George Pugh and his wife and lifelong collaborator, Jean Pugh, are well known among lawyers in Louisiana. Many have known George and Jean as colleagues and friends. More have had the privilege of being taught by George during his long career as a Professor at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University. All who practice in this state know George as a towering figure of Louisiana law; as “father” of the Louisiana Code of Evidence; and as a consistent voice for reason, moderation, and intellectual honesty in the administration of justice. It is to honor George and Jean, and to carry on their work, that the George W. and Jean H. Pugh Institute for Justice was founded.
Born on Bayou Lafourche, George earned a B.A from LSU in 1947, a J.D. from LSU in 1950, a J.S.D. from Yale in 1952, and received an honorary doctorate from L’Universite Aix-Marseille III in 1984. Jean Pugh graduated with honors from Vassar College in 1951, and was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 1962.
George began full-time teaching at the Law Center in 1952, and remained on the faculty until his retirement in 1994. George has served the bench and bar in many capacities: Louisiana’s first Judicial Administrator; an ad hoc judge on the Louisiana Court of Appeal; a prolific writer on the law of evidence and the administration of justice. George is well-known as a long-time member of the Council of the Louisiana State Law Institute and Co-Reporter for the Institute’s Projet for a Louisiana Code of Evidence, enacted into law by the Louisiana Legislature in 1988. Among graduates of the LSU Law Center, however, George will best be remembered as their teacher. In his fortytwo years on the faculty, George taught and inspired two full generations of Louisiana attorneys. His classes were intense, marked by close attention to the facts, rigorous examination of the text, and an immense fund 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. Those lessons continue to resonate today, in the lives of his students and in the work of this Institute.