Message from Dean Faigman: On the passing of Professor Geoff Hazard

Dear UC Law SF Community:

It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that our beloved colleague Geoff Hazard passed away last evening.

Geoff was the Thomas E. Miller Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus at UC Law SF. He joined our faculty in 2009 after a long and distinguished career at several prominent law schools, beginning at UC Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall in 1958, then at The University of Chicago Law School, Yale Law School, and Penn Law.

I had the honor, and incredible good fortune, to co-teach a class with Geoff, an experience that I will always cherish. Geoff never lost his curiosity about, and enthusiasm for, the law. He was always respectful of others’ opinions, students and faculty alike. He loved to engage his students and colleagues in discussions, ranging widely from current events to ancient forms of pleading. In class, and at faculty meetings, Geoff would regularly cut through all of the noise to identify a key point for consideration. Whether as a colleague, scholar, or teacher, Geoff was always seeking better ways to educate and understand.

He was one of the most influential legal scholars in the country and, for us, harkened back to the most famous members of the 65-Club, reminiscent of great scholars such as William Prosser and Richard Powell. His primary scholarly focus was on civil procedure and legal ethics, but his scholarly interests reached far and wide, and included constitutional law. He also served the profession more generally, in particular with the American Law Institute (ALI), where he was the Director from 1984 to 1999.

Geoff was a true giant in the law. He was a deeply inspiring teacher, a mentor to many generations of students and faculty, an enormously influential scholar, and a dear friend to so many of us. He will be greatly missed.

David Faigman