Louis de la Vergne (1938-2017)

Louis Victor de la Vergne, attorney, died September 15, 2017, in New Orleans following a brief illness.

Prof. Robert Pascal and Louis de la Vergne

Mr. de la Vergne was born September 21, 1938, in New Orleans. He graduated from New Orleans Academy before receiving his undergraduate degree from Tulane University, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. In 1965, he received a law degree from the Tulane University School of Law and subsequently became a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association; he was honored as a fifty-year member in 2015.

A lifelong world traveler, Louis enjoyed visiting countries with a civil law heritage, developing and maintaining friendships around the globe. A descendant of Charles de la Vergne, who was born in Paris, France, in 1700 and died in New Orleans in 1767, Louis was keenly interested in the contributions of his ancestors to the legal heritage of Louisiana. One, Jacques Villeré, distinguished himself at the Battle of New Orleans as a major general, in command of the First Division of the Louisiana Militia, before his election as the second governor of the state of Louisiana (the first Creole and native-born Louisianan) in 1816. Another, Hugues Lavergne, was a busy nineteenth-century notary, lawyer, and influential banker. Still another, Gustavus Schmidt, was born in Sweden in 1795, moving to New Orleans in 1829, where he became a fixture of New Orleans society for the next half century. A prominent attorney who was mentored by Chief Justice John Marshall, in 1841 Schmidt established the Louisiana Law Journal, the first legal periodical in Louisiana, and authored the Civil Law of Spain and Mexico in 1851. He founded the predecessor of the Tulane Law School, and assembled one of the most remarkable libraries of his age, which was auctioned at his death and unfortunately dispersed. In 2005, Mr. de la Vergne co-authored the Catalogue of Gustavus Adolphus Schmidt’s Library 1877, which was published by the University of Texas at Austin. Louis and his family were particularly known for the “de la Vergne Volume”, an invaluable Louisiana legal text containing codifier Moreau Lislet’s source notes for the Digest of 1808. Louis worked with Professor Robert Pascal to have the volume reproduced in 1967 and reprinted in 2008 by Claitor’s Publishing for the bicentennial of the 1808 Digest. He was generous with sharing information about his ancestors and research perspectives with scholars around the world.

With the help and support of Louis de la Vergne, the CCLS published:

  1.  The 1808 Digest Online with the de la Vergne manuscript notes, to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Civil Code;
  2. Thomas J. Semmes, History of the Laws of Louisiana and of the Civil Law, 5 Journal of Civil Law Studies 313 (2012);
  3. Kjell A. Modeer, Transatlantic Intercultural Legal Communication in the 19th Century: K.J.A. Mittermaier and the Schmidt Brothers, Carl and Gustavus, 8 Journal of Civil Law Studies 409 (2015).

See also Agustin Parise, Gustavus Schmidt, The Civil Law of Spain and Mexico, 2 Journal of Civil Law Studies 183 (2009).

Prof. Emeritus Robert Pascal, Louis de la Vergne (holding the de la Vergne volume of the Digest of 1808) and Prof. Agustin Parise

Posted in Center of Civil Law Studies, Civil Law, In Memoriam | 1 Comment

Professor Rosalie Jukier of McGill University to Deliver the 2017 Tucker Lecture

Save the Date:

40th John H. Tucker, jr. Lecture in Civil Law

From La Beauce to Le Bayou:

A Transsystemic Voyage 

Given by:

Professor Rosalie Jukier

McGill University

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.

Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center

McKernan Auditorium

Reception to follow in Student Lounge

The Speaker

Rosalie Jukier is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University where she has been teaching since 1985 both in the civil and the common law legal traditions, primarily in the areas of Contractual Obligations and Judicial Institutions and Civil Procedure. Her research focuses on the comparative law of Contracts (with specific reference to contractual remedies and the interface between private law and religion), the impact of legal traditions on Civil Procedure and Judicial Methodology, as well as on Legal Pedagogy, particularly McGill’s unique transsystemic pedagogy. In both 2004 and 2016, she was recognized with the John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award and in 2010 with the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Jukier is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law where, in 1983, she obtained her B.C.L. (civil law) and LL.B. (common law) degrees graduating with the Elizabeth Torrence Gold Medal and the Aimé Geoffrion National Programme Gold Medal. She went on to pursue graduate studies in law at Oxford University (B.C.L. Oxon 1985) and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1986. She has served the Faculty of Law as Associate Dean on three occasions and from 1995-2001, she held the position of Dean of Students of McGill University. From 2005-2007, she served as senior advisor to the National Judicial Institute and continues to be active in judicial education.

The Lecture

La Beauce, a region of the province of Quebec that stretches along the Chaudière River, is located about 30 minutes south of Quebec City. An enchanting part of Quebec, it is a popular tourist destination particularly for those who enjoy outdoor activities. Le Bayou refers to the low-lying wetlands found primarily in the southern part of Louisiana, home to alligators, crawfish, catfish and Cajun culture. In addition to being an attractive tourist destination in Louisiana, le Bayou is a defining feature of this part of the United States.

In this lecture, I will guide our travel from la Beauce to le Bayou, from Quebec to Louisiana, from Montreal to Baton Rouge, from McGill to LSU, using a transsystemic itinerary. This transsystemic voyage will showcase the unique way of teaching and thinking about law that has defined the program of legal education, and our imaginations as legal scholars, at McGill’s Faculty of Law for almost two decades. In addition to demystifying the elusive term “transsystemic”, and outlining the pedagogical and intellectual benefits of teaching and thinking about law in this way, this lecture will focus on the increasing relevance of the transsystemic approach as a way of preparing jurists for the complexity and novelty of contemporary legal practice. By instilling creative, critical and flexible thinking skills, it enables jurists to deal with novel legal problems, to be more adept at envisaging a multiplicity of creative ways to solve legal problems though alternative methods of dispute resolution, and to keep pace with novel comparative judicial methodology we are seeing in Canada.

Just as la Beauce and le Bayou are different places with different geographical features, so too are Quebec and Louisiana different legal jurisdictions. However, they are, in many ways, sister jurisdictions, sharing a common mixity in their legal systems. This makes law schools in Louisiana a particularly fertile environment in which to showcase this unique itinerary in the hope that some of you will come along on this interesting voyage.

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

A Delegation from the South Korea Supreme Court Judicial Policy Research Institute Visits LSU Law

Monday, August 28, 2017, a delegation of judges on various courts in South Korea visited at LSU Law. All three delegates are Researchers on the Judicial Policy Research Institute (Supreme Court). Young Su Kang, Presiding Judge, Seoul High Court, Chief Researcher, SeoungJun Mo, Judge, Incheon District Court, Researcher, and Dr. Jewoo Lee, Researcher, engaged in a rich discussion with Professor Margaret S. Thomas, Dean Thomas C. Galligan Jr., Professor John M. Church, and Associate Dean Olivier P. Moréteau, on aspects of complex litigation, as they conduct research on multi district litigation, with a particular interest in Louisiana practice regarding the Deep Water Horizon dispute.

A reception concluded the meeting, giving our guests a chance to interact with LSU Law faculty and students. Special thanks to Professor Maggie Thomas whose prominent scholarship attracted these Korean experts and fed a most informative conversation.

From left to right, Judge SeoungJun Mo, Dr. Jewoo Lee, Presiding Judge Young Su Kang, Dean Tom Galligan, and Professor Maggie Thomas.

Posted in Distinguished Foreign Visitors, Events | Leave a comment

LSU Law Alum Authors a Book on North African/Sahelian Civil Codes

About the Book:

The Santillana Codes: the Civil Codes of Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania. In that book, my objects of focus are the civil codes in force in Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.  The book also explores the history of their “intellectual father” – a Jewish man from Tunisia named David Santillana (1855 – 1931) who was a masterful comparativist and an expert in both Islamic law and European legal systems.  It also touches on the importance of civil codes in facilitating stability in volatile regions.

These subjects are difficult and intriguing due to the persistent lacunae in the literature regarding the law and legal history of Maghrebian and Sahelian states—a veil of obscurity which has served to undervalue African, Islamic, and Jewish contributions to global legal development.  The aim of my forthcoming book is, therefore, to dispel this obscurity by illuminating the work of David Santillana, an influential jurist and lawyer who worked in North Africa and Europe during the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and his innovative approach to codification.  Beyond that, I aim to show how the legal histories and cultures of each relevant country contributed to this distinct class of uniquely African civil codes that are still in force today in a legal arc that extends from the Maghreb to the Sahel.

About the Author:

Dan E. Stigall is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Counterterrorism Section, National Security Division. He previously served on active duty in the U.S. Army JAG Corps from 2001-2009, serving in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. LL.M., 2009, George Washington University School of Law; J.D., 2000, Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center; B.A., 1996, Louisiana State University.

Dan E. Stigall is a Contributing Fellow of the LSU Center of Civil Law Studies.

Additional Information:

This forthcoming book can already be ordered online. See: Friends of the Law Library of Congress

To download order form with 30% discount (valid until October 1, 2018), click here.

Posted in Civil Law, Publications | Leave a comment

The Louisiana Civil Code Published in English and French

For the first time since 1825, the current Louisiana Civil Code is available in English and in French. After the Louisiana Civil Code Online project, featuring the Civil Code online in both languages, the Center of Civil Law Studies publishes a paper edition of Le Code civil de Louisiane, Edition bilingue. The 780-page volume features the entire Civil Code with the official English on the left and the French translation on the right. It also features a foreword by Jean-Claude Gémar, Professor Emeritus at the Université de Montréal, a world renowned expert in legal translation, and an Introduction by Prof. Olivier Moréteau, editor of the book. The book is published as volume 28 in the Droit comparé et européen series, by the prestigious Société de législation comparée, based in Paris.

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

Prof. Alain A. Levasseur Honored by the Francophone Section of the Louisiana Bar

Professor Emeritus Alain A. Levasseur received the 2017 John A. “T-Jean” Hernandez III Memorial Award for the Perpetuation and Enhancement of the Francophone Legal Tradition. The plaque was given to him by Warren A. Perrin, Chair of the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

The Award recognizes the immense work of Professor Levasseur, and to name but a few, the publication of the Dictionary of the Civil Code (2014), and his authoring Deciphering a Civil Code (2015).

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Speeches 2017 by Paul R. Baier

Click here to access PDF flyer


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LSU Law welcome the LL.M. Class of 2018

Our LL.M. & international exchange students proudly represent Argentina, France, Gabon, Honduras, Iceland, and Romania.

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

The CCLS Welcomes Three French Interns

For the seventh consecutive year, between March and June, the Center of Civil Law Studies hosts three interns from the Université de Nantes Master in Trilingual Legal Studies, as part of the Training Multilingual Jurists Program, sponsored by the Partner University Fund (PUF). Though the PUF program is now coming to an end, the cooperation between LSU and Nantes is strongly established and will continue in the years to come.

New translation projects have been started this year: under the supervision of Prof. Olivier Moréteau, Camille Audebaud, Laura Potvain, and Yasmina Saadane started the translation from English into French of the Uniform Commercial Code. They also translated from French into English a law review article presenting the recent French reform of contractual obligations, to be later published in the Journal of Civil Law Studies.

Trois perles de la traduction juridique en visite à La Nouvelle-Orléans

Every Tuesday and Thursday the group meets during two hours to revise the translation work.

From left to right, Laura Potvain, CCLS Coordinator Christabelle Lefebvre, Camille Audebaud, and Yasmina Saadane.

The three interns with their program director.

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Nigerian Senators and Consultants Visit the LSU Energy Law Program

During the second week of May, approximately one dozen Nigerian Senators and consultants visited the LSU Law Center to learn about oil & gas regulation and taxation.  The visit comes at a time that the Nigerian legislature is considering proposals to substantially change the nation’s petroleum laws.  LSU Law Professor Keith Hall provided the Senators with an overview of oil & gas regulation in the United States and in Louisiana.  Professor Patrick H. Martin and Adjunct Professor Pat Ottinger elaborated on state regulation of oil and gas activities, and Mark Boudreaux, who serves as Special Advisory to LSU’s Energy Law Center, discussed federal regulations.

LSU has traditionally been a leading school for the study of U.S. oil & gas law—and the school is quickly developing a reputation for international oil and gas law.  Professor Keith Hall teaches International Petroleum Transactions at LSU and he taught the same subject for two summers at Baku State University in Azerbaijan.  He also is active in the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.  In addition, LSU recently has hosted visits by oil and gas scholars from the United Kingdom and Norway, and Professor Patrick H. Martin has extensive experience in international oil and gas matters.

Professor Keith Hall addressing the Nigerian Delegates

Posted in Energy Law, Events | Leave a comment