Georgetown Law Mourns the Loss of Professor Emeritus Warren F. Schwartz

Professor SchwartzGeorgetown Law mourns the loss of Professor Emeritus Warren F. Schwartz, who died on Friday, December 5.

“Warren will be deeply missed by many members of our community,” said Dean William M. Treanor.  “In the more than two decades that he taught at the Law Center, he left a lasting impression on students and colleagues alike with his wit, humor, brilliance, dedication to teaching and zest for life.”

Professor J. Peter Byrne, associate dean for the J.D. program, called Schwartz “a pioneer in the law and economics movement,” noting that he had “an intense devotion to scholarship leavened by an impish Brooklyn wit.”

Schwartz began his teaching career at Georgetown Law as a visiting professor from 1978 to 1979 and served as a professor from 1979 until his retirement in 2004. Prior to coming to Georgetown, he taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas law schools. During his legal career, he also served as a consultant for the Federal Trade Commission, the International Trade Commission and the Administrative Conference of the United States.

As a professor and scholar, Schwartz served as director of the Law Center’s John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, sponsoring workshops, conferences and a student research fellowship program. Schwartz applied economic analysis to a variety of subjects, including the convention of dueling, the meaning of the term "the reasonable man" in tort law, decision-making by juries and the most favored nation principle in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

In addition to authoring many books and articles, Schwartz lectured at various research and educational institutions in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia. At Georgetown Law, he taught Torts, Economic Reasoning and the Law, International Trade and a Law and Economics workshop.

“Warren had many commendable qualities as a scholar, a teacher, a mentor to many and a fine colleague,” said Professor Sherman Cohn. “But one that stands out in my mind was how he enlivened faculty meetings with his sharp comments, standing up for what he thought was right even if he were a minority of one.  He cared not only about what we did, but how it was done.  In so many ways, Warren was a wonderful colleague who played a significant role in building this law school.”

Warren F. Schwartz was born in 1931. He earned his A.B. from Brooklyn in 1952 and his LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1954. Schwartz served two years as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice in the 1950s and was in private practice before beginning his teaching career in the 1960s.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Chassman, his children and grandchildren.

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