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Paul R. Baier

George M. Armstrong, Jr. Professor of Law and Judge Henry A. Politz Professor of Law

Recent Scholarship

Professor Baier’s play “Father Chief Justice” completed a fourteen-year run with a Mardi Gras production in the Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., March 8 (Holmes’s birthday), 2011.  Roberta Shaffer, Law Librarian of Congress, welcomed a large audience of 400 guests by quoting Justice William J. Brennan’s reaction to Paul’s play:  “I think you know I support you in all your endeavors,  but none more so than when you are illuminating the history of the great institution to which I have devoted 40 years of my life.”  Roberta played Fanny Holmes, Charles Cooper, a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, played Chief Justice White, along with other notables.  This Capitol Hill performance marked the Centennial of Edward Douglas White taking his seat as Chief Justice of the United States.  The event was sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society, Georgetown University Law Center, George Washington University Law School, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and others.  Wolters Kluwer and LexisNexis underwrote production costs.  The Supreme Court Historical Society’s Quarterly announced the event and reviewed it in a full-page account.  Thereafter, the Antitrust Section of the A.B.A. featured the Standard Oil Octopus scene, cast and directed by Professor Baier, at its Spring annual meeting in Washington, D.C.  Over 500 lawyers crowded into the J.W. Marriott ballroom to see Section Chair Alan Van Fleet re-enact Justice Harlan’s volcanic eruption over White’s Rule of Reason in the Standard Oil Case (1911). William J. Kolasky, Wilmer Hale Washington, D.C., played a rousing Chief Justice White, taking Harlan’s heat in stride. Kyle Duncan, the State’s Appellate Chief, accompanied by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, mooted Connick v. Thompson in the Advanced Appellate Advocacy Seminar against one of Baier’s students.  This was a good rehearsal before actually arguing the case in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Kyle won the case, a victory loudly heralded in the “Triple A” seminar. “Practice makes perfect,” remarked Professor Baier.  Mr. Duncan will co-teach the Advanced Appellate Advocacy seminar in the future .  Professor Baier hosted the International Association of Gaming Advisors on a tour of the Supreme Court of the United States in October. Aspen Custom Publishing Series added Baier’s Constitutional Law casebook to Wolters Kluwer’s stable. The Louisiana Bar Foundation published a Centennial Edition of “Father Chief Justice” and the Loyola Law Review published Act V, “Cricket on the Hearth,” both of which were distributed to guests at the Coolidge Auditorium performance and at the Law Library of Congress post-production reception.  Professor Baier continues to serve as Secretary of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society.  The Tiger Athletic Foundation awarded him a second TAF Undergraduate Teaching Award for excellence in his Honors College teaching, “The Constitution and American Civilization,” with Professor James D. Hardy, Jr.

Brief Biography

Professor Baier, an editor of Harvard Legal Commentary while at Harvard Law School, joined the LSU Law faculty in 1972 after teaching at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Tennessee College of Law. The Judicial Fellows Commission selected Professor Baier from ten finalists to serve as the U.S. Supreme Court Fellow for 1975-76, during which time he scripted and narrated “Supreme Court," the first film ever made inside the Supreme Court. This award-winning A.B.A. production was exhibited at the Court for over a decade. Professor Baier’s expertise lies in Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Litigation, and Appellate Advocacy. He was a Special Assistant State Attorney General in several U.S. Supreme Court and 5th Circuit cases, including the Louisiana Higher Education Desegregation Case. He served as Executive Director, Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, U.S. Constitution, 1987-91, and was selected as the first Scholar in Residence of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, 1990-92. He is the editor of the memoirs of Justice Hugo Black, Mr. Justice and Mrs. Black (Random House 1986), and of Lions Under the Throne: The Edward Douglass White Lectures of Chief Justices Warren E. Burger and William H. Rehnquist (Louisiana Bar Foundation, 1995). He has taught summer programs with Justice Harry A. Blackmun (Aix-en-Provence, France, Berlin, Germany) and with Justice Antonin Scalia (Siena, Italy). For a sample of his writing see: The Court and Its Critics, Feb. '92, A.B.A.J. Professor Baier is a nationally published playwright, producer, and director of “Father Chief Justice”: Edward Douglass White and the Constitution, which premiered in Thibodaux, March 8, 1997, and has since played at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, Loyola University, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, May 2009. Aspen Publishers printed a limited Centenary edition of the play and sponsored a performance in the Louisiana Supreme Court on Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, 2010.  Most recently, March 8, 2011, the Law Library of Congress sponsored a production of the play in the Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.  Baier has several media credits, including “Court Reports,” a film historiography of the Supreme Court of the United States in National Archives newsreels, and a television production featuring Erwin N. Griswold, former Solicitor General and Dean of the Harvard Law School. He is nationally known for his use of media in law school teaching, What Is the Use of a Law Book Without Pictures or Conversations, 34 J. Legal Ed. 619 (1984). The Diamond Anniversary Sixth Edition of Baier’s The Pocket Constitutionalist, with a Foreword by his former student and Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John L. Weimer, was published by Claitor's in 2010. Professor Baier is Secretary of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society. The Louisiana Bar Foundation named Baier its Distinguished Professor 2004. The Tiger Athletic Foundation honored Professor Baier with its prestigious TAF Undergraduate Teaching Award for his teaching in the LSU Honors College (Honors Colleges and Law Schools: A Decennial Digest, 32 Legal Stud. F. 915 (2008)). He was voted Law Professor of the Year by the Law Center Senior Class of 2010.

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B.A., 1966, University of Cincinnati, summa cum laude
J.D., 1969, Harvard University, Editor, Harvard Legal Commentary

Contact Info

Office: 422
Phone: 225/578-8326

Additional Info

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Paul M. Hebert Law Center   |    1 E. Campus Dr.   |    Louisiana State University   |    Baton Rouge, LA 70803   |   225/578-5292