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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:

Discovery:

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.

Challenge:

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.

Family:

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!

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

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.

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.

Obituary:

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.

Mariano Vitetta with his wife Natalia, also a lawyer, and Prof. Olivier Moréteau in the rare book room at the Louisiana Law Library, New Orleans

Mariano Vitetta with his wife Natalia, also a lawyer, and Prof. Olivier Moréteau in the rare book room at the Louisiana Law Library, New Orleans

LSU Law and the Center of Civil Law Studies welcome Mariano Vitetta, who started in June 2020 in a twelve-month position as CCLS Research Associate after a very successful LL.M. year with us. We wish him and his family another very successful year with us.

Mariano Vitetta obtained a degree as a certified legal translator (English-Spanish) and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires, and an LL.M. in Comparative Law from Louisiana State University (LSU). He is now working as a research associate for the Center of Civil Law Studies at LSU Law Center, under the direction of Professor Olivier Moréteau. He is primarily responsible for the translation of the Louisiana Civil Code from English into Spanish. He has taught English-Spanish legal translation (CAECE University), legal writing and drafting in Spanish (Argentine Catholic University), and introduction to the common law tradition for law students (Austral University). Combining his legal and translation training, Mariano has been working for more than 15 years as a legal translator for law firms, companies, and academic institutions. His most recent published translations include Por qué el derecho importa (Alon Harel, Marcial Pons 2018) and Fostering Innovation for Agriculture 4.0: A Comprehensive Plant Germplasm System (Miguel Ángel Rapela, Springer 2019). His academic research focuses on the connections between language and law. An advocate of plain language, during 2019–2020 he has been doing research on the connection between plain language and the codification movements in the 18th century in civil-law systems. He plans to complete a Ph.D. in Law focusing on the legal foundations of a right to understand to support plain-language campaigns as a matter of human rights.

Journal of Civil Law Studies, cover of volume 12 number 2

Volume 12, Number 2, was published online in March 2020. Articles offer a historical and dynamic panorama of Hungarian law, with Professor Emeritus Attila Harmathy as a guide (Tucker Lecture 2018). You will explore the #MeToo movement and its legal implications in France and the U.S. with Anne Wagner and Sarah Marusek. This issue also includes a note on the Louisiana Digest of 1808, and discusses Brexit matters under the angle of a largely unknown Scottish institution. Substantial book reviews and case notes conclude the volume.

The Editors call the readers’ attention to the remarkable LSU student contribution to our Civil Law in Louisiana feature, with six case notes prepared by students under faculty supervision. This is meant to serve the Louisiana legal community while showcasing Louisiana jurisprudence, making it more visible to the world.

Click here to access the Journal of Civil Law Studies.

The Journal of Civil Law Studies welcomes submissions for volumes 13 and 14: email moreteau@lsu.edu.

Banner of Journal of Civil Law Studies

The Journal of Civil Law Studies (www.law.lsu.edu/jcls) will host a colloquium on the opportunities that distance teaching offers for law students and professors in the current global context. Speakers will share insights and perspectives from different jurisdictions, across continents:

  • Xiangshun Ding, Renmin University (China)
  • Olivier Moréteau, Louisiana State University (USA)
  • Nadia Nedzel, Southern University Law Center (USA)
  • Agustín Parise, Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
  • Christa Rautenbach, North-West University (South Africa)
  • Michel Séjean, University Bretagne Sud (France)
  • Fernando Toller, Austral University (Argentina)

The event is free and open to the public; and it will take place via Zoom, on 14 May 2020, from 15:00-17:00hs (CEST). Registration is required by sending an email to jcls@lsu.edu.

The Journal of Civil Law Studies is a peer-reviewed, online and open-access periodical, published by the Center of Civil Law Studies of Louisiana State University. First published in 2008, it promotes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the civil law in Louisiana and in the world.

Professor Olivier Moréteau taught his annual Comparative Tort Law class in the LL.M. in International and European Business Law this week, at Université Jean Moulin, Lyon, France, November 25-29, an intensive 18-hour class. He also held meetings on legal studies in the United States, presenting the LSU LL.M. in Comparative Law, at Université Jean Moulin in Lyon (two sessions) and at Aix-Marseille University in Aix-en-Provence. 

Professor Moréteau with his Comparative Tort Law Students after an intensive week (18 hours)

On December 9, 2019, Professor Olivier Moréteau was the guest speaker of Friends of French Studies at LSU at a campus event taking place at the French House. A Board Member of FFS since his arrival at LSU in fall 2005, Dr. Moréteau holds a courtesy appointment at the Department of French Studies. He discussed with many enthusiastic  attendees his translation work of the Louisiana Civil Code conducted at the Center of Civil Law Studies, making it available in English and in French on the web and in print (click here to visit the Louisiana Civil Code Online).The Louisiana Civil Code is again available in French, something that had not happened since 1825.Professor Moreteau presenting at the LSU French House Professor Moreteau presenting at the LSU French House Crowd of attendees at the LSU French House Poster announcing Dr. Moreteau's presentation on the translation of the Civil Code

On October 17, 2019, Professor Moréteau made a short visit to Panama City where he was the guest of Dr. Oscar Leon, Rector of the Quality Leadership University (QLU). His Excellency Mario Jaramillo, the former Ambassador of Panama to the United States, attended the visit. An LSU graduate, Ambassador Jaramillo facilitates the development of a strong cooperation between LSU and Panama.

QLU has a long experience of hosting North American and international graduate programs, making them available on site in Panama. The visit was an opportunity to explore the feasibility of outsourcing the LSU LL.M. in Comparative Law program to Panama. In addition to QLU officers, several prominent Panama lawyers also participated in an open discussion, including two LSU Law graduates, Diego Anguizola, J.D./D.C.L. 2015 and Gustavo Gordon, LL.M. 2006. It is hoped that “a winning formula will come up,” to quote Ambassador Jaramillo.

Left to right, Dean Marcela Reyes, Ambassador Mario Jaramillo, Rector Oscar Leon, Diego Anguizola, Olivier Moréteau, and Gustavo Gordon

Left to right, Dean Marcela Reyes, Ambassador Mario Jaramillo, Rector Oscar Leon, Diego Anguizola, Olivier Moréteau, and Gustavo Gordon