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Feb. 19, 2003

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330

UT Law Hires Leading Business Law Professor from Michigan

Ronald Mann '85 Leaves Tenured Professorship to Return to UT-Austin as the William Stamps Farish Professor in Law


Ronald Mann
by Wyatt McSpadden

AUSTIN, Texas Today The University of Texas at Austin School of Law announced that it has hired Professor Ronald J. Mann, '85, one of the nation's leading authorities on commercial law, to hold the William Stamps Farish Professor in Law, effective September 1, 2003. His teaching and research interests also include intellectual property, where Texas already has one of the nation's leading programs. Mann most recently held the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Research Professorship at the University of Michigan Law School.

Mann is widely recognized as one of the two leading commercial law scholars of his generation of law professors, and is the most frequently cited legal scholar working in any of the business law fields to have entered law teaching in the last decade. He graduated 1st in his class from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985, where he was also Managing Editor of the Texas Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Joseph Sneed '49 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Associate Justice Lewis Powell of the United States Supreme Court. After private practice in Houston with Dow, Cogburn & Friedman, he served as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States from 1991 to 1994. He joined the law faculty at Washington University, St. Louis in 1994, and moved to Michigan in 1997. He was a visiting professor at Texas this past fall.

"Ronald Mann was a brilliant law student, a first-rate lawyer, and now he has become a nationally eminent scholar and gifted teacher," said Dean Bill Powers. "We are delighted that he is returning to Texas. His hiring will attract national attention, and give an important boost to our already outstanding programs in the business law and intellectual property law areas."

"It is a great honor for me to be joining the University of Texas. Texas has so many things going for it right now: a Dean who is firmly committed to supporting academic research; a world-class research library; and impressive colleagues in both the commercial-law and intellectual-property areas. It also is gratifying to be joining a faculty that is so deeply engaged in high-quality teaching, with students who are so enthusiastic about their education. And it should go without saying that I am excited to be returning to Texas at last," Mann said.

Mann is the author of Payment Systems (Aspen, 1999) and co-author of Commercial Transactions: A Systems Approach (Aspen, 1998) and Electronic Commerce (Aspen, 2002). Among his many articles are "Information Technology and Non-Legal Sanctions in Financing Transactions" (Vanderbilt Law Review, 2001), "Secured Credit and Software Financing"(Cornell Law Review, 1999), and "Explaining the Pattern of Secured Credit" (Harvard Law Review, 1997). He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Even prior to Mann's joining the faculty, surveys of scholars consistently ranked UT's intellectual property law program among the top 10-15 in the country. No similar surveys are done in the business law areas, but Mann joins a faculty that already includes, among others: Robert W. Hamilton, author of the most widely used law school textbook in corporate law; Henry T.C. Hu, leading authority on securities regulation and member of the National Association of Securities Dealers' Legal Advisory Board and e-Brokerage Committee; and Jay L. Westbrook '68, one of the nation's most distinguished scholars in the bankruptcy field.

Mann's hiring is also the latest in a series of high-profile faculty recruitments at Texas, which include the world's leading English-language authority on European private law, Basil S. Markesinis, from Oxford University; one of the nation's preeminent constitutional theorists, Lawrence G. Sager, from New York University; and the internationally renowned expert on torts and products liability, Jane Stapleton, from the Australian National University.

Related links:
Professor Robert Hamilton: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/hamiltrw/
Professor Henry Hu: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/huht/
Professor Jay Westbrook: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/jwestbrook/
Intellectual property law at UT:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/curriculum/intelprop/index.html