David Boies (LL.M. ’67), founder and chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner and one of the highest-profile litigators in the nation, will deliver the address at New York University’s 181st Commencement Exercises on May 22 at Yankee Stadium, where NYU will award him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and will also address graduates and guests at NYU Law’s J.D. Convocation Ceremony on May 24 at the Beacon Theatre. Prominent international law scholar and University Professor Joseph Weiler, Joseph Straus Professor of Law and European Union Jean Monnet Chaired Professor, will address the audience at the Law School’s LL.M. and J.S.D. Convocation Ceremony on May 24, also at the Beacon Theatre.
Boies is lead co-counsel in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the globally noted same-sex marriage case involving California’s Proposition 8 that is currently pending before the Supreme Court. He has argued some of the biggest cases in recent decades, including Westmoreland v. CBS, United States v. Microsoft, and Bush v. Gore. A member of the Law School’s Board of Trustees and a former adjunct professor, Boies was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2010. That same year, he endowed the David Boies Professorship of Law, currently held by Daryl Levinson. Boies, who was a senior partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore before starting his own firm, served as chief counsel and staff director to both the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1970s, and as counsel to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the 1990s.
During a conversation last October at the Law School with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Hollingsworth v. Perry co-counsel Theodore Olson (his opponent in Bush v. Gore), Boies said of his current big case, “I think it’s easy to recognize the constitutional guarantee of the right to marry. What we now have to do is recognize that there’s no basis to discriminate based on sexual orientation. That is an argument that isn’t Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. It is an argument that appeals to everybody who shares the basic principle that all Americans do of equality under the law, justice for everybody.”
Weiler, who focuses in his research on European integration, globalization, and democracy, will begin a five-year leave of absence in September to be the president of the European University Institute in Florence. He directs the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law & Justice, the Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization, the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice, and the J.S.D. Program, and is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON).
During his leave, Weiler will continue to remain involved with the Straus Institute, Tikvah Center, Jean Monnet Center, and J.S.D. Program, and to edit I•CON. In 2011, he took a major stand for intellectual and academic freedom when he successfully defended himself in a French criminal libel case that attracted international attention because of its potential ramifications for free speech worldwide. Weiler formerly chaired and directed the Hauser Global Law School Program. Before coming to NYU Law, he was Manley Hudson Professor and Jean Monnet Chair at Harvard Law School after having been a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.
Posted on May 3, 2013