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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prop. 8 Judge Vaughn Walker to Teach at U.C. Berkeley Law School

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:20 PM

click to enlarge Vaughn Walker, reimagined as a pimp. This is not a real photo.
  • Vaughn Walker, reimagined as a pimp. This is not a real photo.

Vaughn Walker, the federal judge who in August delivered a landmark ruling affirming the right of same-sex couples in California to marry, will begin teaching a class at U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law after he retires at the end of this year.

Walker's ruling that Proposition 8 -- the California ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in 2008 -- was unconstitutional came in a very interesting case (now on appeal). To judge from the press release put out by Berkeley, the class he is slated to co-teach next semester won't be so exciting. Unless, of course, sitting through months of instruction in something called "Strategic Decisionmaking in Aggregate and Complex Litigation" is your idea of life in the fast lane.

Susan Gluss, a spokeswoman for the law school, said the course will cover complicated and "high-stakes" litigation of the kind that typically occurs when many, many lawsuits are consolidated into a single case. (The claims resulting from the BP oil spill might be one example.) Walker's co-professor will be Francis McGovern, an expert in such cases who is on loan from Duke's law school.

"It's always, always fantastic to have the unique perspective of a judge," Gluss said. "We don't usually have that here. We have lots of lawyers (teaching)."

At present, she said, Walker's commitment to the school doesn't extend past next semester.

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