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Pepperdine Law hosted the sixth annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture on October 19th in the Henry J. and Gloria Caruso Auditorium. This year's featured topic was The Law of Climate Change.

The event welcomed a host of presenters, including John C. Nagle, John N. Matthews Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School, and Lisa E. Heinzerling, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. An introduction and remarks were made by Pepperdine School of Law Dean Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (ret.).

A mock oral argument on Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 663 F. Supp. 2d (N.D. Cal. 2009) included advocates David M. Axelrad (Appellant), Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP - Los Angeles, California, and Richard O. Faulk (Respondent), partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP - Houston, Texas. Judges for the mock trial included The Honorable David B. Sentelle, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; The Honorable Timothy M. Tymkovich, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit; and Kenneth W. Starr, President, Baylor University.

"The William French Smith presentation was a model of experiential learning," said Dean Deanell Reece Tacha. "All of legal education is focused on experiential education. This stellar event demonstrated, in the finest tradition of legal education, the seamless interconnectedness of theory and practice. The complex issues in the climate change discussion are so important to the world. It was a privilege for the Pepperdine University School of Law to present this timely program. I am so grateful to the outstanding scholars, advocates, and judges who made the William French Smith presentation such a success."

William French Smith (1917-1990) served as the 74th Attorney General of the United States (1981-1985). In so many ways, he was the embodiment of rectitude and integrity. A towering figure in the Los Angeles legal community, this learned and gentle man was the loving husband of the elegant Jean Webb Smith and the father of four children whose lives honor their father's memory.

Smith was born in Wilton, New Hampshire. He received his AB, summa cum laude, from UCLA in 1939, and his JD from Harvard in 1942. From 1942 to 1946, Bill—as he preferred to be called—served in the Naval Reserve, reaching the rank of lieutenant. In 1946, he joined the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, where he was a senior partner when he was appointed Attorney General by President Ronald Reagan. Bill's encouragement of Reagan to run for Governor of California in the mid-1960s would change Bill's life. After Reagan was elected, Reagan appointed Bill to the University of California Board of Regents, where he would ultimately serve three terms as chairman.

A decade and a half later, Bill would bring the same mature insight and stature to his work as Attorney General, refashioning antitrust law and advancing the President's efforts to streamline government regulation.The School of Law, where Bill served on the Board of Visitors, is honored to pay tribute to his memory and service through this annual lecture series.

The School of Law was honored to have the support of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and the Santa, Monica Chamber of Commerce for the event.