February 01, 2006

U.S. appellate judge to serve as jurist-in-residence

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Justice Harris L. Hartz, a member of 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale's law school later this month.

Hartz is participating as the William L. Beatty Jurist-in-Residence, an endowed program that began in 2005. Hartz will visit with students in several classes and meet informally with faculty and senior staff during his visit, Feb. 15-18.

The program is one of three the law school created from proceeds received in 2004 from the settlement of a multi-million dollar national class action consumer protection lawsuit.

The program honors William L. Beatty, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Illinois, who died in 2001.

"We are honored to have him spend a few days with us," law school Dean Peter C. Alexander said. "He is a well-respected member of the federal bench and I'm sure our students will learn a lot from him.

"Judges in particular can provide a real-life perspective, and students respond to members of the judiciary who are presiding over the cases they read about in class," he added.

Hartz, 59, received his commission to the federal appeals bench in December 2001 following his nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1972, where he was a magna cum laude graduate and served as case and developments editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was one of nine members of his class elected to Phi Beta Kappa in their junior year in school. He received a bachelor's degree and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1967.

Prior to his appointment to the federal appeals court, Hartz's experience included 11 years as a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, serving as chief judge from 1997 to 1999. He resigned in 1999 to join a law firm as special counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, where he worked with the union to develop a code of conduct and an internal system for compliance and enforcement.

Hartz started his legal career as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico and then taught for a semester as assistant professor in 1976 at the University of Illinois College of Law. He served for a year as counsel with New Mexico's Organized Crime Prevention Commission, and subsequently as its executive director. He then went into private practice for nine years until his selection to the state appeals court.

In 2004, the law school received $425,000 in unclaimed funds from a 2001 settlement reached in the Southern District of Illinois in a case involving MCI and rates for direct-dialed long distance telephone calls. MCI did not admit liability in the settlement, which totaled $88 million, with $10 million returning to MCI.

In class action lawsuits, courts distribute unclaimed funds in a manner consistent with the basis for the lawsuit.

Offering a progressive education to graduate and professional students is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Harris Hartz

Justice Harris L. Hartz
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