Geoffrey Hazard - UC Hastings College of the Law. San Francisco, CA, US

Geoffrey Hazard Geoffrey Hazard

Emeritus Thomas E. Miller Distinguished Professor of Law | UC Hastings College of the Law

San Francisco, CA, US

Contacts: / 415-565-4800 / Office 206-198


Professor Hazard has taught at law schools since 1958, beginning at Boalt Hall (University of California, Berkeley), then the University of Chicago, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has been Trustee Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania, and Sterling Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale. He was Director (executive director) of the American Law Institute from 1984 to 1999 and previously had been Reporter for the ALI Restatement Second of Judgments. He was Reporter for the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct (promulgated in 1983) and draftsman-consultant for the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (promulgated in 1972). He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1960 and is also a member of the Pennsylvania bar.

Professor Hazard's fields of expertise are civil procedure, federal jurisdiction and professional ethics. He is coauthor of a treatise and a casebook in civil procedure and also in professional ethics. He is author or coauthor of 16 books and many articles. He is frequently an expert witness or consultant in professional ethics, including legal malpractice.

Professor Hazard is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia Law School and has received several honorary degrees. He has a large family, including 24 grandchildren, and plays tennis and golf. His favorite leisure subject is history.



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Ethics & Legal Education: Fiat Justitia with Geoffrey Hazard Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., Professor of Law, U.C. Hastings: On Syllogistic Reasoning Presentation of Distinguished Service Award to Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr.


Areas of Expertise (6)

Civil Procedure Professional Responsibility Constitutional Law Moral Foundations of Civil Procedure Professional Ethics Federal Jurisdiction

Accomplishments (1)

Honourary Degrees (professional)


Awarded by Yale University, Gonzaga University, University of San Diego, Swarthmore College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Nova University and Republica Italiana (faculta di Urbino).

Education (2)

Columbia University: LL.B., Law

Swarthmore College: B.A., Undergraduate Studies

Affiliations (2)

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School : Trustee Professor of Law
  • Yale Law School : Stirling Professor Emeritus of Law

Media Appearances (6)

L&I dodges questions about 600 inspections by 9 rookies in one week  online


Further, in a box labeled, "VIOLATION," McNulty wrote, "There was no proof of current insurance neither [sic] on site nor in the L&I data base." That implies an on-site inspection was done when in fact it was not, L&I employees said. And that makes McNulty's document "a lie," according to Geoffrey Hazard, an emeritus professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, and a recognized authority on legal ethics. "In Philadelphia, lots of agencies get away with stuff they shouldn't," he said. "Contractors and building owners ought to be concerned."...

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New documents: McCaffery had role in referral fees  online


Shaman and Rotunda said they were troubled by the instances in which McCaffery listed his wife as having received income from referrals though records show he played a role in the cases. Geoffrey Hazard, an emeritus law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Hastings law school in California, said McCaffery's disclosure forms were "incomplete. He was masking it," Hazard said, "because he knew damn well if he put it in there, there would be questions raised. So he's making an incomplete disclosure."...

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Ethics experts say justices' emails to AG's office warrant review

The Morning Call  online


Geoffrey Hazard Jr., an ethics professor University of California Hastings College of the Law, said the content of the messages is crucial. "If any of them had referred in any way to merits of cases coming before the court or already on the court's docket, that constitutes an ex parte communication," Hazard said. Ex parte communication is the legal term for a one-sided conversation about a case, and it is specifically barred under the code of judicial conduct. "It's a very serious offense, and in a case involving a criminal case, could be a basis for setting aside any conviction," Hazard said...

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Pa. Supreme Court in 'sad state' as scandals tarnish reputation

TribLive  online


What a mess,” said Geoffrey Hazard, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania now living in San Francisco and teaching at the University of California Hastings College of Law. Hazard, who co-authored a textbook on professional responsibility and is considered one of the top legal ethics experts in the country, keeps tabs on Pennsylvania's court...

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Viewpoint: State Supreme Court Resets Ethics Rewrite

The Recorder  online


I was the principal drafter and co-author, with professors Geoffrey Hazard of Hastings and Deborah Rhode of Stanford, of a letter submitted to the court in March. This letter, signed by 55 California law professors who teach legal ethics, singles out over 20 areas where the proposed rules were not sufficiently protective of individual clients and the public. That's a huge set of problems. Implicit in that letter was that the current rules should not be approved as they exist...

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$190M won't be divided equally among Levy's victims

Washington's Top News  online


“It’s going to be kind of messy, but we cope with it” in class action settlements, said Geoffrey Hazard, an ethics expert at Hastings School of Law in San Francisco who is not involved in the case. “I assume women will be told they should report as truthfully as they can, and what their reactions were. Some people will have a fairly strong memory, some will be very articulate, some will not. It will be a mixture, but the law has to deal with the complexities of people, and we do the best we can.”...

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Selected Articles (5)

Rule of Legal Rhetoric Southern Methodist University Law Review


These essays are dedicated to Dean Attanasio, who has long championed the Rule of Law. I too have championed the rile of law. Indeed, I have practiced it by participating in many rule-making enterprises- the American Law Institute's Restatements, for example, and the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct for another example. I still believe in the rule of law. But I have doubts about whether we fully understand the American version of that concept.

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The Morality of Law Practice Hastings Law Journal


This is an inquiry about the morality of lawyers and law practice. Some modern academic critiques hold law practice to be immoral or unjust as compared to the standard of "common morality" or of the sense of "justice" shared in the community. This Essay advances a different standard of reference, one that takes into account the pervasive conflicts within society and the limitations on the government's ability to get at the truth. These limitations generate a role for lawyers as empowered figures who employ government authority as partisans and confidantes for their clients. That role is comparable to other roles that involve exercise of authority, particularly the roles of government officials and business managers.

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Advocacy Revalued University of Pennsylvania Law Review


A central and ongoing debate among legal ethics scholars addresses the moral positioning of adversarial advocacy. Most participants in this debate focus on the structure of our legal system and the constituent role of the lawyer-advocate. Many are highly critical, arguing that the core structure of adversarial advocacy is the root cause of many instances of lawyer misconduct. In this Article, we argue that these scholars’ focuses are misguided. Through reflection on Aristotle’s treatise, Rhetoric, we defend advocacy in our legal system’s litigation process as ethically positive and as pivotal to fair and effective dispute resolution. We recognize that advocacy can, and sometimes does, involve improper and unethical use of adversarial techniques, but we demonstrate that these are problems of practice and not of structure and should be addressed as such.

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A New Player in the Boardroom: The Emergence of the Independent Directors' Counsel University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Economic Research


Over the last thirty years, the independent directors have occasionally been represented by independent counsel. Instances include: special litigation committees reviewing derivative suits; independent committees in parent subsidiary mergers and MBOs; and internal investigations of misconduct. We predict that, with the additional legal requirements imposed on independent directors by the Sarbanes Oxley Act and related changes to SEC rules and Stock Exchange listing requirements, the independent directors, especially those on the Audit Committee, increasingly will be represented on a continuing basis by independent legal counsel. Out of this will emerge a new figure in the board room: the Independent Directors' Counsel. We examine the advantages and disadvantages of adding this new actor in the boardroom, and consider issues posed and implications for corporate law and legal ethics.

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Fundamental Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure New York Journal of International Law and Politics


This is the Fundamental Principles of the ALI/UNIDROIT Project Principles and Rules of Transnational Civil Procedure. This text is the Discussion Draft N. 2. of 2001. At its conclusion, a few years later, it as published as Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure (with the Rules attached as a Reporter's Note) by Cambridge University Press.

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