April 2020
Professor George Pugh (fifth from left) at a Feb. 11, 2019 luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion with Gov. John Bel Edwards, LSU Law alumni, friends, Dean Tom Galligan and members of the judiciary.
LSU Law honors the legacy and contributions of
Professor George Pugh
The LSU Law family is mourning the passing of Professor George W. Pugh, who made tremendous contributions to the Paul M. Hebert Law Center as a celebrated student, professor and supporter of LSU Law.

Pugh passed away from natural causes at the age of 94 on April 7 at his home in Baton Rouge. He was buried on Good Friday, April 10, at Christ Episcopal Church in Napoleonville, next to his beloved wife of 60 years, Jean H. Pugh.

“George Pugh is among the most towering figures and legal scholars in the 114-year history of LSU Law,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Lockridge. “We are forever grateful for his service to the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, and we send our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Born in 1925, Pugh was raised in the small town of Napoleonville. He joined the U.S Army in 1943 and was deployed to France during World War II. After the war, George graduated with a B.A. from LSU in 1947, and then earned his law degree at LSU Law in 1950, graduating at the top of his class.

After earning a Doctor of Juridical Science at Yale Law School in 1952, he became a faculty member at LSU Law later that year. Over the next 42 years, Pugh distinguished himself as one of the most respected and loved professors at the law school. His classes were intense, marked by close attention to the facts, rigorous examination of the text, and an immense fount of knowledge that could be brought to bear on any issue. He taught his students profound lessons about what the law can—and should—be, forming lasting friendships with many of them in the process.

Widely known as the “father” of the Louisiana Evidence Code, Pugh was the coordinator and co-reporter of the Code of Evidence for the Louisiana State Law Institute, which was enacted into state law in 1988. A consistent voice for reason, moderation, and intellectual honesty in the administration of justice, he was noted for his expertise in Evidence, Criminal Justice, Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure, and Comparative Law.

In 1998, George and Jean established the George W. and Jean H. Pugh Institute for Justice at LSU Law to promote justice for individuals in the administration of the criminal and civil justice systems in the state of Louisiana and elsewhere. In lieu of flowers, the Pugh family has asked that donations be made to the George Pugh Memorial Fund or the George and Jean Pugh Institute for Justice. Donations can be made online by including a gift comment noting the recipient as either the Pugh Memorial Fund or Pugh Institute for Justice. 

LSU Law celebrates 2020 Distinguished Alumni of the Year and Distinguished Achievement honorees
Roughly 300 people attended the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Celebration on Friday evening, March 6, to honor eight LSU Law alumni at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge.

“Our 10,000 LSU Law alums have made their mark on our state and in places throughout the globe,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Lockridge in her opening remarks, “and tonight we gather to honor eight of our graduates who have distinguished themselves in the practice of law, in our communities and within the walls of LSU Law.”

Longtime LSU Law Professor William Crawford, Hon. Ernestine Gray, Hon. Guy Holdridge, and attorneys H. Alston Johnson III and James P. Roy were honored as Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Distinguished Achievement honorees were attorneys Glenn Armentor, John M. Madison Jr. and Mary Olive Pierson.

Among those in attendance were LSU Interim President Tom Galligan; Hon. Kitty Kimball, retired chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court; Hon. John deGravelles of the U.S. District Court for Middle District of Louisiana; LSU Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Leach Werner; Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne; and LSU Law Chancellor Emeritus John Costonis. Many LSU Law alumni, professors and retired professors were also on hand.

The Spirit of LSU Law shines on 2020 Day of Caring and Giving
The annual LSU Day of Caring and Giving provided LSU Law the opportunity to shine a light on its amazing students and incredible alumni on Wednesday, April 22.

The Day of Caring and Giving was a great success for LSU Law, with many supporters sharing the stories on social media and making generous donations to the LSU Law Student Emergency Relief Fund as well as the Law General Scholarship Fund. By the end of the daylong campaign, $72,265 in contributions were made to benefit LSU Law students.

The stories we shared on the Day of Caring and Giving included a feature on Mark (’83) and Mary (LSU ’82) Schroeder’s non-endowed scholarship and how it has helped student Alyssa Craton to achieve her dreams. As an active Houston energy lawyer, Mark has helped to mentor students as well as support them during their Law Center experience. The Schroeders celebrated the Day of Caring and Giving by funding their second annual scholarship, effectively doubling their impact on students in 2020-21. Read the full story »

Jim Roy, a 1976 LSU Law graduate, former president of the LSU Board of Supervisors and 2020 LSU Law Distinguished Alumni of the Year, shared his thoughts on why he bleeds purple and gold, saying: “The foundation of my professional success began with my LSU Law school education. I am profoundly grateful for that great legal education. I give to LSU Law because I want to give back to the institution that has helped me so much, and by doing so I can help LSU Law continue to deliver a strong legal education to its students." Read the full story »

And Mary Olive Pierson, a 1969 LSU Law graduate and 2020 LSU Law Distinguished Achievement award recipient, reflected on her remarkable experience as a member of one of the first LSU Law classes with more than one or two female members. "None of us, nine or ten girls in all, even knew each other before that September day in 1966 when we descended on the Law School with about 200 other freshmen—all men. In the three-and-a-half years that followed, we were taught how to think, how to see both sides of an issue and that there is no such thing as all black or all white—a necessary tool if persuasion to your view is essential. We formed lasting friendships with our new friends and we still get together for lunch occasionally each year and repeat, over and over, the same old and tired, but terrific stories of those years.” Read the full story »
Video: LSU Law students share messages of hope and appreciation
No matter the obstacles, LSU Law students are championing one another to finish the semester strong and remain optimistic in the face of adversity.

LSU Law Admiralty Moot Court team wins Most Outstanding Law School award
Competing virtually in the John R. Brown National Admiralty Law Moot Competition in early April, a team of LSU Law students finished among the top four teams in the nation and brought home the Most Outstanding Law School award.

The team of law students Katelyn Bayhi, Hannah Crosby, Sarah Day, Michael Maldonado, Sarah Simmons and Jordan Zeringue had been set to travel to Portland, Maine, for the competition, but the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency changed those plans and forced all teams to compete virtually.

The LSU Law team won the Most Outstanding Law School award, which goes to the law school whose two teams combine for the best overall score. To commemorate the achievement, the team will be presented with a ceremonial oar mace—a replica of the colonial New York ViceAdmiralty Court’s silver oar mace that dates to the early 1700s and includes the English crown and anchor as engraved on the silver oar’s reverse side. LSU Law teams also won the award at last year’s competition.

The LSU Law team is coached by Adjunct Professor Dean Sutherland (LSU Law ’75), of counsel at Jeansonne and Remondet LLC; and Phillip Smith (’16), an associate attorney at NeunerPate.

LSU Law Women Law Students Association named 2020 Law School Chapter of the Year by Ms. JD
The Women Law Students Association at LSU Law has been named the 2020 Law School Chapter of the Year by Ms. JD, a nonprofit organization that promotes women in the legal profession.

The award is given annually to a law school organization that “champions the advancement of women law students through, for example, chapter initiatives (including pre-law initiatives), programming or recruitment.”

In honoring WLSA with the award, Ms. JD praises the student organization as “a diverse and involved group of women with one important thing in common: a burning desire to make a positive impact on the women in the profession.”

The 2019-2020 WLSA Executive Board includes the following officers: President Gabriella E. Diaz, Vice President Kaylin Jolivette, Treasurer Mary Katherine Loos, 1L Representative Samara Nwazojie, Fundraising Chair Linnea Brailsford, Outreach Chair Christen Lewis, and Main Campus Relations Coordinator Melanie C.R. Brown.

'We're a family': LSU Law Center's transition to online learning
The Reveille recently featured LSU Law's transition to remote learning and the incredible efforts being made by students, faculty and staff to adapt to the unprecedented disruption brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Second-year law student Jordan Zeringue says professors have geared the material in the class to online learning. He said some of his classes are all live lectures on Zoom, but others are a mix of pre-recorded and live lectures.

“The professors have been really phenomenal in making this transition easier,” Zeringue said. “They really take our input into account. They’re constantly asking for our input.”

Professor Keith Hall has been named the 2020 Professor-in-Residence by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, an independent not-for-profit professional membership association that supports international energy negotiators around the world and enhances their effectiveness and professionalism in the international energy community.
Professor Pedro Gerson’s article "Return of the King: Corruption Backsliding in America" will be published in the Cardozo International Comparative, Policy & Ethics Law Review.
A headshot photo of a man wearing a suit and tie
Professor Ed Richards is featured in a Reason magazine explanation of the constitutionality of quarantines and similar measures in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Professor Madalyn Wasilczuk has written an op-ed about Louisiana’s juvenile transfer laws that is featured in The Advocate.
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