Tuesday, June 6, 2000

WRITER: Matt Haney, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. -- Three University of Georgia School of Law professors were presented with awards for teaching excellence by members of the 2000 graduating class during their commencement ceremony in May.

Associate Professor Richard A. Nagareda received the Student Bar Association Faculty Book Award for Excellence in Teaching; Assistant Professor Alexander W. Scherr received the Student Bar Association and Younger Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Georgia Award for the Teaching of Legal Ethics; and Assistant Professor J. Randy Beck received the Phi Delta Phi John C. O'Byrne Memorial Faculty Award for Significant Contributions Furthering Student-Faculty Relations.

Nagareda teaches Administrative Law, Evidence, Advanced Torts Seminar, Supreme Court Seminar, and Criminal Law. The primary areas of his scholarship are mass torts litigation and constitutional aspects of criminal law. Nagareda is a former attorney-advisor for the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice and is a former associate with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Shea & Gardiner.

Nagareda received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He was a law clerk for Judge Douglas H. Ginsberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit upon his graduation from law school.

"As a classroom teacher, Professor Nagareda combines rigor, exhaustive preparation and dedication to his students," said Associate Dean Paul Kurtz. "His skill in dealing with both first-year and advanced students warrants his designation as a superior teacher. His name represents a worthy addition to the group of master teachers who have won this award over the years."

Scherr directs the UGA School of Law's Civil Externship Clinic and Public Interest Practicum, as well as teaches Evidence; Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating. He has been a private and clinical mediator in divorce and separation and was director of Vermont Legal Aid's general program. Scherr also directed a project representing individuals in commitments through the Vermont Legal Aid Mental Health Project.

Scherr received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

"In his teaching, Professor Scherr makes it a point to bring to the classroom the lessons of the clinic and vice versa," said Kurtz. "His experience in private practice and as a public lawyer, along with his distinguished academic career, informs his approach to legal education. Students in his classes are fortunate to be given the opportunity to see the legal profession through the eyes of this thoughtful and wise instructor."

Beck joined the UGA law faculty in 1997 and teaches Property, Trusts and Estates, and Constitutional Law. He is a former judicial clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, he is a former associate at the law firm of Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington and is a former attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Beck received his undergraduate degree from Baker University and his law degree from Southern Methodist University. Upon graduation from SMU, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif, the most prestigious honor in legal education.

"Having known John O'Byrne, I can attest to the fact that Randy Beck comfortably inhabits the same role shaped by John in his dealings with students -- excellent teacher, wise counselor, enthusiastic cheerleader and caring mentor," Kurtz said. "In a relatively short time on the faculty, Randy has become an extremely valuable member of the law school community. While teaching in the first-year and core curriculum, Randy has made his presence felt in an extraordinarily positive way."