Webinar: The Intersection of the French Language and the Legal System of Louisiana

Poster announcing the event with the name of the four panelists: Alain Levasseur (LSU Law), Dan Stigall (DOJ), Olivier Moreteau (LSU Law) and Vernon Palmer (Tulane). Join the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. and the Consulate General of France in Louisiana on Zoom on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 for a panel discussion in French highlighting the use of the French language in Louisiana civil law. Louisiana is, to date, one of the few “laboratories” in which the civil law is written and spoken in another language.

The four specialists listed above will lead an exploration on the historical aspects of the adaptation of the French Napoleonic civil code into an English language civil code, the adaptation of the English language to the terms and ideas presented by the French civil code, as well as the contemporary issues surrounding the sustainability of continental private law.

Date: March 24, 2021, 11:00 AM Central

Meeting ID: 939 7015 9494

Passcode: 000472

Web link: https://zoom.us/j/93970159494?pwd=bkN3NUFKNkxabFNkTUlEdmVVRXhnZz09

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CCLS Translation Projects Featured on Translation & the Law Blog

From Words to Deeds: Translation & the Law is a blog building bridges between academia and practice and between translation, interpreting and legal practitioners. They just published a Guest Post featuring Mariano Vitetta, Research Associate at the Center of Civil Law Studies and in charge of the Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project, presenting the CCLS Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project.

Click here to access the blog post.

Prof. Olivier Moreteau, Natalia Rezzonico and Mariano Vitetta browsing old civil codes at the Law Library of Louisiana, New Orleans.

Prof. Olivier Moreteau, Natalia Rezzonico and Mariano Vitetta browsing old civil codes at the Law Library of Louisiana, New Orleans.

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Meeting with Doctoral Candidates in International Law at Paris Nanterre University

Picture of the participants to the Zoom meeting

On February 22, 2021, Professor Olivier Moréteau met on zoom with a group of doctoral candidates at the International Law Center (CEDIN) at the University of Paris Nanterre. He gave a presentation on the use the comparative method in doctoral research. He discussed comparison as a central element in the cognitive and scientific process, then offering a vade mecum and strategic advices, based on O. Moréteau, Premiers pas dans la comparaison des droits, in Jurilinguistique : entre langues et droits ; Jurilinguistics: Between Law and Language 407 (Jean-Claude Gémar, Nicholas Kasirer eds., Bruylant, Bruxelles, and Thémis, Montréal 2005).

The use of the comparative method was discussed in the context of the participants’ projects and experience. Professor Moréteau insisted that the functional approach, though criticized in contemporary scholarship, is essential to the identification and formulation of the research question, then enabling the researcher to discuss the law in context, bringing in history, sociology, and any dimension of social and human sciences, and even hard science.

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Jacques Vanderlinden (1932-2021)

Photo of Professors Agustin Parise, Jacques Vanderlinden, and Olivier Moreteau, taken at LSU after the Tucker Lecture in 2008.

Prof. Jacques Vanderlinden with Prof. Agustín Parise (then Research Associate at the CCLS) and Prof. Olivier Moréteau, after the 35th Tucker Lecture in 2008.

It is with great sadness that we learn that Jacques Vanderlinden passed away on January 22, 2021 in Brussels. He visited LSU Law several times, in 2007 to give a short course on “Legislating for Multilingual Legal Systems” and in 2008 to give the 35th Tucker Lecture on “From the Civil Code of Louisiana to Langdell-Some Hypothesis about the Nature of Legal Systems.“ He published several articles in the Louisiana Law Review and the Journal of Civil Law Studies and was on the Advisory Board of the latter. We express our deep sympathy to his wife Jenny, their two sons Jacques Jr. and Jean-Paul, and their children.

Professor Emeritus Jacques Vanderlinden received his PhD degree in law from Brussels Free University (Belgium) in 1956, then his Agrégation de l’Enseignement supérieur in 1967 when he published his world acclaimed Le concept de code en Europe occidentale du XIIIe au XIXe siècle, after the publication by the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences of Belgium of his Essai sur les juridictions de droit coutumier dans les territoires d’Afrique centrale in 1959. He started his teaching career at the Free University of Brussels in 1958, where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Law, and concluded it in 1992. He then started teaching law at the University of Moncton (New-Brunswick, Canada), where he has held honorary positions such as Academic Advisor of the Centre international de la common law en français. He is currently Professor Emeritus of both universities. He is a full elected fellow of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Italy (Accademia nazionale dei Lincei).

He has published over 200 articles and some 30 books and monographs, especially in the fields of African laws, comparative law, legal history, and legal theory, more specifically and recently legal pluralism. Here are a few samples, showing the diversity of his scholarship: Anthropologie juridique, Paris, Dalloz, 1996; Bibliographie de droit africain, 1987-1989, Bordeaux, 1991; “À propos de la création du droit en Afrique – Regards d’un absent”, La création du droit en Afrique, Paris, Karthala, 1997; Pierre Ryckmans (1891-1959) – Coloniser dans l’honneur, Brussels, De Boeck-Wesmael, 1994; “What Kind of Lawmaking in a Global World – The Case of Africa”, Louisiana Law Review, 67 (2007); “Analyzing Property in Different Societies”, Journal of Civil Law Studies, 1 (2008); “À la rencontre de l’histoire du droit en Acadie”, Revue de l’Université de Moncton, 28 (1995); “La réception des droits européens au Canada”, Revue de la common law en français, 1996; Se marier en Acadie française, Moncton, Éditions d’Acadie, 1998; “Vers une conception nouvelle du pluralisme juridique”, Revue de la Recherche juridique – Droit prospectif, vol. XVIII (1993); “Trente ans de longue marche sur la voie du pluralisme juridique”, Cahiers d’anthropologie du droit, II (2004); “Religious laws as systems of law : a comparatist’s view”, Religion, Law and Tradition : comparative studies in religious law (A. Huxley, ed.), London, Routledge, 2002; “Une lecture du système normatif de l’Église catholique par un pluraliste comparatiste aux personnalités multiples”, McGill Law Review, 50 (2005); Comparer les droits, Brussels, Kluwer, 1995; La structure des sytèmes juridiques, (with Olivier Moréteau), Brussels, Bruylant, 2003; “Qu’est-ce qu’un code ?”, Les cahiers de droit, 46 (2005).

His most recent publications count a chapter revisiting the concept of custom, Comparative Legal History, O. Moréteau, A. Masferrer & K. Modeer eds., 2019), and “French Jurisdictional Complexity on the Fringe— Acadia 1667-1710”, Journal of Civil Law Studies, 12 (2019). With O. Moréteau and Agustín Parise, he wrote the final chapter (1900-Present) of Western Legal Traditions (Seán Patrick Donlan, Remco Van Rhee & Aniceto Masferrer eds., Ius Commune Series, Hart, forthcoming).

Posted in In Memoriam | Comments Off on Jacques Vanderlinden (1932-2021)

Professor Moréteau Discusses the French Civil Code with Doctoral Students in Qatar

On January 31, 2021, Professor Olivier Moréteau was a guest lecturer in Professor Mohamed Mattar’s course on “Comparative Legal Systems,” at Qatar University College of Law in Doha. This course is part of the newly created doctoral program that Professor Moréteau helped evaluate at the time of his visit to Qatar in November 2018.

The topic was “Changes Made to the French Civil Code” in a comparative perspective. The presentation took place on Zoom and was followed with a rich discussion with Dr. Mattar and the doctoral candidates.

Screen photo of the participants taken during the Zoom session. Top left: the group in Qatar; top right: prof. Moreteau. Below: Dr. Mohamed Mattar

The Qatar doctoral group with Prof. Moréteau (in Baton Rouge) and Prof. Mattar (in Doha)

Book cover of the trilingual French Civil Code in French, Arabic, and English

Book cover of the French Civil Code in French, Arabic, and English, edited by Prof. Michel Séjean

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Two Distinguished Argentine Scholars Visit LSU Law

In January 2021, LSU Law had the pleasure of welcoming two renowned scholars from Argentina.

Portrait photo of Prof. Santiago Legarre

Prof. Santiago Legarre

Santiago Legarre, a constitutional-law scholar, is a professor of law at Universidad Católica Argentina who regularly visits at LSU Law to teach comparative constitutional law. This time he was the guest of the Eric Voegelin Institute whose director, Professor Jim Stoner, invited him to give a talk within the Political Theory Lunch Colloquy on January 13. The talk was entitled “Overruling Louisiana: Horizontal Stare Decisis and the Concept of Precedent in the Supreme Court’s 2020 Term.” The next day, Legarre met with the new class of LL.M. candidates who started their first week at LSU, just after their Introduction to United States Law class, taught by Professor Olivier Moréteau. Both professors exchanged with students on their respective experience of teaching comparative law in different parts of the world, pointing to the uniqueness of the LSU experience in this regard.

Mariano Vitetta, Prof. Alfonso Santiago and Prof. Olivier Moreteau in front of the Law Center

Mariano Vitetta, Prof. Alfonso Santiago and Prof. Olivier Moreteau in front of the Law Center

On January 23, another Argentine expert in constitutional law visited at LSU Law. Professor Alfonso Santiago is the most senior member at the Universidad Austral law faculty. He teaches Argentine constitutional law and leads its young School of Government, where education is offered combining political science, international relations, and law. Professor Santiago came to the United States to present at a legal workshop at the University of Texas at Austin, wherefrom he traveled to Baton Rouge. He took a tour of the beautiful LSU campus with Mariano Vitetta, presently Research Associate at the LSU Center of Civil Law Studies, who taught at Austral Law School before coming to LSU. He then met with Professor Olivier Moréteau, to strengthen the links between the Austral and LSU law schools, at a time when the existing bilateral agreement is up for renewal. Sharing ideas and experience, they paved the way to extended collaboration between LSU Law and Universidad Austral, beyond the existing student exchanges.

Argentina has had a long connection with LSU. Important members of the Argentine legal community have been connected with LSU as visiting professors, full professors, Tucker lecturers, research associates, and alumni, including, among others, Saúl Litvinoff, Julio Cueto Rúa, Genaro Carrió, Alejandro Garro, Alejandro Carrió, and Agustín Parise.

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From Nantes to Chicago via LSU: the Louisiana Story of Sara Vono

Olivier Moréteau: Bonjour Sara! I remember the day when you arrived from Nantes for a three-month internship at the CCLS, to work on the French translation of the Louisiana Civil Code. After doing fine legal translation work, you joined our LL.M., worked at the Louis Koerner Law Firm in New Orleans, and passed the New York Bar! You are now a Legal Compliance Officer at Northwestern University. Remind us of your arrival at LSU. Portrait photo of Sara Vono

Sara Vono: In 2015, I first joined LSU as an intern. I was honored to help with the ambitious translation project of the Louisiana Civil Code, back into its original French. It was an incredible journey under your leadership and contagious passion. The project was a unique learning experience for me, and provided outstanding legal training.

OM: You then joined our LL.M. in Comparative Law. How would you describe your experience?

SV: I would put it in three words:


The LL.M. is first and foremost a once-in-a-lifetime legal adventure, as it is completely immersive in the mixed Louisiana legal traditions. LL.M. candidates enroll in classes of all levels, very much “à la carte”, in that we are encouraged to shape the year around the areas of the law that we are most curious about, and interested in career-wise.


The LL.M. challenged me intellectually and practically. From the intellectual standpoint, the LL.M. has opened my mind to other legal concepts, rules, and philosophies, which in turn has helped me better understand my Civil law background. From a practical standpoint, I would say that student life, methods for studying, and test formats are generally different, which is equally challenging and enriching.


Last but not least, the LL.M. is an immense legal family worldwide. I have friends in Sri Lanka, Romania, Luxembourg, France, and in many States within the United States, which would never have happened without the LL.M. I am thankful for these long-lasting friendships and professional ties.

OM: What opportunities did you have while attending the LL.M. Program?

SV: While attending the LLM in Comparative Law Program at LSU, one can seek academically-related employment, such as Library Assistant, Tutor, Research Assistant, etc. I was working as a Research Assistant to Prof. Olivier Moréteau, helping with various projects, ranging from legal research in support of articles subsequently published in top law journals, to preparing for a conference, to meticulous proofreading, or translating complex drafts. I can only recommend working to students interested in making immediate use of the skillset their legal curriculum provides them.

Moreover, there are plenty of events throughout the Program duration, on a variety of legal topics, as well as many different ways to network with inspiring lawyers and Professors, and become an active member of the LSU Law Community on Campus, and beyond. Likewise, there are many ways to volunteer during your year at LSU.

OM: Sara, tell us about a recent achievement.

SV: A most recent achievement has been to join the rigorous field of Research Integrity, which means a lot to me, as a lawyer, and as a citizen. Promoting integrity in scientific research is in my opinion a useful way in which a lawyer can contribute to more law-abiding and ethically-driven science, in our global 2.0 century, while putting the full palette of my legal skillset into good use. Integrity in science is essential, as any lack thereof is a threat to science itself.

OM: To what extent did the LSU program contribute to your life experience and success?

SV: I am thankful for the LL.M. in Comparative Law, as it has defined part of the lawyer I am today. Whether it be on professional orientation, legal/organizational skills, ability to adapt, connect with others, “think outside the box”, or simply exchange ideas with brilliant minds, the LL.M. has helped me grow as a lawyer, while opening doors such as the New York State Bar, that would have remained closed otherwise.

OM: What would you say to anyone interested in the LSU program but still hesitating?

SV: In the words of Lewis Carroll, “[i]n the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” While I am cognizant of the risks and challenges inherent in spending one year abroad, LSU will be a welcoming second home, and the LL.M. curriculum, excellent food for the brain. If one of our objectives as lawyers is to share our passion for the law, be open to/curious about other legal cultures (especially a mixed pot like Louisiana), improve our legal system, and aspire to be better at what we do, then the LL.M. in Comparative Law is a chance that will be regretted if not taken.

OM: Thank you Sara, LSU Law wishes you the best of success and happiness in your present and future ventures!

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Journal of Civil Law Studies, Volume 13 Number 1

Volume 13, Number 1, was published online in September 2020. Articles explore and reconcile the present, the past, and the future.

The lead article article is a masterful presentation of the use of comparative law by the European Court of Justice, expanding the 42nd Tucker Lecture given by Michele Graziadei, Professor at the University of Turin (Italy), on September 5, 2019.

The second article sheds new light on the definitions found in the Digest of 1808 and the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825: Seth Brostoff, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian at LSU, explores the origins of these definitions in the French Encyclopédie universelle and the legal encyclopedias that derived from it. These definitions do not appear in the French Napoleonic Code of 1804 but were needed in Louisiana, as codification was meant not only to make the law accessible but also to educate attorneys and judges trained in the common law. This makes codification in Louisiana even more French than Rodolfo Batiza would have thought, and Robert Pascal, who may now converse with Diderot and d’Alembert in an encyclopedic paradise, is no longer here to find this truth disturbing. An overdue tribute to Robert A. Pascal (1915-2018) is forthcoming in Number 2.

Emiliano Marchisio, Professor at the University of Benevento (Italy), opens a promising and futuristic conversation on the need to move liability for medical malpractice out of traditional tort and contract precincts, to limit the negative impact of defensive medicine and favor the breakthrough of artificial intelligence.

Colloquium Papers

 In the spring 2020, as most of the world was in lockdown mode due to the sanitary crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Journal of Civil Law Studies decided to hold a colloquium online to discuss The Opportunities of Distance Teaching. Agustín Parise, Associate Editor-in-Chief, led the initiative and coordinated the event from Maastricht University (the Netherlands), in liaison with Olivier Moréteau, Editor-in-Chief, who was at the time on sabbatical in Lyon (France). Five colleagues were invited to join to speak at the colloquium, so that Africa, North and South America, Asia, and Europe would be represented. Accordingly, Xiangshun Ding (Renmin University, China), Nadia Nedzel (Southern University Law Center, USA), Christa Rautenbach (North-West University, South Africa), Michel Séjean (University of Southern Brittany, France), and Fernando Toller (Austral University, Argentina), each shared their own perspectives on the current scenario that legal education is facing. Each of them produced short note that we are proud to publish.

Click here to access the Journal of Civil Law Studies

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Remembering George W. Pugh, (1925-2020) by Alejandro Carrió, LL.M. 1982

Alejandro Carrió wrote from Buenos Aires:

Photo of Professor George Pugh (1925-2020)

George W. Pugh

I only recently found out about the passing of Professor George W. Pugh. It is with obvious sadness, but also with the joy that comes from realizing how lucky I was for having met him, that I write these few words charged with such mixed feelings.

My long and extremely fruitful relationship with Professor Pugh started in 1981, when I was admitted as a graduate LL.M. student at the LSU Law Center.

During that unforgettable academic year 1981-1982, I was fortunate to work under his guidance. Mr. Pugh was the director of my thesis and my Criminal Justice and Comparative Criminal Justice professor. He showed amazing generosity in dealing with the struggles of a foreign student, and was patient enough to cope with the different drafts that I submitted (or rather subjected). I can still remember our meetings on the porch of his house on Sunset Boulevard, and his reactions to the different ideas he was forced to endure. The thesis was ultimately approved, and a couple of years later I was invited to go back to Baton Rouge to work on a polished version of it, for purposes of publication.

Photo of Francisco Carrio and Alejandro Carrio

Alejandro Carrió (right) with his son Francisco Carrió, both LSU LL.M. Alumni

As something that may have amounted to George as a case of “double jeopardy,” I asked him again to read portions of the book I had in mind. Initially, I thought that it would not be a very difficult task, considering that the book would be based on the thesis that had already been approved. How naive!  It took me several months to produce a text that he considered “publishable.” For those who have worked under Professor Pugh’s guidance, they will probably share my impression that he was not easy to please. His house porch witnessed again the combination of my efforts and the directness of his reactions. But it was obvious that all his dedication was entirely for my benefit. The book was finally published by the Paul M. Hebert Law Center Publications Institute, and for sure that opened many doors in my professional career. Years later I became a Visiting Professor at LSU and at other American law schools. With every visit to the United States, I tried to make time to visit him, or if I was outside of Louisiana, I gave him a call to share my experiences as a foreign professor.

I remember visiting him for the last time when I went to Baton Rouge for the memorial of another great professor, Saul Litvinoff, who was also extremely influential in my academic career.

I certainly owe these two professors an enormous debt of gratitude, and I only hope that I have found words good enough to express it.

Alejandro Carrió’s Biography:

LL.B., Buenos Aires, University, 1976.

LL.M., Louisiana State University Law Center, 1982.

Professor of Law, Di Tella University Law School, Buenos Aires.

Professor of Law, University Buenos Aires Law School, 1986-1999 and Palermo University Law School, Buenos Aires, 1999-2013.

Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, 1989.

Visiting Professor, Syracuse University College of Law, Spring Semester, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2001.

Visiting Professor, LSU Law Center, Spring Semester, 2004.

Member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Vice President of the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, NGO devoted to pro bono litigation of constitutional cases.

Author of several books and numerous law review articles in the area of criminal justice and constitutional law.

Practicing attorney, mainly in the field of criminal law and constitutional law, since 1977.

Married, two sons, including, Francisco (in the picture), also an LSU LL.M. Alum.

Alejandro Carrió’s Selected Publications:

The Argentine System of Criminal Justice: An Overview for American Readers, LSU, Baton Rouge, 1989.

Garantías constitucionales en el Proceso Penal, Ed. Hammurabi, Buenos Aires, 1984. Quinta Edición 2006.

“Criminal Procedure in Argentina” (with Alejandro M. Garro), in Criminal Procedure, A Worldwide Study, Craig Bradley Ed., Carolina Academic Press, 1999, 2nd ed. 2007.

“Terrorism in Argentina: Government as its Own Worst Enemy” (with William C. Banks), in Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

“The Argentine Supreme Court ruled “there are no crimes” and former President Menem walked away”, Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas, Vol. VIII, p. 271 (2001/2002).

See our post The Louisiana Legislature Honors Professor George W. Pugh.

See also a Tribute by LSU Law.

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Bob Sloan (1947-2020), Former Director of the LSU Laborde Energy Law Center

Photo of Professor Bob Sloan

Professor Bob Sloan passed away untimely on June 19, 2020. He was the first Director of the Laborde Energy Law Center at LSU Law, which he helped design and implement our thriving Energy Law program. He was a keen supporter of our international programs. Beyond worldwide expertise, culture, and experience, he brought to our community a selfless ability to touch everyone he met, particularly the students, and helped them bring out the best of their professional and human abilities. He was a mentor to many, particularly our international students. A humanist and philanthropist, he and his wife Dauphine have been wonderful supporters of French studies at LSU, during and after his appointment at LSU. May his loving memory keep guiding his many friends and former students at LSU.

He is fondly remembered by Professor Olivier Moréteau, Director of the Center of Civil Law Studies:

“Bob visited me at early or odd times of the day and was otherwise to be found in the student lounge or reading room in the library, always available to anyone. A five-minute talk could last one hour without us noticing. I miss our wonderful multilingual conversations on French history and literature, world affairs, on the finesse of distinctions between French and American language and culture. We together gave several presentations to law students on international career opportunities, encouraging students to keep learning foreign languages or start doing so. His energy, enthusiasm, and optimism were congenial. Although he had a deep passion for history he was future oriented and not a fossil, and so were his views in energy law. He illustrated how a dynamic accomplished person can be generous with time and friendship. We miss him at LSU, and his shining smile will illuminate me forever.”

Our sympathy goes to his wife, children and family.


Robert Daniel Sloan, age 72 died at his New Orleans residence on Friday, June 19, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. He is the husband of Dauphine de Montlaur Sloan; the father of Alexandra Sloan Kelly, Caroline Ellen Sloan, and Edward Guy Sloan; and the father-in-law of Joe Kelly and Andrew Joseph Eckstein. He is the brother of Barbara Goodman, Katharine Sloan, and Richard Sloan; and devoted grandfather of Sasha Sloan Kelly and Margot Sloan Eckstein. He was preceded in death by his parents, Belle Levin Sloan and Noah Herman Sloan; his paternal grandparents, Samuel and Rose Sloan; his maternal grandparents, Ben and Ida Levin; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Guy and Adelaide de Montlaur; and his brother-in-law Stephen Gallup. Sloan grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where he was a basketball star at Bowen High School; received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and received his JD degree from Harvard Law School. His distinguished career took him and his family around the world, including Washington, DC, Rome, and Brussels. At various points in his career, he was General Counsel to the Minority of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; counsel at the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser; General Counsel of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), the ten-nation peacekeeping organization which supervises the security arrangements under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty; Managing Partner of the Brussels office of the McKenna & Cuneo law firm; Vice President and General Counsel at General Electric Industrial Systems; Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Energy Corporation; Professor of Practice and Director of the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center at Louisiana State Law Center; and finally, Professor of Law and Senior Research Fellow at Tulane University Law School, where he received the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award last year. People often said, “Bob Sloan could meet a friend for coffee in any city in the world.” Funeral services were held at the Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home Chapel in New Orleans on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 with Rabbi Emeritus Edward Paul Cohn of Temple Sinai officiating. Interment will follow in the Trégon cemetery, Beaussais-sur-mer, France. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Congregation Temple Sinai, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), or the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS). Condolences may be shared online at www.lakelawnmetairie.com.

See also the tribute by Tulane University.

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