April 10th, 2013 — By — In News & Events

10th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize Recipient Announced: Columbia Prof. Thomas W. Merrill

William & Mary School of Law recently announced that Columbia Law School Professor Thomas W. Merrill will receive the 2013 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize at the 10th annual Brigham-Kanner conference October 17-18, 2013, in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference is sponsored by the William & Mary Property Rights Project which seeks to promote the exchange of ideas between scholars and members of the property rights bar through lectures, the annual B-K conference and the B-K Conference Journal.

The Conference, Prize and Journal are named in recognition of the lifetime contributions of property rights lawyers and OCA Members Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner.  The B-K Prize has been presented annually since 2004 to an individual whose scholarly work and accomplishments affirm that property rights are fundamental to protecting individual and civil rights.

From W&M’s announcement:

Merrill is among the nation’s leading scholars of property, administrative, and environmental law, and is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor at Columbia Law School. His books include Property: Takings (with David A. Dana) (Foundation Press, 2002), Property: Principles and Policies (2d ed., with Henry E. Smith) (Foundation Press, 2012), and The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law (with Henry E. Smith) (Oxford University Press, 2010). His many articles have appeared in publications such as Harvard Law Review, New York University Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal.

Merrill holds a B.A., with honors in history, from Grinnell College, and a B.A., with first-class honors in philosophy, politics, and economics, from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After earning his J.D. at the University of Chicago, he clerked for Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. After clerking, Merrill practiced at Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Chicago and then served as deputy solicitor general in the Department of Justice, a role in which he supervised Supreme Court litigation. Merrill was the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University before joining the Columbia University faculty in 2003.

While the Conference schedule and speaker’s list has not yet been finalized, OCA Member Robert Thomas reported on his blog here that a tentative list of topics include:

  • The Impact of a Leading Property Scholar: Defining the Essence of Property
  • Promoting Government Forbearance
  • The Implications of the Court’s Recent Takings Cases
  • Property Rights in Times of Transition.

Conference Co-Chair Joseph T. Waldo, the Virginia member of OCA and a 1978 graduate of William and Mary School of Law, said the annual conference provides a vital and unique forum in which members of the practicing bar and members of the academy can meet and exchange viewpoints in a constructive environment. “The conference’s upcoming tenth year anniversary gives us cause to celebrate past advancements while continuing to focus on how the security of property rights is changing our world,” he said.

For details about the conference schedule and participants, contact the William & Mary Property Rights Project at lsdevl@wm.edu or call (757) 221-3796.

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