GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Columbia University Law Professor Thomas W. Merrill will deliver the first annual Wolf Family Lecture in the American Law of Real Property at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in 285B Holland Hall at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. A reception will follow Merrill’s lecture. This event is free and open to the public. The title of Merrill’s lecture is “Populism and Public Use.”
Merrill is the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School in New York, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2003. He previously taught at Northwestern University School of Law. From 1987 to 1990 he served as deputy solicitor general in the Department of Justice, where he represented the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court. He previously practiced law with Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Chicago, where he continues to serve as a consultant on appellate litigation, constitutional law, regulated industries, and environmental law.
Merrill earned bachelor’s degrees from Grinnell College in Iowa and Oxford University in England prior to enrolling in the University of Chicago Law School, where he earned his J.D. cum laude in 1977. Following graduation from law school, Merrill was law clerk to United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun, as well as United States Court of Appeals Chief Judge David L. Bazelon.
The lecture series was endowed by a gift from UF Law Professor Michael Allan Wolf and his wife Betty. Wolf, the Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, is the general editor of a 17-volume treatise, Powell on Real Property, the most utilized treatise in the country in the area, which is cited regularly by the courts, including several recent citations in the United States Supreme Court. The treatise is a legal source that lawyers, law professors and judges have relied upon for over half a century.
“My wife and I envision that the gift will enable the Levin College of Law to bring leading real property experts to share ideas with our impressive law school community,” Wolf said. “The text of each lecture will be published in the Powell treatise, which will enable the ideas to reach even a wider audience of practitioners, judges, and academics. We also want to expose these outstanding lecturers to all the great things we have at our law school, especially our faculty, students, and staff. In this way, the gift will further enhance UF’s already outstanding reputation.”
UF Law Dean Robert Jerry said, “The Wolf Family Lecture on the American Law of Real Property will provide a forum for leading academic experts on American real property law to present their ideas not only to our students but also to a national and international audience. We are delighted that the Wolf Family chose to create this significant series, and we are very excited about Professor Merrill’s inaugural lecture in February.”
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