"The true genius of the Angevin legal reforms was their resilience in the face of the worst enemy of the rule of law: powerful men who do not understand the limits of their power."

  • fulltime Faculty
  • Joshua C. Tate

  • Associate Professor of Law

"The true genius of the Angevin legal reforms was their resilience in the face of the worst enemy of the rule of law: powerful men who do not understand the limits of their power."

Joshua C. Tate

Associate Professor of Law

  • Biography

    • Joshua Tate's research and teaching focus on legal history, property, and trusts and estates. He has been a full-time faculty member at SMU Dedman School of Law since the fall of 2005, and was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the spring of 2008. In the fall of 2012, he was a Lloyd M. Robbins Senior Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. He is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, serves as the Selden Society's Honorary Treasurer for the U.S.A., co-chairs the Uniform Acts for Trust and Estate Law Committee for the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, and is a past chair of the Sutherland Prize Committee for the American Society for Legal History. In August 2015, he was elected as a Miembro de Honor by the Comité Ejecutivo de la Abogacía Colombiana. He has given invited presentations at numerous academic conferences, colloquia, and workshops both in the United States and abroad. From 2013 to 2015, he gave a series of more than sixty lectures in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. He is currently engaged in a study of the development of property rights and remedies in medieval England, focusing on issues of jurisdictional conflict with regard to rights of presentation to churches. He is admitted to practice in Texas and Connecticut.
  • Education

    • B.A. summa cum laude, Pomona College
      M.Phil., University of Cambridge
      J.D., Yale Law School
      Ph.D., Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Courses

    • Trusts & Estates
      History of Anglo-American Legal Institutions
  • Books

    • A TEXAS COMPANION FOR THE COURSE IN WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES (Aspen Publishers, biennial editions 2011-present)

  • Book Chapters

    • Royal Privilege and Episcopal Rights in the Later Thirteenth Century: The Case of the Ashbourne Advowson, 1270-1289, in LAW AND SOCIETY IN LATER MEDIEVAL ENGLAND AND IRELAND: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF PAUL BRAND (Travis R. Baker ed., forthcoming 2017).

      Justice, in A CULTURAL HISTORY OF LAW IN THE MEDIEVAL AGE (Emanuele Conte & Laurent Mayali eds., forthcoming 2017)

      Glanvill and the Development of the English Advowson Writs, in TEXTS AND CONTEXT IN LEGAL HISTORY: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF CHARLES DONAHUE, at 129 (Sara McDougall, Anna di Robilant & John Witte, Jr., eds., 2016)

      Episcopal Power and Royal Jurisdiction in Angevin Englandin STUDIES IN CANON LAW AND COMMON LAW IN HONOR OF R.H. HELMHOLZ, at 15 (Troy L. Harris ed., 2015)

      Competing Institutions and Dispute Settlement in Medieval England, in LAW AND DISPUTING IN THE MIDDLE AGES: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NINTH CARLSBERG ACADEMY CONFERENCE ON MEDIEVAL LEGAL HISTORY 2012, at 235 (Per Andersen et al. eds., 2013)

      William Blackstone, in 1 OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN POLITICAL AND LEGAL HISTORY 77 (Donald T. Critchlow & Philip R. VanderMeer eds., 2012)

      (See full CV for complete list.)
  • Other Publications



      Review of KARL SHOEMAKER, SANCTUARY AND CRIME IN THE MIDDLE AGES, 400-1500, in 8 Law, Culture and Humanities 517 (2012)

      Review of PAOLO GROSSI, A HISTORY OF EUROPEAN LAW, in 29 Law and History Review 899 (2011)

      The Grand Jury in Historical Perspective, El Paso Bar Journal, Apr./May 2016, at 13 (Part I), and June 2016, at 18 (Part II)

      Magna Carta and the Surprising Survival of Jury Trial, El Paso Bar Journal, Feb./Mar. 2015, at 5 (Part I), Apr./May 2015, at 5 (Part II), and June 2015, at 5 (Part III)

      The Selden Society in Texas, El Paso Bar Journal, June 2014, at 8

      (See full CV for complete list.)
  • Presentations

    • Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest
           Mississippi University for Women
                Columbus, MS (February 2017)
           Mecklenburg County Bar Association
                Charlotte, NC (February 2017)
           Davidson College
                Davidson, NC (February 2017)
           Louisiana State University
                Baton Rouge, LA (February 2017)
           Atlanta Bar Association
                Atlanta, GA (February 2017)
           Westminster College
                Fulton, MO (January 2017)
           Millsaps College
                Jackson, MS (January 2017)

      The Grand Jury in Historical Perspective
           Aoyama Gakuin University
                Tokyo, Japan (December 2016)
           Constitutional Court of Peru
                Center for Constitutional Studies (CEC)
                Lima, Peru (December 2016)
           Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association
                Huntsville, AL (December 2016)
           Memphis Bar Association
                Memphis, TN (December 2016)
           San Juan County Bar Association
                Aztec, NM (December 2016)
           Fort Lewis College
               Durango, CO (December 2016)
           Oklahoma Bar Association
                Oklahoma City, OK (November 2016)
           Northeastern State University
                Tahlequah, OK (November 2016)
           San Antonio Bar Association
                San Antonio, TX (October 2016)
           Southern University Law Center
                Baton Rouge, LA (October 2016)
           University of South Florida
                Tampa, FL (October 2016)
           Hendrix College
                Conway, AR (September 2016)
           University of Louisiana at Monroe
                Monroe, LA (September 2016)
           Selden Society, Texas Chapter
                Houston, TX (September 2016)
           32nd Judicial Circuit Bar Association
                Cape Girardeau, MO (September 2016)
           Smith County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
                Tyler, TX (August 2016)
           Washington County Bar Association
                Fayetteville, AR (August 2016)
           Jackson County Law Library
                Kansas City, MO (July 2016)
           Office of the Tennessee Attorney General
                Nashville, TN (July 2016)
           National Society of Sons of the American Revolution
           Dalllas Chapter
                Dallas, TX (July 2016)
           St. Louis Law Library Association
                St. Louis, MO (June 2016)
           Lighthouse Rotary Club
                Kaohsiung, Taiwan (May 2016)
           Dallas Bar Association
                Legal History Discussion Group
                Dallas, TX (May 2016)
           El Paso Bar Association
                El Paso, TX (May 2016)
           Comanche County Bar Association
                Lawton, OK (May 2016)
           Rotary Club of Altus
                Altus, OK (May 2016)
           University of Mississippi
                Department of Legal Studies
                Oxford, MS (April 2016)
           Midland County Bar Association
                Midland, TX (April 2016)
           Dillard University
                New Orleans, LA (March 2016)
           Arkansas State University
               Jonesboro, AR (March 2016)
           St. Edward's University
               Austin, TX (February 2016)
           Society of Magna Charta Dames & Barons
               Dallas-Fort Worth Colony
               Dallas, TX (February 2016)

      The Doctrine of Discovery and the Founding of Virginia
           Jamestowne Society, Lone Star Company
                Dallas, TX (October 2016)

      The History of the English Court of Chancery and the Division of Law and Equity
           Atlanta Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section
                Atlanta, GA (September 2016)

      Personal Reality: Delusion in Law and Science
           SMU Dedman School of Law Faculty Forum
                Dallas, TX (September 2016)
           Twenty-Seventh World Congress of Philosophy
                of Law and Social Philosophy
                (IVR World Congress)
                Washington, DC (July 2015)
           Annual Meeting of the Association of American
                Law Schools
                New York, NY (January 2014)
           Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association
                of Law Schools
                Amelia Island, FL (July 2012)

      Royal Privilege and Episcopal Rights in the Later Thirteenth Century: The Case of the Ashbourne Advowson, 1260-1278
           Fifteenth Annual Congress of Medieval Canon Law
                Paris, France (July 2016)

      Keys to Law School Success
           University of California at Riverside
                Phi Alpha Delta Chapter
                Riverside, CA (April 2016)
           University of California at Irvine
                Phi Alpha Delta Chapter
                Irvine, CA (April 2016)
           University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
                Chattanooga, TN (October 2015)
           University of Texas at Arlington/
                AT&T Mentoring Program
                Dallas, TX (April 2015)

      Magna Carta and the Definition of Fundamental Rights
           Annual Meeting of the Association of American
                Law Schools
                New York, NY (January 2016)

      Magna Carta and the Origins of Due Process
           Autonomous University of Madrid
               and Comillas Pontificial University
               Madrid, Spain (December 2015)
           University of Valladolid
               Valladolid, Spain (December 2015)
           University of Tokyo
               Tokyo, Japan (November 2015)
           Thammasat University
                Bangkok, Thailand (November 2015)
           Selden Society, Texas Chapter
                Dallas, TX (November 2015)
           Florida Gulf Coast University
                Fort Myers, FL (November 2015)
           University of California at Santa Barbara
                Santa Barbara, CA (November 2015)
           Rotary Club of Chattanooga
                Chattanooga, TN (October 2015)
           Pontificial Catholic University of Valparaíso
                Valparaíso, Chile (October 2015)
           Selden Society, Illinois and Wisconsin Chapters
                Chicago, IL (September 2015)
           University of the North (Uninorte)
                Barranquilla, Colombia (September 2015)
           Pomona College
                Claremont, CA (September 2015)
           Renmin University Law School
                Beijing, China (September 2015)
           Panamerican University, Bonaterra Campus
                Aguascalientes, Mexico (September 2015)
           Jindal Global Law School
                Sonepat, India (August 2015)
           Pontificial Bolivarian University
                Medellín, Colombia (August 2015)
           University of the Andes (Uniandes)
                Bogota, Colombia (August 2015)
           Executive Committee of the Colombian Bar
                and University of the Republic
                Bogota, Colombia (August 2015)
           University of Cape Town
                South Africa (August 2015)
           University of Pretoria
                and University of South Africa (UNISA)
                Pretoria, South Africa (August 2015)
           University of the Witwatersrand,
                Oliver Schreiner School of Law
                Johannesburg, South Africa (August 2015)
           Netanya Academic College, School of Law
                Netanya, Israel (June 2015)
           Soochow Univeristy (Taiwan), School of Law
                Taipei (June 2015)
           Dalian Maritime University Law School
                Dalian, China (May 2015)
           Korea University School of Law
                and Ewha Law School
                Seoul, Korea (May 2015)
           University College Dublin
                Sutherland School of Law
                Dublin, Ireland (May 2015)
           University of the Pacific
                Lima, Peru (May 2015)
           Iberoamerican University
                Mexico City, Mexico (April 2015)
           University of São Paulo, Faculty of Law
                São Paulo, Brazil (April 2015)
           Diego Portales University
                Santiago, Chile (March 2015)
           ICESI University
                Cali, Colombia (February 2015)
           Nanjing University Law School
                Nanjing, China (December 2014)
           Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School
                Hangzhou, China (December 2014)
           University of Costa Rica
                San José, Costa Rica (November 2014)
           Catholic University of Santa María La Antigua
                Panama City, Panama (November 2014)
           Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás
                Goiânia, Brazil (September 2014)
           Escuela Libre de Derecho and 
                Anáhuac University
                Mexico City, Mexico (September 2014)
           University of Brasília
                Brazil (August 2014)
           Federal University of Paraná
                Curitiba, Brazil (August 2014)
           State University of Rio de Janeiro
                Brazil (August 2014)
           Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
                Porto Alegre, Brazil (August 2014)
           Federal University of Minas Gerais
                Belo Horizonte, Brazil (August 2014)
           University of Antioquia and EAFIT University
                Medellín, Colombia (August 2014)
           National Taiwan University
                Taipei (May 2014)
           Yonsei University, Soongsil University, and
                Seoul National University
                Seoul, Korea (May 2014)
           Wuhan University Law School
                Wuhan, China (May 2014)
           Xi'an Jiaotong University Law School
                Xi'an, China (May 2014)
           San Andrés University
                Buenos Aires, Argentina (April 2014)
           Rosario University
                Bogota, Colombia (Feburary 2014)
           Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher
                Education (Tec de Monterrey)
                Monterrey, Mexico (October 2013)
           Shanghai Jiaotong University KoGuan Law School
                and Fudan University Law School
                Shanghai, China (May 2013)

      Codification of Texas Trust Law, 1943-2015
           University of Tokyo
               Tokyo, Japan (November 2015)

      Magna Carta and the Surprising Survival of Jury Trial 
           Wichita County Bar Association
                Wichita Falls, TX (October 2015)
           Memphis Bar Association
                Memphis, TN (October 2015)
           Amarillo Area Bar Association
                Amarillo, TX (September 2015)   
           Southwestern University
                Georgetown, TX (September 2015)      
           Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association
                Beaumont, TX (August 2015)  
           Grayson County Bar Association
                Sherman, TX (July 2015)
           University of Texas at Arlington
                Arlington, TX (March 2015)
           Dallas Bar Association
                Dallas, TX (February 2015)
           El Paso Bar Association, Nineteenth
                Annual Civil Trial Practice Seminar
                Las Vegas, NV (February 2015)

      Commercial Trusts in the United States: Creating Confidence for Business Transactions 
           Hanoi Law University
                Hanoi, Vietnam (June 2015)
           Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam
                Ministry of Foreign Affairs
                Hanoi, Vietnam (June 2015)
           Ho Chi Minh City University of Law
                Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (December 2014)
           Peruvian University of Applied Sciences
                Lima, Peru (March 2014)

      Magna Carta and the Future of Liberty, Taiwan, and the World
           American Club, Taipei (June 2015)

      Episcopal Power and Royal Jurisdiction in Angevin England
           Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM)
                Law Faculty Seminar
                Mexico City, Mexico (January 2015)
           Seminar on Sociology of Law
                Legal Research Institute, National Autonomous
                University of Mexico (IIJ-UNAM)
                Mexico City, Mexico (November 2014)
           Third Biennial Conference of the European
                Society for Comparative Legal History
                Macerata, Italy (July 2014)
           Torcuato Di Tella University
                Law Faculty Workshop
                Buenos Aires, Argentina (March 2014)
           Thirty-Second Annual Australian and
                New Zealand Law and History Conference
                Dunedin, New Zealand (November 2013)
           Annual Meeting of the American Society
                for Legal History
                Miami, FL (November 2013)

      Robert G. Storey and the History of SMU Dedman School of Law
           Monteávila University
                Caracas, Venezuela (November 2014)

      Migratory Clients and the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act
           American Bar Association, Real Property
                Trust and Estate Law Section Spring Symposia
                Chicago, IL (May 2014)

      Perpetuities and the Genius of a Free State
           Symposium on the Role of Federal Law in Private
                Wealth Transfer (sponsored by the ACTEC
                Foundation and the Vanderbilt Law Review)
                Nashville, TN (February 2014)

      Competing Institutions and Dispute Settlement in Medieval England
           Twenty-Sixth World Congress of Philosophy
                of Law and Social Philosophy
                (IVR World Congress)
                Belo Horizonte, Brazil (July 2013)
           U.K. IVR Annual Conference
                London, England (April 2013)
           Ninth Carlsberg Academy Conference on
                Medieval Legal History
                Copenhagen, Denmark (May 2012)

      (See full CV for complete list.)
  • Media

    • Interview, "Mid-Morning with Aundrea," WCBI-TV, Columbus, MS (February 2017)