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The Center for Civil Law Studies of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center presents the 25th John H. Tucker, jr. Lecture in Civil Law

Professor E. Allan Farnsworth
(Columbia Law School)
A Common Lawyer’s View of his Civilian Colleagues
(57 La. L. Rev. 227)

The 24th Tucker lecturer is a renowned expert in international
commercial law who for almost 30 years has worked under the auspices of
the United Nations to improve and codify that law. His career
demonstrates the value of rigorously logical approach to the handling
of legal issues. E. Allan Farnsworth is the Alfred McCormick Professor
of Law at Columbia University, where his teaching has been mainly in
the areas of contracts and commercial law. He learned intellectual
rigor early. His undergraduate degree is a B.S. in mathematics from the
University of Michigan, and he obtained a M.A. in physics from Yale
University in 1949. His law degree is from Columbia (1952), and he has
honorary degrees from the University of Paris, the Catholic University
of Louvain, and the Dickinson School of Law.

Professor Farnsworth has influenced the development of commercial law
both in this country and abroad. Perhaps his most important
contribution in the domestic arena was his work as Reporter for the
Restatement (Second) of Contracts from 1971-1980. In the civil law
context, he served as a consultant to the Puerto Rican Law Revision
Commission from 1988-1991, assisting with its revision of the Puerto
Rican Commercial Code. In 1979 and 1983, he served on the United States
delegations to major diplomatic conferences on international agency and
sales law. He has been a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s
advisory committee on private international law since 1985.

His work on projects sponsored by the United Nations has
included representing the Untied States at the U.N. Commission on
International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). He was a member of that body’s
working group on sales from 1969-1979, during its drafting of the
United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of
Goods, and was co-chair of the American delegation to the diplomatic
conference that put the Convention in final form.

Since 1979, Professor Farnsworth has been the American member
of the governing council of the U.N. International Institute for the
Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), in Rome. He has served as a
member of its committees on agency, and validity of international
sales, and since 1985, has been the American member of the working
group that produced the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial

Professor Farnsworth has been a lecturer at many comparative law
seminars and institutes, both here and abroad. He is a member of the
New York Bar and the American Philosophical Association, and he is a
Fellow of the British Academy. His books include a widely-used casebook
on contracts and commercial law, a treatise on contracts, and an
introduction to the legal system of the United States that is available
in a dozen languages.

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