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October 15, 2018

Ed Brunet, Beloved Professor Remembered

Ed Brunet, who served as a law professor at Lewis & Clark for over 40 years, passed away Friday, October 12, 2018.
  • Ed Brunet, Henry J. Casey Professor of Law

Ed Brunet, Henry J. Casey Professor of Law, beloved professor at Lewis & Clark Law School passed away on October 12, 2018. The law school has established the Ed Brunet Scholarship to pay tribute to his lifetime commitment to law students and is planning an academic conference in his honor. The law school created an endowed professorship in his name in 2014.

“Ed will be fondly remembered for his commitment to teaching, his legal scholarship and his support of the law school,” said Dean Jennifer Johnson. “He was an outstanding legal scholar with an enduring love of teaching. Ed’s work on behalf of the law school significantly contributes to its standing today.”

Brunet was a respected and beloved professor at the law school and was awarded the Leo Levenson award for Excellence in Teaching three times. His rapid-fire delivery as a professor earned him the epithet “Fast Eddie.” He joined Lewis & Clark Law School in1972, and, after 44 years of service, said his favorite place to be was the lectern in Room 2.

“One of the biggest rewards of teaching is the opportunity to work with a bunch of energetic students,” Ed Brunet said in 2014. “I have nothing but praise for the students.”

After retirement in 2014, Professor Brunet, remained available to students as an editor for law review articles in his specialty areas, including Civil Procedure, Arbitration, and Antitrust. 

In addition to his teaching, Brunet was a nationally known scholar in the areas of arbitration and pre-trial procedure. His books and articles made a substantial contribution to legal doctrine, and his scholarly writings were cited by courts and journal authors over 2000 times. His articles were published in law reviews including Michigan, Duke, Cornell, Virginia, Lewis & Clark, Tulane, Illinois, Iowa, Cal-Davis, Georgia, SMU and North Carolina. Cambridge University Press, Thomson Reuters, and Lexis published his several books.

Brunet joined Lewis & Clark Law school from a career as an antitrust attorney at McDermott Will & Emery. “I quickly burned out at the large law firm where I practiced and a friend advised me to look into teaching,” Brunet recalled when interviewed on the occasion of his retirement. “Lewis & Clark was one of three schools that offered me a position and the only one in an attractive location.”

Brunet came from blue-collar roots. His maternal grandparents emigrated from Croatia and entered America through Ellis Island. His father was a union steelworker for U.S. Steel, and his uncle was a professional football player briefly before an injury led him to establish a well-known garage construction company in Chicago.

Brunet received a full scholarship to Northwestern University, from which he graduated with honors in 1966. He went on to earn his law degree in 1969 from the University of Illinois College of Law. An interest in economic theory led him to practice antitrust law for a time before becoming an academic.

A Fulbright scholar who has lectured around the world, Brunet visited law schools in India in the spring of 2011 to participate in academic conferences and deepen relationships with Lewis & Clark’s academic partners. He taught sessions of a course on environmental dispute resolution, and was one of three Lewis & Clark visitors who spoke at a national conference and met with Indian law professors and administrators to plan further collaboration. He traveled to Chile, and was invited by several Australian law schools to lecture in 2013.

“One big surprise to me is that if you are friendly, doors just pop open,” Brunet says of the international relationships and speaking and teaching opportunities he has developed over the years.

In 2014, the law school raised funds to endow a professorship in his name, continuing to support and advance legal scholarship from law school faculty.

The 2018 Ed Brunet Scholarship will provide funds to support an incoming student in their dream to earn a law degree.

See more on the tribute page.

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