Olivier Moreteau Named Holder of First Law Center Chair

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The LSU Law Center is very proud to announce that distinguished comparativist Olivier Moreteau has been named the first holder of the Russell B. Long Eminent Scholars Academic Chair. He joined the Law Center faculty this fall at the rank of Professor of Law with tenure and will direct the Center of Civil Law Studies.

Reflecting the late senator’s enduring devotion to LSU, the Russell Long Chair was created to attract a scholar of sufficient distinction to enhance the national and international reputation of the Law Center and the university. Professor Moreteau satisfied this criterion with distinction. Formerly a Professor of Comparative Law and Director of the Edouard Lambert Institute of Comparative Law at the Universite Jean Moulin Lyon 3, in Lyon, France, he is widely known in the areas of comparative law, civil and common law, agency and partnership, tort law, and commercial law. “I view the Russell Long Chair as a starting point for a renaissance of Louisiana law,” says Moreteau, “which must be taught and studied in a comparative perspective and promoted outside as a model for the development of multi-cultural legal systems, relevant not only to North and South America, but also Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.”

The selection of Professor Moreteau came as the result of an exceptional worldwide search conducted by individuals inside and outside the Law Center. Chaired by Chancellor John Costonis, the Search Committee included Law Center faculty members John Baker, Lucy McGough, Catherine Rogers, Ron Scalise, and Randy Trahan, as well as Aalt Willem Heringa, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Maastrict (Netherlands). Law Center Professors Alain Levasseur and Saul Litvinoff also acted as consultants to the Search Committee. The position was posted on list servs that reached over 17,000 people around the world. Many of the world’s eminent comparativists were among the more than 200 people considered for the position from Canada, South America, the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

Recognizing the strength of the civil law tradition in Louisiana law, the Law Center faculty decided to allocate the Russell Long Chair to Civil Law and to the Center of Civil Law Studies.

The Center of Civil Law Studies was established in 1965 to promote and encourage the scientific study of the civil law system, its history, structure, principles, and actualities. Expertly directed by Professor Litvinoff for almost 30 years, the Center has been at the forefront of facilitating a better understanding and further development of the private law of the State of Louisiana and other civil law jurisdictions, particularly those of continental Europe and Latin America, through theoretical and practical activities, such as publications, translations, sponsorship of faculty and student exchanges, visiting scholars, seminars and lectures. According to the Chancellor, the Center will gain another outstanding director, who will create a strategic plan for the next 10 to 15 years. “I view the Center of Civil Law Studies,” states Professor Moreteau, “as a superb tool permitting LSU’s very unique community of civilians and common-lawyers to cooperate among themselves and with academics in Louisiana, the nation, and the world to promote the bi-jural model and comparative studies in areas most needed for the working and the understanding of both a local and global world.” He will also participate in the development of the Law Center’s growing Graduate Program and its Summer in France Program in Lyon.

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