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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 30. 2004

Common Law Is Topic Of Inaugural James Fraser Smith Lecture At UI Law School

Michael D. Green, a former University of Iowa law professor now teaching at Wake Forest University, will discuss "The Wisdom of the Common Law" in the inaugural James Fraser Smith Lecture on Friday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building.

Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture is named after Smith, a 1950 UI law graduate who has had a long and successful legal practice in Charles City.

In his lecture, Green will discuss how the court's modification through the common law process of the rule of indivisibility of liability reveals the common law's wisdom. He will also examine proportional liability, a reform that academics have been unanimously championing but which the courts have ignored, explaining why this also demonstrates the wisdom of the common law.

Green taught at the UI College of Law for 20 years before leaving for Wake Forest in 2000. He teaches and writes about tort law, product liability, complex litigation and toxic substances litigation. Green is a Co-Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical Harm and previously served as Co-Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment of Liability. Green's expertise also includes the law and science involved in toxic torts, and he has published several articles, chapters and a book about the subject.

He is a co-author of the Reference Guide on Epidemiology in the Federal Judicial Center's Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, which serves as a reference on scientific disciplines for federal judges. He is a frequent lecturer on this subject to lawyers and judges, and he regularly co-teaches a course on complex litigation at the National Judicial College.

Green earned his B.S. degree from Tufts University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to teaching, he was an associate with Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, following a clerkship with Chief Judge Joseph S. Lord of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,