Reporters may contact: Meredith Dickenson
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7654

April 2, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- More than 9,000 alumni from around the world have been invited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law April 6, 7 and 8.

The three-day reunion is being billed as the "75th Anniversary Celebration and Millennial Reunion." Former students are expected to attend from as far away as Japan, Germany and Argentina, with law school classes dating back to the 1930s participating. In a symbolic gesture to the new millennium, the law school plans to release 1,000 balloons in the law quad before a crowd of alumni, faculty, staff and students at about 6 p.m., Friday, April 6.

"This promises to be a grand celebration of our 75th anniversary," said John Attanasio, dean of SMU's Dedman School of Law and the William Hawley Atwell Chair in Constitutional Law. "We have invited our faculty, students and our 9,000 alumni located throughout the 50 states and in 65 countries around the world."

The anniversary year for the city's oldest and only law school has already brought many changes to the Dallas institution. This past February the school changed its name from SMU School of Law to Dedman School of Law in honor of alumnus Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his family,

To highlight these changes, while reacquainting alumni with the school's traditions and programs, a series of activities is planned. Cocktail receptions, picnics on the law quad, and attending a Texas Rangers baseball game are scheduled as well as opportunities to learn about new developments in legal education and in the law in general. Alumni may visit classes to see how traditional law curriculum is taught today or hear lectures by Dedman law professors related to their specialties in Texas procedure, ethics, legal history, international criminal courts, and business law and securities.

Former students also may view videotapes of recent historic law school events, including the Supreme Court Summit last year when members of the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice discussed treaty law; the Feb. 14 lecture by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; and presentations by the current and former general counsels of the International Monetary Fund. In addition, former students will take tours of the school to view improvements to the Underwood Law Library, the newly constructed Hillcrest Courtroom and the renovated Stewart Title Classroom/Courtroom in Florence Hall.

SMU established the SMU School of Law in February 1925 by a resolution of the Board of Trustees. The following fall the school enrolled its first class. Eleven students eventually graduated in 1928, including one woman. The Association of American Law Schools accredited the school in 1929.

Among its outstanding alumni, Dedman School of Law counts four out of the nine justices on Texas Supreme Court; named and managing partners in six of the eight largest law firms in Texas; one justice of the Japanese Supreme Court and Chief Justice of the Taiwan Supreme Court; and several graduates who are executives, vice presidents and general counsels for major corporations worldwide.

The following are events planned for the "75th Anniversary Celebration and Millennial Reunion." Unless otherwise stated, all the events will be at the law school.

Friday, April 6, 2001

9:30 -- 10:45 a.m.
A videotape of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's lecture, Feb. 14, 2001 (1.25 CLE hrs. pending)

11 -11:50 a.m.
Regularly scheduled classes open for alumni participation:

  • Property 2 -- Dedman Law Professor Julie P. Forrester
  • Evidence -- Dedman Law Professor Frederick C. Moss
  • Texas Matrimonial Property -- Dedman Law Professor Joseph W. McKnight
  • Law & Medicine Bioethics -- Dedman Law Professor Thomas Wm. Mayo

A videotaped lecture presented by Dr. Ibrahim Shihata, former general counsel of the World Bank, who spoke on "The World Bank-IMF Relationship, Quo Vadis?" March 7 (1 hr. CLE credit pending)

Noon Lunch
Catered by Hamburger Man outdoors in the law quad with admitted and current students.

1:15 -- 2:15 p.m.
Lecture by Dedman Law Professor William V. Dorsaneo III, "Re-Codification of the Texas Rules of Court -- Past, Present and Future" (1hr. CLE credit pending)


A videotaped lecture by Dr. Francois Gianviti, general counsel of IMF (1.25 hr. CLE credit pending)

2:30 -- 3:45 p.m
Lecture by Dedman Law Professor Marc I. Steinberg, "Insider Trading, Selective Disclosure, and Prompt Disclosure: A Comparative Analysis," and a lecture by Dedman Law Professor Alan R. Bromberg, "A Millennial Code of Law for Business Organizations -- Making Sense of a Dozen Statutes" (1.25 hr. CLE credit pending)


Videotaped presentations of the Justices of The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Republic Courts of the Russian Federation; and the Texas Supreme Court speaking on "Relations Between National Courts and State Courts" (1.5 hr. CLE credit pending)

4 -- 5 p.m.
Lecture by former Nuremberg Prosecutor and SMU Law Professor Whitney R. Harris, "The International Criminal Court." (1 hr. CLE credit pending)

5 -- 7 p.m.
75th Anniversary Celebration Cocktail Reception in the Dean's Suite, to be followed by a gigantic 1,000 balloon release in the Law School quad in honor of the Law School's Anniversary

Saturday, April 7, 2001

9 -- 10:15 a.m.
"Juries on Trial: The Jury Study by The Dallas Morning News and the SMU Law Review," a panel discussion with Dean John B. Attanasio, moderator, and Allen Pusey, staff writer for The Dallas Morning News and SMU Dedman Law School students involved in the study


A tour of the law school, including improvements to the Underwood Law Library, the new Hillcrest Courtroom (formerly Library South) and the renovated Stewart Title Classroom in Florence Hall

10:30 -- 11:30 a.m.
A lecture and tour of the Rare Book Collection in Underwood Law Library by Dedman Law Professor Joseph W. McKnight, "Old & Rare Books -- and -- What's In 'Em. "


A tour of the law school, including improvements to the Underwood Law Library, the new Hillcrest Courtroom (formerly Library South) and the renovated Stewart Title Classroom in Florence Hall

11:45 -- 1:15 p.m.
Barbecue lunch on the Quad, followed by remarks by Dean Attanasio on "What's Going On at Your Alma Mater "

1:15 -- 3:15 p.m.
Lecture by Dedman Law Professor Linda S. Eads, "Legal Ethics" (2 hrs. Ethics CLE credit pending)


A videotape presentation of the Supreme Court Summit featuring some of the highest court judges from around the world discussing "Treaty Supremacy vs. Constitutional Supremacy" (2.0 hrs. CLE credit pending)

3:30 -- 4:30 p.m.
Tour of the new Meadows Museum


A videotape of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's lecture of Feb. 14, 2001 (1.25 CLE hrs. pending)

Sunday, April 8

11 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m.
Brunch in the Law School Dean's Suite

2:05 p.m.
Outing to the see the Texas Rangers play the Seattle Mariners.