March 11, 2013
Tulane Law School will induct the inaugural class of its new Tulane Law School Hall of Fame at its annual Alumni Luncheon on March 22.
Supported by a recent endowed gift, the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame will recognize extraordinarily accomplished alumni and legendary faculty members spanning the School's 166-year history.
The inaugural class will include six living and six posthumous honorees. The honorees will be feted at Tulane Law School's Annual Alumni Luncheon on Friday, March 22, at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel in downtown New Orleans.
"With a 166-year history and nearly 13,000 living alumni, we can never adequately recognize the diverse and extraordinary accomplishments of our alumni," said Dean David D. Meyer. "The Tulane Law School Hall of Fame will enable us to celebrate these rich talents by highlighting each year the exemplary achievements of a select group that reflects the whole."
The inaugural honorees (posthumous members are indicated with an *) are:
• Marian Mayer Berkett (L '37): One of the law school's earliest women students, she graduated first in her class and went on to become the first woman attorney hired by a Louisiana law firm (Deutsch Kerrigan), a leader in the New Orleans bar, and a legendary trial attorney. Ms. Berkett, who celebrates her 100th birthday later this month, will serve as Tulane Law School's graduation speaker this May.
• Hale Boggs (A & S '35, L '37)*: Elected to 13 terms in Congress, beginning in 1940, Hale Boggs rose to the top leadership ranks of the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming Majority Whip in 1962 and Majority Leader in 1971. A powerful advocate and gifted orator, Boggs showed political courage by supporting landmark civil rights legislation in the Voting Rights Act and Fair Housing Act. After his death in 1972, his wife, Lindy, succeeded him in Congress and served until 1991.
• John J. Hainkel, Jr. (A & S '59, L '61)*: After graduating Order of the Coif as a member of both the Tulane Law Review and the moot court board, John Hainkel was an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer who went on to make American political history as the first person ever to serve as both Speaker of the House and President of the Senate in a state legislature. During 37 years in office, Senator Hainkel was a revered leader and devoted Tulanian who fostered collaboration across party lines and was a powerful advocate for higher education.
• Russ M. Herman (A & S '63. L '66): Founding partner of Herman, Herman & Katz in New Orleans, Mr. Herman is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading trial lawyers, having served as leading counsel in many of the country's most significant, high-profile class actions. A veteran faculty member in Tulane's Trial Advocacy program and the author of a leading treatise in the field, Mr. Herman has also served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and been inducted into the American Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
• Joseph Merrick Jones (A & S, L '25)*: During the Great Depression, Mr. Jones founded both the Canal Barge Company and the law firm now known as Jones Walker, one of the largest and most respected firms of the American South. During World War II, Mr. Jones took a hiatus from law practice to join the U.S. Department of State, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs during the dynamic post-war period. A devoted Tulanian, Mr. Jones helped shape the University's future as President of its Board of Administrators for more than a decade until his death in 1963. Jones Hall, the Law School's former building, is named in his honor.
• Wayne J. Lee (A & S '71, L '74): After graduating Order of the Coif and as an editor of Tulane Law Review, Mr. Lee is now one of New Orleans' leading litigators, chairing the management committee of Stone, Pigman, Walther & Wittmann. A past president of the Louisiana State Bar Association and numerous civic and charitable organizations, Mr. Lee has also served as a member of Tulane University's Board of Administrators and played a leading role in efforts to diversify the legal profession.
• Bessie Margolin (N '29, L '30)*: Raised in New Orleans' Jewish Children's Home after her mother's early death, Bessie Margolin went on to graduate from Newcomb College and Tulane Law School, second in her class and an editor of the Law Review. Unable as a woman to find work in private practice, she went to work for the federal government in Washington. As Associate Solicitor for the Department of Labor, she argued 27 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and won 25 of them. At her retirement dinner in 1972, she was feted by Chief Justice Earl Warren and several other Justices for her landmark contributions to labor law.
• Max Nathan (L '60): Founding partner of Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel in New Orleans, Mr. Nathan is widely recognized as one of the country's leading lawyers in estate planning and successions, and has led law reform in the state as President and then Chair of the Louisiana Law Institute for more than 15 years. A legendary teacher to generations of Tulane students, Professor Nathan has taught as a member of Tulane's adjunct faculty for nearly 50 years.
• Ferdinand Stone*: A six-time graduate of Ohio State, Yale, and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Ferd Stone was a member of Tulane's law faculty for 41 years before retiring in 1978 as the W.R. Irby Chair. Director of the Tulane Institute of Comparative Law, Professor Stone was a renowned scholar in the field. He was also known as a legendary teacher of torts to generations of Tulane law students, who, in the words of colleague and former student Shael Herman, regarded him with "a respect verging on reverence."
• Jacques L. Wiener, Jr. (L '61): After graduating first in his class and Editor-in-Chief of Tulane Law Review, Judge Wiener practiced law in Shreveport with the firm now known as Wiener, Weiss & Madison. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and took senior status in 2010. A devoted Tulanian, Judge Wiener is a former Chair of the Dean's Advisory Board and a member of the Paul Tulane Society.
• John Giffen Weinmann (A & S '50, L '52): After graduating Order of the Coif and an editor of the Tulane Law Review, Ambassador Weinmann practiced law for 28 years with Phelps Dunbar in New Orleans and served as general counsel to the Times Picayune and president and director of the Waverly and Eason Oil Companies. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Finland from 1989 to 1991 and as Chief of Protocol in the White House from 1991 to 1993. Ambassador Weinmann is a former Chair of Tulane University's Board of Administrators and a member of the Paul Tulane Society. Weinmann Hall, the Law School's building, is named in his honor.
• John Minor Wisdom (L '29)*: A legendary judge for more than four decades on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Judge Wisdom was one of the so-called "Fifth Circuit Four" who played a pivotal role in enforcing the civil rights of racial minorities during the era of "Massive Resistance" to desegregation. A top student who won Tulane's moot court competition, Judge Wisdom practiced law for nearly 30 years in New Orleans before his appointment to the bench. During that time, he was an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School for nearly two decades and, as a Republican Party leader in Louisiana, played a crucial role in securing the election of President Dwight Eisenhower. Judge Wisdom donated his papers and effects to Tulane Law School, now displayed in the Judge John Minor Wisdom Room of the Law Library.
Nominees are selected for induction into the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame by an alumni committee, in consultation with the Dean, on the basis of their distinguished professional achievements and their enduring dedication to the mission and students of Tulane Law School. New inductees will be honored each year at the annual Tulane Law Alumni Luncheon, to be held this year on March 22, 2013, at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel in downtown New Orleans. Tickets to the luncheon may be purchased by contacting Nicole DePietro at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 865-5909.
The Tulane Law School Hall of Fame is generously supported by an endowment created in late 2012 by Mike and Melinda Veron. Mr. Veron (A & S '72, L '74) is a nationally prominent trial lawyer and founding partner of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson in Lake Charles, Louisiana.