Law School to Hold Two Lectures by Leading Scholars in September


MACON — Mercer Law School will hold two lectures this month. On Sept. 11, noted conflict of laws professor Erin O’Hara O’Connor, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law at Vanderbilt Law School, will deliver the second Annual Brainerd Currie lecture. Her topic will cover “How Choice of Law Has Killed the Private Attorney General.” On Sept. 22, Douglas Laycock, the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at University of Virginia School of Law, will deliver the School’s Constitution Day Lecture on “The Constitution and the Culture Wars – With Special Attention to the Religion Clauses.” Both events will be held at noon in the Moot Courtroom of the Law School. The events are free and open to the public.

O’Connor is a leading scholar in the field of conflict of laws. Her most recent work includes three books and a series of significant articles on choice of law, as well as articles that examine the influence of law on apology in dispute resolution and that address the influence of law on interpersonal trust in relationships. An article by O’Connor based on her lecture will appear in the Spring 2013 issue of the Mercer Law Review.

The Currie Lecture is named in honor of Brainerd Currie, widely recognized both as the leading conflict of laws scholar of the 20th Century and as one of the most influential legal scholars in any field. Currie received his undergraduate and law degrees from Mercerwhere he also began his illustrious teaching career. After teaching at his alma mater from 1935-37, Currie taught at several other law schools, primarily Duke and the University of Chicago.

Laycock will speak as part of the Law School’s observance of Constitution Day, a national holiday that commemorates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Established by federal law in 2004, Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution. The day is also designed to recognize those who have become U.S. citizens.

Laycock is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the law of remedies and also on the law of religious liberty. Before joining Virginia’s faculty in 2010, Laycock served as the Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He taught for 25 years at the University of Texas and for five years at the University of Chicago. Laycock is the author of the leading casebook Modern American Remedies; the award-winning monograph The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule; and many articles in the leading law reviews.