November 08, 2013
Harvey C. Couch, a Tulane Law School professor for 45 years and acting dean in the mid-1980s, died Nov. 7 after a brief illness. He was 77.
When he retired in 2012, Couch was the Robert A. Ainsworth Professor of Courts & the Federal System. The Tulane Board of Administrators appointed him as a Professor Emeritus. He had joined the Tulane Law faculty in 1967 after teaching at the University of Michigan Law School.
Emeritus Professor William Lovett, a longtime colleague, called Couch “a consummate law teacher” and “just a great guy” — warm and outgoing, popular with students and good at handling responsibilities such as chairing the promotion and tenure committee. “People like Harvey are indispensable to good law schools,” Lovett said.
An Arkansas native, Couch received a B.A. from Hendrix College, where he was literary magazine editor. He then received a master’s in English and an LL.B. from Vanderbilt University. He clerked for Judge Harry Phillips on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then practiced law in Little Rock, Ark., before going into academia.
At Tulane, Couch taught conflict of laws, domestic relations and torts. He served as associate dean in 1980-84 and acting dean in 1985-86 and was faculty adviser to the Tulane Law Review in 1976-80. He also wrote A History of the Fifth Circuit 1891-1981.
"Harvey will be sorely missed by the generations of students and colleagues whose lives he touched," Tulane Law School Dean David Meyer said. “He was a natural leader on our faculty and earned the respect and affection of all who knew him.”
A Mass is scheduled for 1 p.m. Mon., Nov. 11 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 6367 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans. Visitation begins at 11 a.m. at the church.