Professor Michael Gerhardt Presents 2014-15 Law & Society Lecture
Michael Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and Director of the UNC Center on Law and Government, presented the 2014 Law & Society Lecture on November 12, 2014. Professor Gerhardt’s lecture addressed the question of whether the Constitution is “broken” and discussed at length the power of voting in a democratic society.
Professor Gerhardt specializes in constitutional conflicts and has written five books, including The Power of Precedent. The Financial Times selected his most recent book, The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy as one of its Best Books of 2013. Professor Gerhardt received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. He has advised congressional leaders and White House officials on numerous constitutional issues, including judicial nominations, recess appointments, impeachment, and the filibuster. In 1992-93, he wrote the judicial selection policy for President Clinton's transition, and in 1998 he was the only joint witness in the House Judiciary Committee's historic hearing on the background and history of impeachment held in conjunction with its consideration of the impeachment of President Clinton. In 2003 and 2005, he advised both Senate leaders and the Democratic Policy Committee on the constitutionality of the filibuster.
He has participated in Supreme Court confirmation hearings for five of the nine justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court. He served as special counsel assisting the Clinton White House on Justice Stephen Breyer's confirmation hearings. In 2005, he advised several senators on President Bush's nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States and testified as an expert witness in the confirmation hearings for Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. In 2009-10, Professor Gerhardt served as Special Counsel to Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
In addition to the compelling keynote address, this year’s luncheon also featured the presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award. This year’s award went to George V. Hanna III of Moore & Van Allen.
Proceeds of the annual Law & Society Luncheon go to support the good works of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, including grants to support local nonprofit organizations and the charitable and educational initiatives of the Bar. This year’s luncheon set a new fundraising record with over $46,000 raised to support projects and organizations with a legal nexus in our community.
The Mecklenburg County Bar and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of the 2014-15 Law & Society Luncheon and all who attended. This year’s sponsors were:
Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)
Charlotte School of Law
Gold Sponsors ($2,500)
Alston & Bird LLP
Bank of America Legal Department
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Duke Energy Law Department
Hunton & Williams
James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.
King & Spalding LLP
Moore & Van Allen PLLC
Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Troutman Sanders LLP
Wells Fargo & Co. Legal Department
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC
Silver Sponsors ($1,000)
Association of Corporate Counsel-Charlotte Chapter
Compass Group USA, Inc.
Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC
Horack Talley PA
Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Poyner Spruill LLP
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC
Contributor Sponsors ($500)
Alexander Ricks PLLC
Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.
Burt & Cordes, PLLC
C. DeWitt Foard & Company, PA
Carolina Legal Staffing LLC
Erwin, Bishop, Capitano & Moss, P.A.
Essex Richards P.A.
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
The Van Winkle Law Firm
Higgins & Owens, PLLC
Rudolf Widenhouse & Fialko