Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Class of 2004 Honors Jacob E. Davis Professor James E. Meeks as Outstanding Professor

Jim Meeks with friends
Jim (far right) with friends at a 2003 reunion tailgate

Jim earned his A.B. at Oberlin College and his J.D. from Columbia University, where he served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review. Following graduation, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He taught at the University of Iowa Law School from 1964 to 1978 where he also served as associate dean.

Jim became dean of the Michael E. Moritz College of Law in 1978. As dean, he focused on enhancing the faculty, both in terms of research and teaching. These efforts, continued through the stewardship of successive deans, have paid big dividends for the Moritz College of Law. Jim is proud to say that when he looks around today, he sees a law school student body stronger and more diverse than when he first arrived, and a faculty climbing in national reputation. He served as dean until 1985 when he returned to full-time teaching and scholarship. In demand nationally as a scholar teacher, Jim has been a visiting professor at Northwestern, Kansas, Virginia, and Boston University. His publications deal with public utilities, antitrust, and torts.

In addition to his law school service, Jim has served as Special Assistant, Legal Affairs, for two Ohio State presidents and as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Research Integrity. His first love, however, remains teaching. In the classroom, his personality and sense of humor are both very apparent, as is his favorite question – "Why do you think that?" – a question designed to teach students to think logically and critically.

As his students know, even Jim's "low points" end up as classroom examples. In 1983, he was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident and was not expected to live. Emerging from a two-week coma, he had no recollection of the accident. That disastrous incident now serves as an example for his torts students. After laying out the facts of the case, he discusses with them the difficulties they may encounter when their clients have no memory of an accident.

Despite his love for teaching and scholarship, Jim reports that he is looking forward to retirement in the not-too-distant future. But the smile on his face and the twinkle in his eye as he recounts classroom tales suggests that this talk of retirement may be wholly premature. He maintains that he will turn his classroom energy toward more personal pursuits, and, in particular, hopes to travel the world with his wife, Priscilla. Future destinations include St. Petersburg, Russia, the Nile River, and New Zealand and Australia, as well as a return trip to England. Closer to home, he plans to travel the southwestern states and spend time in Nova Scotia.

Jim is also a big Buckeye fan. While one might think that his time at Iowa would create the potential of divided loyalties, he says that is not the case. His hope for the 2004 graduating class is that they will share his love of and allegiance to Ohio State.

Publications

Books

Antitrust Concerns in the Modern Public Utility Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute (1996).

The Law of Torts, 3d Edition (with Christie, Pryor and Sanders), West (1996).

Chapters 1 ("Compensating Automobile Accident Victims" pp. 1-1 to 1-80) and 25 ("Husband and Wife" pp. 25-1 to 25-52) of Automobile Accident Law and Practice (Mathew Bender, 1987). Extensively revised for second edition, published in Spring 1995

Articles

"Predatory Behavior as an Exclusionary Device in Emerging Telecommunications Industry", 33 Wake Forest L. Rev. 125 (1998).

"Approaches to Regulation of Business Conduct in the United States," 11 Journal of Social Sciences 127 (Nov. 1994, a Korean legal publication). (Published in both English and Korean and first delivered as a paper at a conference of the Institute of Social Sciences, Aug. 21, 1994, Pai Chai University, Taejon, Korea)

"Concentration in the Electric Power Industry: The Impact of Antitrust Policy," 72 Colum. L. Rev. 64 (1972)

Service

Served as a commentator on panel on "Competitive Impact Analysis of Mergers in Three Newly Competitive, Formerly Regulated Markets," Jan. 8, 1999 at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting.

Served on a panel at the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates on Nov. 10, 1997, at its annual meeting in Boston and presented a paper entitled "Antitrust and Predatory Behavior As An Exclusionary Strategy in the New Electric Power Market."

Special thanks to Professor Douglas Cole, now on leave to serve as Ohio's solicitor, for his help on this article.