Officers and Trustees of the Pound Civil Justice Institute announced on Thursday, May 28th that they have awarded New York University Law professor and BP settlement attorney, Samuel Issacharoff the winner of the think-tank’s first Appellate Advocacy Award. Issacharoff is being awarded the honor for his tireless efforts working on the Deepwater Horizon lawsuit against BP and other responsible parties following the massive 3-month oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Issacharoff first worked to design the initial class-action lawsuit theory that led to the estimated $14 billion settlement. When BP and the other plaintiffs appealed the initial settlement, Issacharoff served as lead counsel for the case, creating the theoretical framework for, and presenting oral arguments for appeals, both in the 5th Circuit District Court in Louisiana and eventually for the Supreme Court as well. Issacharoff concluded a string of uninterrupted victories with the Supreme Court’s decision not to reopen the settlement case in BP Exploration & Production, Inc. v. Lake Eugenie Land & Development, Inc. last December. The Institute will give the award to Issacharoff on July 12th during the Pound Fellow’s reception at the InterContinental Hotel in Montreal, Quebec.
In addition to his private practice, Issacharoff has been the Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU since 2005, winning the Podell Distinguished Teaching Award at the university in 2009. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Issacharoff began teaching in 1989 at the University of Texas, moving on to Columbia Law School in 1999. At Columbia, he was named the Harold R. Medina Professor of Procedural Jurisprudence. Along with Stanford’s Pam Karlan and NYU’s Rick Pildes, Issacharoff helped produce the Law of Democracy casebook, a groundbreaking publication regarding the laws of the political process. Issacharoff has been one the world’s most widely published Constitutional Law scholars as well as a leading theorist regarding civil procedure, especially class-action litigation. In addition to updated editions of Law of Democracy, other notable publications include, Civil Procedure (Foundation Press, 3d. edition, 2011); and Fragile Democracies: Constitutional Courts in the Breach (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015).
The Pound Civil Justice Institute is one of the most prominent legal associations in North America. Founded in 1956 as theRoscoe Pound–American Trial Lawyers Foundation, the association sought to honor the legacy of former Harvard Law School dean, Roscoe Pound. Pound was a pioneering figure, credited as being the father of sociological jurisprudence, the idea that the law must remain dynamic in some respects due to its connection with changing social conditions. Fueled by Pound’s belief that “The law must be stable, but it must not stand still,” the association continues to provide symposiums and grant opportunities used to research and share knowledge from diverse viewpoints to help see law from a socially-practical perspective. The annual highlight of the Institute is the Pound‘s annual Forum for State Appellate Court Judges, one of North America’s leading educational and dialogue-creating events for judges seeking to share perspectives on civil justice. This year’s meeting will also take place in Montreal on July 11th. Institute Fellows come from a wide variety of legal, judicial, and academic backgrounds. The list of Institute members includes Legal Reader’s own esteemed-steward, Justinian C. Lane. Mr. Lane, I, and the rest of the Legal Reader staff would like to issue a sincere congratulation to Professor Issacaroff, and thank him for all of his contributions, both in theory and in practice.