April 23, 2018
Tulane Law Prof. Oliver Houck was honored by the Louisiana Bar Foundation with its Distinguished Professor Award for his pioneering work in environmental law.
The Louisiana Bar Foundation honored Tulane Professor Oliver Houck with its Distinguished Professor Award for his pioneering role in developing modern environmental law and for his strong and continuing advocacy in enforcing those laws to protect the natural world.
The Bar Foundation honored Houck at its Gala at the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans on April 20. Along with Houck, the organization also honored Tulane alumnus Judge Eugene Davis (L ’60), of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, with its Distinguished Jurist Award.
In accepting the honor, before a crowd of several hundred of the state’s leading lawyers, judges, and civic leaders, Professor Houck said that his wife, Lisa, had teased him that the term “Distinguished” in the award meant “No Longer Dangerous.” Acknowledging his long and passionate involvement in a host of efforts and litigation to protect Louisiana’s environment, Houck concluded by affirming his intention to defy that expectation.
In presenting the award, Louisiana Bar Foundation President Valerie Briggs Bargas (L’ 01), a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Kinchen, Walker, Bienvenu, Bargas, Reed & Helm, LLP, noted appreciatively that she was one of Professor Houck’s former students in environmental law. Alan Brackett (L ’84), a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and a founding partner in Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, opened the Gala by observing that he was a student in Professor Houck’s first class at Tulane, a first-year Criminal Law course.
“We’re extremely proud of Oliver Houck’s singular leadership role in creating modern environmental law, and his unflagging dedication to protecting the natural world for future generations,” said Dean David Meyer.
The Louisiana Bar Foundation bestowed its Distinguished Professor Award previously on Tulane’s Professors Robert Force (2013), Cynthia Samuel (2007), and A.N. Yiannopoulos (2001).
In honoring Judge Davis with its Distinguished Jurist Award, the Bar Foundation presented a testimonial from former Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the Fifth Circuit, who hailed Judge Davis as “the perfect judge.”
Prof. Oliver Houck, Distinguished Jurist Honoree Judge Eugene Davis (L ’60), and Dona Renegar (L ’92), the President of the Louisiana State Bar Association at the Gala.
Judge Davis served more than 40 years as a federal judge, first as a District Judge in the Western District of Louisiana from 1976 to 1983 and then on the Fifth Circuit appeals court from 1983 until taking senior status at the end of 2016. He recently served as a judge for the Final Honorary Round of Tulane’s Appellate Moot Court.
“Judge Davis’ humility, decency, and wisdom as setting the standard of judicial excellence,” Dean Meyer said. “We’re proud of his service and grateful for his continuing involvement and support of our students.”