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Newly Appointed Endowed Chairs and Research Professorships Announced

Three SMU Dedman Law faculty members appointed to endowed academic positions as a recognition of high academic achievement in their respective fields.

Dean ad interim Julie Forrester is pleased to announce the following appointments and honor these outstanding faculty members:

Jeffrey M. Gaba
M.D. Anderson Foundation Endowed Professor in Health Law
Professor Gaba specializes in environmental law. He received his B.A. in 1972 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, his J.D.in 1976 from Columbia, and his Master of Public Health in 1989 from Harvard.  In law school Professor Gaba was notes and comments editor of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. Following law school, he was a law clerk to Chief Justice Edward Pringle of the Colorado Supreme Court. Prior to joining the faculty at SMU he was an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund and with the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Professor Gaba has published numerous articles on environmental law and is the author of Environmental Law (West Black Letter Series) and co-author of the treatise The Law of Solid Waste, Pollution Prevention and Recycling. He is an editor of the West casebook The Law of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste. Professor Gaba teaches environmental law and related courses, property, and administrative law.

Christopher H. Hanna

Alan D. Feld Endowed Professor of Law
Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor
Christopher H. Hanna is a professor of law and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at Southern Methodist University. Professor Hanna has been a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law, the University of Florida College of Law, the University of Tokyo School of Law and a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School and the Japanese Ministry of Finance. In 1998, Professor Hanna served as a consultant in residence to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. From June 2000 until April 2001, he assisted the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation in its complexity study of the U.S. tax system and, from May 2002 until February 2003, he assisted the Joint Committee in its study of Enron, and upon completion of the study, continued to serve as a consultant to the Joint Committee on tax legislation. Prior to coming to SMU, Professor Hanna was a tax attorney with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. His primary duties included tax planning for partnerships and corporations on both a domestic and international level and also tax controversy. He has received the Dr. Don M. Smart Teaching Award for excellence in teaching at SMU Dedman School of Law on eight separate occasions. In 1995, he was selected and featured in Barrister magazine, a publication of the ABA Young Lawyers' Division, as one of “21 Young Lawyers Leading Us Into the 21st Century” (Special Profile Issue 1995).  Professor Hanna received his undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Florida (B.S. Acc., 1984) and his law degrees at the University of Florida College of Law (J.D., 1988) and New York University School of Law (LL.M. (in Taxation), 1989). He is a member of the Order of the Coif, Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Omicron Delta Epsilon.  He has authored numerous articles in various areas of taxation including international taxation, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, and tax accounting. Professor Hanna completed his first book entitled Comparative Income Tax Deferral: The United States and Japan, which was released in July 2000. Hanna completed his second book entitled Corporate Income Tax Accounting (co-authored) in October 2007, which is currently in its fourth edition. He is the associate editor of The International Lawyer, faculty advisor to the Asian-American Law Students Association, faculty advisor to the SMU Corporate Counsel Symposium (sponsored by the SMU Law Review), and is the chief organizer of the SMU Dedman School of Law Tax Policy Colloquium Series since 2008. From 1990 to 1994, he was the Developments and Features Editor of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Newsletter. He is a member of the American Law Institute, American College of Tax Counsel, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, Dallas Council on World Affairs, and the Dallas Assembly.

Elizabeth G.Thornburg
Richard R. Lee Endowed Professor of Law
Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence

Professor Thornburg serves as the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.  She teaches and writes in the area of civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution. Drawing on her experience with civil rights and commercial litigation, her scholarship focuses on the procedural fairness of the litigation process, especially at the pleadings, discovery, and jury charge stages. She also writes and speaks in the areas of comparative procedure, online dispute resolution, and the intersection of law and culture.  Professor Thornburg's articles have appeared in law reviews at Virginia, U.C. Davis, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Duke, Fordham, Oregon, Missouri, Houston, Edinburgh, and SMU. She is the co-author (with Professor Dorsaneo) of a study guide for Civil Procedure and two Texas procedure casebooks, and has contributed chapters to books on civil procedure issues in consumer law, sports law, computer law, and classic civil procedure cases.  She teaches Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Complex Litigation, Texas procedure, Remedies, and an advanced procedure seminar. Thornburg has visited at the law schools at William & Mary, University of Edinburgh, and, most recently, West Virginia University where she held the John T. Copenhaver Visiting Chair.  In 2013, SMU selected Thornburg to receive the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, an award established by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church for the purpose of recognizing outstanding faculty members for their dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution.