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Federal Judge Paul Niemeyer to Deliver Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture

The Twelfth Annual Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture will be delivered by Paul V. Niemeyer, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Niemeyer’s topic is “Revisiting the 1938 Rules Experiment.”

The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.

Judge Niemeyer was appointed to the Fourth Circuit in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. Prior to that, he sat on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, having been appointed to that court by President Reagan in 1988.

Judge Niemeyer received his A.B. degree from Kenyon College in 1962 and his LL.B./J.D. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1966 where he was on the editorial board of the law review. Following graduation he joined the Baltimore law firm of Piper & Marbury where he practiced in commercial litigation until his appointment to the bench.

Judge Niemeyer chaired the project to rewrite the Rules of Procedure in Maryland and co-authored the Maryland Rules Commentary, which is now in its third edition. For his work he received the Special Merit Citation of the American Judicature Society. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for seven years, chairing the Committee for four. During his term as Chair, he oversaw the 2000 changes to the discovery rules, and the 1998 changes to the class action rule.

In 2006, Judge Niemeyer published a historical and biographical book about his family, A Path Remembered. He has also written for numerous law journals.

Judge Niemeyer is a member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was a lecturer on Advance Business law at Johns Hopkins University and currently is a senior lecturing fellow in appellate advocacy at the Duke University Law School.

The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. ’29A, ’31L, who was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell’s judicial legacy was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. This student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody this spirit in their life and work.

For more information, visit the Powell Lecture web site.