ROBERT LYNN BATTS
Robert Lynn Batts, retired professor of law
and former regent, died on May 19, 1935. He was 70.
Professor Batts was born on November 1, 1864,
in Bastrop, Texas. He received a law degree from The University
of Texas at Austin in 1886. While studying at the University,
he was editor of the institution's first student publication,
The Texas University.
After he was admitted to the bar, Professor
Batts returned to Bastrop and practiced law. In 1892 he was named
assistant attorney general for Texas. As the attorney for the
state in Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway Company
v. Texas, he recovered 920,000 acres of land for the public
In 1893 he joined the law school faculty, teaching
for eight years before resigning in 1901 to return to private
practice. He again represented the state in Texas v. Waters-Pierce
Oil Company, recouping $1,900,000. In 1914 he was named special
assistant attorney general for the United States. In one of his
cases, he brought criminal charges against the New York, New Haven,
and Hartford Railroad Company. In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson
appointed him to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served
as a judge until 1919, resigning to accept the position as general
counsel for Gulf Petroleum Company.
From 1927 to 1933 Professor Batts was a member
of the board of regents. He served as chairman for the last three
years of his appointment, pushing through plans for the addition
of ten new buildings on the campus at a cost of over $5 million.
Professor Batts was the author of Annotated
Revised Civil Statutes of Texas (1897-1899) and The Law
of Corporations in Texas (1902).
Batts Hall was named in his honor in April 1953.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted
on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional
biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History
Center and the New
Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association,
The UT Law Library Archives has addtional materials at http://www.law.utexas.edu/rare/archives.htm.