raznick, "he was, and will always be, Uncle Meyer."