Catharine MacMillan Discusses Judah Benjamin and the Influence of Louisiana Civil Law on the English Common Law

On August 21, 2014, Catharine MacMillan, Professor of Law and Legal History at the University of Reading (U.K.), presented a paper on Judah Benjamin: The Louisianan’s Influence on British Law.

Judah P. Benjamin was the pre-eminent commercial attorney in 1840s New Orleans and a leading counsel before the United States Supreme Court of the 1850s.  Like many attorneys before and since him, Benjamin combined his legal career with one in politics.  It was his political involvement which led him to a senior role in the government of the Confederate States of America in the 1860s; this involvement, in turn, led to a self-described ‘political exile’ to England in 1865.  Between 1866 and 1883, Benjamin practiced law from London.

While it has long been recognized that the common law of contract borrowed or transplanted various concepts from French civilians, notably Pothier, it is only infrequently identified that Benjamin was the instigator of some of these borrowings.  Some of the common law of contract’s French borrowings came to England via Louisiana.  Prof. MacMillan has carefully researched this process and presented it in the most lively fashion. Her forthcoming book on Judah P. Benjamin will be greatly appreciated in Louisiana.

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Prof. Catherine MacMillan with Prof. Olivier Moréteau and Chancellor Jack Weiss

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Alexandru-Daniel On to Follow Advanced Scholarly Pursuits in Europe

 The CCLS announces with regret that Alexandru-Daniel On, our outstanding Research Associate, dear friend and promising scholar left to engage in advanced scholarly pursuits in Romania (Cluj-Napoca) and The Netherlands (Maastricht).

 Alexandru-Daniel On received an LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) from the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 2010. He holds an LL.M. in Private Law (Babes-Bolyai University, 2011) and an LL.M. in Comparative Law (Louisiana State University, 2013). He is the recipient of the first A. N. Yiannopoulos Endowed Scholarship (for the academic year 2011-2012). His research and publications are focused on the law of torts, the law of obligations, and legal translation.

 Formerly a Research Assistant for Dr. Moréteau (2012), Alexandru-Daniel On then served as CCLS Research Associate from January 2013 to June 2014. He was a Managing Editor of the Journal of Civil Law Studies during this period, contributing to the creation and development of the Civil Law in Louisiana feature. He will no doubt remain an active associate member of the CCLS.

We wish him the best of luck for his future doctoral studies and we will follow his forthcoming steps in comparative law scholarship!

Agustin & Dan

Alexandru-Daniel On and Agustín Parise, former CCLS Research Associates

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Journal of Civil Law Studies | Leave a comment

Back to the April 2014 CCLS Conference & Tucker Lecture Events

On April 10th and 11th, 2014, the Center of Civil Law Studies hosted an international conference on The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project: Enhancing visibility and promoting the Civil Law in English.

International experts in legal translation from all parts of the world, including USA, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Bailiwick of Jersey, met in Baton Rouge to discuss

various topics such as:

-          Common Law vs. Droit civil: an odd couple?

-          Why translate a Code?

-          The challenges of promoting French civil law into English…

The 37th Tucker Lecture in Civil Law was the keynote event: Justice Nicholas Kasirer, of the highest court in Québec, former Dean of the McGill Law School, discussed That Montreal Sound: The Influence of French Legal Ideas and the French Language on the Civil Law Expressed in English.

The events ended with a wonderful reception at beautiful Nottoway Plantation.

The conference was a great success and the papers will be published in the Journal of Civil Law Studies. The CCLS team is delighted to share a few pictures.


Left to right, Prof. Olivier Moréteau, Prof. Michel Séjean, Prof. Jean-Claude Gémar with Justice Nicholas Kasirer, 37th Tucker Lecturer

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A well-attended Tucker Lecture


Prof. Moréteau introducing Justice Kasirer


Justice Nicholas Kasirer delivering the 37th Tucker Lecture


Listening to that Montreal sound

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Dr. Agustin Parise, former CCLS Research Associate, with Jennifer Lane, CCLS Coordinator, who organized all details of the events: thank you, Jennifer!


Dr. François-Xavier Licari, Mr. Jean-Claude Brunet, Consul General of France in New Orleans, and Prof. Moréteau at the Tucker reception


Inaugurating the conference and welcoming participants

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Prof. Moréteau inviting Prof. Emeritus Robert Pascal to comment on the publication of the Compiled Edition of the Civil Codes of Louisiana, now available online


Alexandru-Daniel On, CCLS Research Associate, giving his remarks


Dr. Agustin Parise, Prof. Sylvie Monjean-Decaudin & Prof. Michel Séjean


Dr. Dominique Garreau and Dr. François-Xavier Licari (front) and the three CCLS translators Giorgia Fabris, Oriane Defoix and Melissa Richard (back)


A quartet of panelists: Dr. Matthias Martin, Mr. Stephen Pallot, Prof. Claire Germain & Prof. Randy Trahan

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A. Parise, J. Lane, A.D. On, M. Séjean & O. Moréteau

Group in front of law school

Several steps higher with Jean-Claude Gémar, Sylvie Monjean-Decaudin, Dominique Garreau, Enrica Bracchi & Matthias Martin


En route to White Castle with Prof. Vivian Curran and Prof. David Gruning (front)


Three promising comparative law scholars, Alexandru-Daniel On, Agustin Parise & Serban Vacarelu, proud LSU LL.M. graduates


Conference crowd at Nottoway Plantation


Taking the tour at Nottoway Plantation


V. Curran, M. Martin, A.D. On, M. Séjean & S. Monjean-Decaudin


M. Martin, A.D. On, M. Séjean, S. Monjean-Decaudin & Anne Wagner at Nottoway Plantation


Vivian Curran, Claire Germain and her husband Stuart, at the closing dinner at Nottoway Plantation. Our apologies to Alain Levasseur and Anne-Sophie Hulin who do not appear on the forefront of our pictures: like all others they gave great presentations and also emptied their glass!

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Conferences, Events, Translation Projects | Leave a comment

LSU LAW welcomes the LL.M class of 2015

The LSU Law Center warmly welcomes its new LL.M class of 2015. This year the class is small but the candidates are very engaging and strongly motivated.

During the two-week orientation program held from August, 4th to August 15th, 2014, the class among other activities had the opportunity to attend a private tour of the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans, guided by Robert Gunn and Louisiana Law Library Director Georgia Chadwick.

Florent Brémens (Lyon, France), Vlad Vidican (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Anouk Guéroult-Bellone (Nantes, France) and Haseeb Qadir (Pakistan) were especially impressed by the Louisiana Supreme Court rare books’ collection.

We wish them a lot of success for this new challenging academic year!

The LL.M class of 2015 with Jennifer Lane and Professor Olivier Moréteau in front of the Law school


At the Louisiana Supreme Court with Ms. Georgia Chadwick


The group in front of the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans


Anouk Guéroult-Bellone and Florent Bremens from France in the rare books collection room


Future Judges?


Posted in Master in Comparative Law (LL.M.) | 1 Comment

The 2014 Lyon Summer Program: LSU Law Students under New Horizons

45 LSU Law Students had a chance to broaden their intellectual horizons learning about Comparative Media Law, Slavery and Human trafficking, Comparative law and Religion, Topics in Comparative Company Law, Comparative Tort Law, and International Environmental law. This was for many a unique opportunity to discover places such as Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Munich or Rome. All enjoyed Lyon, like those taking a walking tour of Vieux Lyon (see photos).

Other pics may be emailed to Prof. Moréteau who will be happy to post them.


A happy group in front of the Court of Appeal building in Vieux Lyon.


Walking tour of Vieux Lyon with a local guide… Prof. Moréteau.

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Prof. Moréteau teaching Topics in Comparative Tort Law


The old Courthouse (ancien Palais de justice) hosting the Court of Appeal.

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Posted in Summer Program in Lyon | 2 Comments

CCLS French Translators Visiting the Louisiana Supreme Court and Law Library

On June 25, 2014, Prof. Olivier Moréteau drove the CCLS translation team to New Orleans for a tour of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. The visit of the Rare Books Room of the Louisiana Law Library was a highlight, with the thrill of the direct contact with original versions of Civil Codes and other historical documents, under the guidance of Library Director Georgia Chadwick and Associate Library Director Miriam Childs. Many thanks to Robert Gunn for the tour and to David Rigamer for the photos.


Library Director Georgia Chadwick showing rare Egyptian prints


Prof. Moréteau, Director Chadwick and Associate Director Childs with the first Italian translation of the French Civil Code


The original edition of the French Civil Code acting as a magnate


The Supreme Court temporarily recomposed?


At the Court Museum, with Robert Gunn


Martin v. Martin? Dr. Matthias Martin with C.J. François-Xavier Martin

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French Visitor in Residence

From January to June 2014, the CCLS hosts Dr. Matthias Martin (Université de Lorraine, Nancy). Dr. Matthias Martin recently defended his doctorate on “L’annotation des codes, étude et comparaison en droits français et monégasque.” He presently works on the concept of annotation in the Louisiana Civil Code and contributes to the revision of the translation of the Louisiana Civil Code and other CCLS projects. Dr. Matthias Martin was a panelist on the April conference discussing the Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project.Matthias Martin 2

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Distinguished Foreign Visitors, Translation Projects | 1 Comment

The Louisiana State Bar Association Honors Prof. Olivier Moréteau

LSU Law Professor Olivier Moréteau was awarded the John Ashby Hernandez III Memorial Francophone Leadership Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association at the Gen. Assembly and House of Delegates meeting. As chairman of the Francophone Section, Warren Perrin had the honor of presenting the award to Prof. Moréteau for his outstanding service to the bar of Louisiana. Here are his comments for the award ceremony at the Bar Convention in Destin, Florida on June 5:

“Professor Olivier Moréteau is developing a website making the Louisiana Civil Code accessible in English and in French. The French translation is prepared by French students in a Master of Trilingual Legal Studies at University of Nantes, visiting at LSU in the spring during a period of three months. Scholars visiting from France also participate in the project. Nearly two thirds of the Code have been translated to date. Full titles of the Code have already been published in bilingual form in the Journal of Civil Law Studies. The translation project has been discussed during a two-day international conference at LSU last April. The translation project increases the worldwide visibility of the Louisiana Civil Code and its revision process. Other sites created by Professor Moréteau at the Center of Civil Law Studies feature older versions of the Louisiana Civil Code: Digest of 1808, Compiled Edition of the Civil Codes of Louisiana… Professor Moréteau has also published, in English and in French, leading articles on the experience of codification in Louisiana.”

Here are links to the Louisiana Civil Code Online page and to published parts including the law of obligations, and mandate & Suretyship. See also the Digest Online project, and the compiled version of the Louisiana Civil Codes.

This award honors the whole team of the Center of Civil Law Studies.

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Prof. Olivier Moréteau addressing the Louisiana State Bar Association Francophone Section at the United States Federal Courthouse, Lafayette, Louisiana, April 25, 2014.


The CCLS Team: from left to right, Alexandru-Daniel On (Research Associate), Jennifer Lane (Coordinator), Oriane Defoix, Mélissa Richard, Georgia Fabris (Interns from Université de Nantes), Prof. Olivier Moréteau (Director), and Dr. Matthias Martin (Post-Doc Researcher, Université de Lorraine).

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Events, Translation Projects | 2 Comments

The 37th Tucker Lecture by Justice Nicholas Kasirer

On April 10, 2014, The Hon. Nicholas Kasirer, of the Cour d’appel du Québec, delivered the 37th John H. Tucker, Jr. Lecture in Civil Law, entitled That Montreal Sound: The Influence of French Legal Ideas and the French Language on the Civil Law Expressed in English, during which he shared fascinating examples of the essential Frenchness of the English version of the Civil Code of Québec. You can view a video of the Lecture.


From right to left, Justice Nicholas Kasirer, Prof. Jean-Claude Gémar, Prof. Michel Séjean, and Prof. Olivier Moréteau.

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The CCLS Translation Team

Twice a week from April to June, Prof. Olivier Moréteau meets with Alexandru-Daniel On, CCLS Research Associate, Dr. Matthias Martin, visiting researcher from Université de Lorraine, Oriane Defoix, Georgia Fabris and Mélissa Richard, Interns from université de Nantes, to revise, discuss, and finalize the translation work prepared by the three interns. By the end of the 2014 summer campaign, approximately two thirds of the Louisiana Civil Code will have been translated into French.

The pictures features the whole team, with Jennifer Lane, CCLS Coordinator.


From left to right, Alexandru-Daniel On, Jennifer Lane, Oriane Defoix, Mélissa Richard, Georgia Fabris, Prof. Olivier Moréteau, and Dr. Matthias Martin.

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Translation Projects | 1 Comment