The University of Illinois College of Law community mourns the passing of our good friend, Ronald D. Rotunda, a colleague who served as a member of the faculty for more than 25 years.
Ron, who passed away on March 14, was one of the most distinguished legal scholars in the United States. He is perhaps best known for his five-volume Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure, co-authored with John E. Nowak, but his scholarship covered many legal fields. He authored the leading treatise on the ethical and professional obligations of lawyers, Legal Ethics – The Lawyer’s Deskbook on Professional Responsibility, as well as the legal ethics case book, Problems and Materials on Professional Responsibility used by law schools throughout the nation. He was also well known for his expertise on constitutional law and his widely-used case book, Modern Constitutional Law. He wrote numerous other books and more than 500 articles appearing in law reviews, journals, and newspapers around the world. His popular writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and beyond, and many of those works have been translated into several languages.
Ron joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1974 after clerking for Judge Walter R. Mansfield of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, practicing law in Washington, D.C., and serving as assistant majority counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee. At Illinois, he was the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law and was an Associate with the Center for Advanced Studies. He received the David C. Baum Memorial Research Award, the Ross and Helen Workman Research Award, and was selected as a University Scholar. During his distinguished career, he taught at universities around the world, including in Belgium, Italy, Venezuela, and Germany, in addition to the law schools at the University of Alabama, and George Mason University, before joining the Chapman University Law faculty in 2008.
He was a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a member of Harvard Law Review.
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