Sergio Pappalardo passed away, suddenly, in April 2003, aged 59. A shy and almost solitary man, he was, as a scholar, extremely cautious and quite reluctant to publish his writings until he was entirely sure about the results he had achieved. For this reason, his scientific production was less extensive than a familiarity with his cultural scope might have led one to expect. Yet under no circumstances should his contributions to the sociology of law be neglected. His works cover a wide range of subjects, from the justice system and judges’ associations in Italy to litiga-tion and deviance vis-à-vis natural catastrophes, migrations from Eastern Europe and, in the last years, the sociology of love and sexuality. All such contributions display both methodological rigour and the capacity to strike deeply to the most profound historical roots of the phenomena under scrutiny.