Richard L. Cupp, Jr., John W. Wade Professor of Law, was named the 2009 winner of the Professional Scholarship Award by the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) for his article Moving Beyond Animal Rights: A Legal/Contractualist Critique published in the San Diego Law Review. The award was presented at AALA's annual conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sept. 25.
Cupp, who is a longtime Animal Law scholar, frequently writes and lectures on the rising significance of Animal Law. His article documents that rise and provides the view that expanding rights is not the answer to our appropriately increasing sensitivity regarding animals' welfare.
"The article addresses animal rights, and it sets forth my view that both humans and animals would benefit from focusing on human responsibility for humane treatment of animals rather than on 'rights,'" says Cupp. "The article provides this analysis in the context of the rights issue's dramatic shift toward legal (rather than merely philosophical) analysis." Read Cupp's article here.
Cupp presented on the topic to both the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, and to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Neuroscience last fall.
Cupp teaches Products Liability, Remedies, and Torts. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Torts and Compensation Systems. Cupp has published numerous law review articles, including several in prominent journals such as the NYU Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, University of Illinois Law Review, and George Washington Law Review.
As a law student Cupp served as editor-in-chief of the UC Davis Law Review. Upon graduation he joined the San Diego law firm of Gray, Cary, Ware and Friedenrich as a litigation associate, and later served as associate general counsel for Pepperdine University.
In addition to his interest in torts and products liability, Cupp has written extensively about moral issues surrounding animal law. He has frequently been invited to participate in conferences, symposia, and media interviews addressing tort law and animal law issues.