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Gallagher Chats with Professor Hugh Spitzer

When Apr 24, 2013
from 12:30 PM to 01:20 PM
Where Bogle and Gates Student Lounge
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On April 24, 2013, UW law students joined Professor Spitzer in the Bogle and Gates Student Lounge in Gallagher Law Library to hear about how he became interested in state constitutional law and how to work with a co-author. Professor Spitzer spoke of ‘Utterites’ – those lawyers and judges who understand that our State constitution is different from the federal constitution and may be relied upon alone, granting more rights or protections than the federal document. Even if the language between the constitutions is similar, the interpretation of the Washington constitution requires a separate analysis. Justice Utter and Professor Spitzer joined forces to help the Washington legal profession understand the true nature of Washington State constitutional law.

Introductory remarks by Dean Penny Hazelton

I am happy to welcome Professor Hugh Spitzer to the first Gallagher Chats – an intimate forum for students to learn more about faculty scholarship. Professor Spitzer is a partner at Foster Pepper where he has specialized in municipal government and public finance for over 30 years. He works extensively on public/private and intergovernmental cooperative arrangements.He was selected as the 2011 Best Lawyer of the Year in public finance law. He teaches at the Law School - local government law, professional responsibility, state constitutional law, and Roman law. He earned his BA from Yale; his JD from UW Law; and an LLM from Berkeley.

I moved to Seattle to start at the UW in 1985. My introduction to Professor Spitzer was through an article he wrote in 1980 that was published in the Washington State Bar News on inflation in law library materials. Wow! A lawyer who gets libraries – he’s been a hero of mine ever since!

I learned that Professor Spitzer was a prolific author – he’ll publish anywhere! Some of his most provocative writing comes through in his op-ed pieces. I still remember one in particular  – after the first red/blue state election results maps were used, Hugh took them and divided the US into 13 new states along the political divides of the election. What a fascinating idea!

The Law Library’s partnership with Professor Spitzer started in 1980 and has continued with his help in finding a publisher to reprint the Journal of the Washington State Constitutional Convention and most recently in helping us create content for the wonderful Washington State Constitution: History legal research guide created by Reference Librarian, Mary Whisner.

Today we are here to listen to Professor Spitzer talk about the 2d edition of his book, The Washington State Constitution:  A Reference Guide, published by Oxford University Press and co-authored by Justice Utter. Professor Spitzer!

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