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July 16, 2009

Professor Charles Silver to receive award from American Bar Association

Photo of Charles Silver
Professor Charles M. Silver

Charles M. Silver, holder of the Roy W. and Eugenia C. MacDonald Endowed Chair in Civil Procedure at the University of Texas School of Law, has won the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award. Given annually since 1988 by the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), the McKay Award honors law professors “who have shown commitment to the advancement of justice, scholarship, and the legal profession, demonstrated by outstanding contributions to the fields of tort and insurance law.” Silver will receive the Award at the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on August 2, 2009.

“Charlie Silver is a fine colleague and a fine scholar,” said School of Law Dean Larry Sager. “His recognition by the ABA is well-deserved on his part and a source of great institutional pride on ours. UT Law has for all of its history been a place where scholarship and the pressing concerns of the world have met, with marvelously constructive outcomes. Charlie, happily for the world, is continuing that tradition at a high level.”

Silver teaches courses at the Law School on civil procedure and professional responsibility. He has authored more than sixty publications, including many articles in peer-reviewed journals, on medical malpractice litigation and health care policy, class actions and other complex lawsuits, attorneys’ fees, insurance law, and legal ethics. He is an associate reporter on the American Law Institute’s Project on the Principles of Aggregate Litigation, the invited academic member of the ABA/TIPS Task Force on the Contingent Fee, and an occasional commentator on

Silver also served as a professional responsibility advisor for the private attorneys who represented Texas in State of Texas v. The American Tobacco Co., a lawsuit seeking recovery of Medicaid and other costs due to smoking-related illnesses that settled for $17.3 billion.

Silver received a BA in political science from the University of Florida in 1979, an MA in political science from the University of Chicago in 1981, and a JD from Yale Law School in 1987. He joined the Texas faculty in 1987, was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1988, received the Texas Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997, was elected a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 1998, and became a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2009. He has received grants from many sources, including the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Bar Foundation. Silver codirects the Law School’s Center on Lawyers, Civil Justice, and the Media. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School in 1994 and at the Vanderbilt University Law School in 2003.

Silver, the twenty-third recipient of the McKay Award, continues a Texas tradition of excellence in tort and insurance law. Previous winners of the award with strong Texas ties include former Law School Deans W. Page Keeton and William Powers Jr. (the current president of the University of Texas at Austin), Judge Robert E. Keeton, and Professors Roger Henderson, Ellen Pryor, Marshall Shapo, and Edward Sherman.

“Charles richly deserves this honor for his dedication to justice and scholarship in the legal profession, displayed not only by his unwavering service in higher education, but also by his valuable involvement with the TIPS Task Force on the Contingent Fee,” said TIPS Chair Tim Bouch.

Julien Devereux, Communications, UT Law, 512-232-2442, or