Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., emeritus professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and longtime teacher of legal subjects at other prominent law schools, died Wednesday at the age of 88, the university announced.
Hazard served as the trustee professor of law at Penn for 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, according to a university statement issued Thursday, and was a leading figure in the fields of civil procedure, judicial administration, and legal ethics.
Before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught law at Yale, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, according to Penn. In 2009, he joined the faculty of the UC Hastings College of the Law, while also continuing to teach courses on advanced federal procedure at Penn Law.
“Professor Hazard was a true giant in American law,” Penn Law dean Ted Ruger said in Thursday’s statement. “In addition to making a lasting impact on the fields of civil procedure and legal ethics, he was an eminent member of the Penn Law community and the broader legal academy and a devoted teacher and mentor. He will be deeply missed.”
Another one of Hazard’s colleagues recalled his impact in legal academia.
“Geoff Hazard was a gifted scholar, teacher, institutional leader, and citizen,” said Stephen B. Burbank, David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, in Thursday’s announcement. “A lawyer of immense and various talents and interests, he was as comfortable excavating the etiology of complex procedural doctrines as he was negotiating the drafting compromises necessary to achieve consensus on court rules or legislation.”
Burbank added that “Geoff was a true public intellectual, a supremely effective pragmatist who preferred a life of active involvement to the leisure of the theory class. Rarely has a single lawyer achieved such distinction in so many roles, and rarely has the administration of justice had such an incisive and knowledgeable champion working for its benefit in so many ways. I was proud to have Geoff as a colleague. He will always be my mentor and friend.”
According to Penn, from 1984 to 1999, he served as the director of the American Law Institute.
Hazard was raised in Kirkwood, Missouri, and graduated from Swarthmore College in 1953, and, in 1954, he received his LL.B. from Columbia University, where he served on the Columbia Law Review.
Information on funeral arrangements and memorial services was not immediately available.