Fifteenth Annual Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice

The 15th Annual Brennan Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice

The Reach of State Corporate Law Beyond State Borders:

Reflections Upon Federalism


The Hon. Jack B. Jacobs, Supreme Court of Delaware


Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:30 P.M.

Public Reception Immediately Following Lecture

Justice Jack B. Jacobs

Before his appointment as a Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court in 2003, Jack B. Jacobs had served as Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery since October 1985.  From 1968 until his appointment as Vice Chancellor, Justice Jacobs practiced corporate law and business litigation in Wilmington, Delaware. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago (B.A., 1964, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Harvard University (LL.B., 1967).

In addition to his judicial activities, Justice Jacobs serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, Widener University School of Law, and Columbia University School of Law (beginning 2009).  He is a member of the American Law Institute, where he serves as an Advisor to the Restatement (Third) of Restitution, and of the Delaware and American Bar Associations (where he served on the Committee on Corporate Laws of the ABA Business Law Section), and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. 

Justice Jacobs has participated in academic symposia and continuing legal education programs related to corporate and securities law sponsored by various law schools and continuing legal education organizations, and has been a guest lecturer at several American and foreign law schools.  Justice Jacobs was Morrison  &  Foerster Lecturer at Stanford Law School (February 2008); Regent's Lecturer in Residence at the UCLA School of Law (January 2005); Distinguished Jurist Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania Law School (March 2002); and Distinguished Visiting Jurist at the Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Program (2008).

Justice Jacobs has also been an invited guest speaker in various conferences, including those sponsored by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (Hong Kong, October 2003); the Korea Development Institute (Seoul, November 2004); the University of Tokyo (November 2005); the OECD (Stockholm, March 2006); the Ministry of Economic Affairs (Amsterdam, April 2006), and the Australian Law Council (Sydney, April 2008).  He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Columbia Law School Center on Corporate Governance, and as a member of the Planning Committee of the University of Chicago Corporate Law Institute and the Tulane Corporate Law Institute.  Justice Jacobs has also authored and co-authored numerous law review articles addressing various aspects of corporation law, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.



Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Lecture Series

Few Americans have done as much to shape the constitutional order of vigorous civil liberties and respect for the rule of law as Justice William J. Brennan Jr.  In his thirty-four years on the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Brennan sculpted a vast constitutional jurisprudence and elevated the judiciary’s role in enforcing America’s commitment to individual rights and justice.

When Justice Brennan was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1956, he had already distinguished himself both at the bar and as a New Jersey state judge, rising to the state’s Supreme Court.  These professional experiences informed Justice Brennan’s keen appreciation of our federal system and his abiding vision of the independent responsibility of state courts to protect constitutional rights.

The Dwight D. Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration, the Brennan Center for Justice, and New York University School of Law proudly host the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Lecture Series on State Courts and Social Justice.  The Brennan Lectures provoke reflection upon and celebration of the state judiciary—the bedrock of justice under law in the United States.

Past Lecturers:

1995   Hon. Judith S. Kaye

Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

State Courts at the Dawn of a New Century:  Common Law Courts Reading Statutes and Constitutions

1996   Hon. Stewart G. Pollock

Justice, Supreme Court of New Jersey

The Art of Judging


1997   Hon. Stanley Mosk

Justice, Supreme Court of California

States’ Rights--and Wrongs


1998   Hon. Ellen Ash Peters

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Connecticut

Capacity and Respect:  A Perspective on the Historic Role of the State Courts in the Federal System


1999   Hon. George Bundy Smith

Judge, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

State Courts and Democracy:  The Role of State Courts In the Battle for Inclusive Participation in the Electoral Process


2000   Hon. Shirley S. Abrahamson

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Wisconsin

The Ballot and the Bench


2001   Hon. Christine M. Durham

Justice, Supreme Court of Utah

The Judicial Branch in State Government:  Parables of Law, Politics, and Power


2002   Hon. Thomas R. Phillips

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas

The Constitutional Right to a Remedy


2003   Hon. Jeffrey L. Amestoy

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Vermont

Uncommon Humanity:  Reflections on Judging in a Post-Human Era


2004   Hon. Margaret H. Marshall

Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

“Wise Parents Do Not Hesitate to Learn From Their Children”:  Interpreting State Constitutions in an Age of Global Jurisprudence


2005    Hon. Ronald M. George

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of California

Challenges Facing an Independent Judiciary


2006    Hon. Randall T. Shepard

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Indiana

The New Role of State Supreme Courts as Engines of Court Reform


2007  Hon. Leah Ward Sears

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

A Case for Strengthening Marriage in the 21st Century


2008  Hon. Michael A. Wolff

Judge, Supreme Court of Missouri

Evidence-Based Judicial Discretion: Promoting Pubic Safety through State Sentencing Reform






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