May 28, 2014
Professor Bob Force was recognized with the Louisiana Bar Foundation's 2014 Distinguished Professor Award.
Tulane Law Professor Bob Force (right), the Louisiana Bar Foundation's 2014 Distinguished Professor Award winner, was joined by Professor Emeritus A.N. Yiannopoulos, the 2001 recipient.
Tulane Law Professors Martin Davies and Catherine Hancock (foreground), along with Joshua Force and Mara Baumgarten, applaud as Professor Bob Force is honored at the Louisiana Bar Foundation gala in April.
Photos by Matthew Hinton
Courtesy of the Louisiana Bar Foundation
The Louisiana Bar Foundation recognized what generations of Tulane Law School graduates already knew: Professor Robert Force is an exemplary educator whose contributions to the profession are worth celebrating.
The foundation in April honored Force with its 2014 Distinguished Professor Award. Tulane Law Professors Emeriti Cynthia Ann Samuel (2007) and A.N. Yiannopoulos (2001) are previous recipients.
Dean David Meyer said Force has “helped to shape Louisiana law, as co-author of the Louisiana Code of Evidence, and ensured the continued primacy of Louisiana in maritime law through his pioneering leadership of Tulane’s world-leading admiralty program.”
(Watch a Bar Foundation video honoring Force here)
Force, the Niels F. Johnsen Professor of Maritime Law, joined the Tulane Law faculty in 1969 and initially taught criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence. Because of that expertise, he was named special master to the U.S. District Court for a major case involving Orleans Parish prison conditions.
Force developed a specialty in admiralty and maritime law and co-authored two landmark texts, The Law of Seamen and The Law of Maritime Personal Injuries, both now in their fifth edition. The Federal Judicial Center also asked him to prepare a monograph on admiralty and maritime law for federal judges; it’s in its second edition. Founding director of the Maritime Law Center, Force guided it for almost three decades. His international work includes helping to write the maritime codes for Panama and China.
The Seamen’s Church Institute in 2001 named Force a maritime law legend. The President of Panama in 2002 designated him a member of the Order de Vasco Nunez de Balboa. And a book, “Jurisdiction and Forum Selection Clauses in International Maritime Law,” contains a series of essays honoring Force.
Phelps Dunbar partner Mike Butterworth (L ’89) called Force “the go-to man” on maritime law and someone who attracted the best students from around the world to Tulane and nurtured them: Force and his wife, Ruth, a retired assistant U.S. Attorney, often opened their home to students over the holidays.
“There are a lot of ‘foster-Forces’ out there, students made to feel part of the Force family by their kindness and personal generosity,” said Butterworth, who also is a Tulane adjunct professor.
Force’s friends and fans in 2012 launched a fund to create the Robert Force Scholarship. Donations can be made at Giving to Tulane Law School. Click on the secure giving form link and specify “Robert Force Scholarship,” or contact Natalie Hooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-862-8837.