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Larry and Jane Harlan Faculty Fellow and Professor of Law


Email: jmcknigh@mail.smu.edu

Phone: 214-768-2591

Education:

B.A., 1947, University of Texas
B.A., 1949, Oxford University
B.C.L., 1950, Oxford University
M.A., 1954, Oxford University
LL.M., 1959, Columbia University

Professor McKnight is an authority in the fields of legal history and family and marital property law. He has written extensively on the Spanish legal influence on American jurisprudence and is completing a book, Legal Persistence and Change, which deals with the law of succession on the Hispanic frontier of North America. He and his co-author W. A. Reppy Jr., are also in the process of bringing out a ninth edition of their 1983 casebook, Texas Matrimonial Property Law. Professor McKnight acted as general editor and author of Creditor's Rights in Texas (1st ed. 1963). In 1996 Professor McKnight published the thirtieth in a series of annual surveys of Texas family property law. In 1967 he was a professor at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1976 he was on leave at the University of Salamanca. He is a leader in law reform and was a principal draftsman of the Texas Family Code (1964-1975), other Texas legislation, revisions of the Texas Constitution, and a federal statute on historical preservation. He served as a member of the board of directors of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association from 1963-1966, as vice president of the American Society for Legal History in 1966-1968, as a member of its board of directors from 1967-1975, and as a member of the executive council of the Texas State Historical Association from 1988 to 1991. He has served as a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Texan Cultures and is a trustee of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association. Since 1990 Prof. McKnight has served as a Director of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society and since 1999 as Director of that Society's History of the Texas Supreme Court Project. Prof. McKnight delivered the Stair Society lecture in Edinburgh in 1976 and was named an Academico (honoris causa) of the Academia Mexicana de Derecho Internacional in 1988. Professor McKnight served SMU School of Law as associate dean for academic affairs (1977-80).


Books

Joseph W. McKnight and William A. Reppy, Jr., TEXAS MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY LAW, 7th ed. (2004).

Joseph W. McKnight and William A. Reppy, Jr., TEXAS MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY LAW, 6th ed. (2003).


Speeches/Presentations

Chair and Commentator, “History of the Supreme Court of Texas,” American Society for Legal History, Austin, October 2004.

“Implications of Some Decisions with New Problems and Recent Developments,” National Lawyers Association Regional Meeting, Hughes Trigg Center, Dallas, March 2004.


Other

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 57 SMU Law Review 992-1034 (2004).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 56 SMU Law Review 1659 (2003).

WILLIAM JOSEPH FLITTIE – IN MEMORIAM (1920-2000), 55 SMU Law Review 1401 (2002).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, (2002 in progress) (37th of a series)

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 54 SMU Law Review (2001).

THE SHIFTING FOCUS OF ADOPTION in John W. Cairns & Olivia F. Robinson, eds., Critical Studies in Ancient Law, Comparative Law and Legal History, 297 (2001).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 53 SMU Law Review 995 (2000).

THE PERSISTENCE OF THE SPANISH LAW OF SUCCESSION ON THE NORTH AMERICAN FRONTIER IN HAROLD BENOIST, ed. The Community Heritage in the Spanish American 60 (1999).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 52 SMU Law Review 1143 (1999).

TEXAS MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY LAW, 2nd ed., pp. vii, 442 (Lupus Publications, 1998) (with William A. Reppy, Jr.).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 51 SMU Law Review 1047 (1998).

JUSTICIA SIN ABOGADOS EN LA FRONTERA HISPANO-MEXICANA DEL NORTE IN GUILLERMO FLORIS MARGADANT, ed., Memoria Del VII Congreso de Historia del Derecho Mexicano (1998).

EUGENE L. SMITH 1933-1997, AN APPRECIATION OF HIS ACHIEVEMENTS IN 1997 Family Law Section Report 1 (no. 4, 1997).

FAMILY LAW: HUSBAND AND WIFE, ANNUAL SURVEY OF TEXAS LAW, 50 SMU Law Review 1047 (1997).