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Ellen E. Deason honored with named professorship

September 11, 2007 | Faculty

Professor Ellen E. Deason was announced as the Joanne Wharton Murphy/Classes of 1965 and 1973 Professor in Law. Professor Deason, who is the Faculty Director of the College’s LL.M. program, joined The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2003.

Prior to coming to Ohio State, Deason taught at the University of Illinois College of Law. She also practiced law as an associate with Morrison & Foerster in Washington, D.C. She received her bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, her master’s degree from Oregon State University School of Oceanography, and her law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.

Her scholarly writing is primarily on topics in dispute resolution and at the intersection of law and science. In addition, she has co-authored casebooks for Civil Procedure and Alternative Dispute Resolution. In 2005, Deason was appointed Reporter for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws drafting committee for a Uniform Act on Misuse of Genetic Information in Employment and Insurance.

Deason served as a law clerk for Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. She also was a legal assistant to Arbitrator Howard M. Holtzmann of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. She was editor-in-chief of the Michigan Law Review. Prior to attending law school, Deason worked as a marine biologist and she is widely published in scientific journals.

Professor Deason’s new professorship is named after Joanne Wharton Murphy ’58, who was an assistant dean and law professor for more than 20 years at what was then called The Ohio State University College of Law. She is remembered for her work in admissions and alumni affairs and as a professor of banking law. Joanne also made lasting contributions to The Ohio State University as a whole. She was the first OSU Ombudsman and chaired the OSU Commission on Woman and Minorities from 1975 to 1977. As a result of the recommendations of that commission, the university instituted a policy that made it possible for faculty members to hold a tenure-track position on a part-time basis.