Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Ron Beal Rocks Ad Law

Well, as much as Administrative Law can be "rocked," Prof. Beal rocks it. As described in this article, Professor Beal recently caused the Texas Supreme Court to substantively alter an opinion after it had been issued by submitting a letter to that Court.

I don't know much about administrative law, but as I understand it the case involved administrative rule-making related to payments made to hospitals. The Supreme Court, on hearing the case for the second time, ruled while relying on two Court of Appeals decisions, remanding to the administrative agency. While agreeing with the outcome, Prof. Beal realized both that the decisions cited involved a different kind of rule, and that the remand should have been to the lower court, not to the agency.

Though he had no personal financial interest in the case, Prof. Beal realized the these aspects of the opinion were faulty. He wrote an amicus letter to the Court, which then revised the opinion (without citing Prof. Beal). Thus, Prof. Beal didn't get paid for this, got no credit for it, yet changed that important opinion in the best interests of the law. In serving as role models for our students, I can think of no better example than Prof. Beal's actions, and it reflects well on both his expertise and integrity that he sees this as a part of his work as an attorney.

Check the March 3, 2008 edition of Texas Lawyer for a good article on his accomplishment. It really is remarkable and is a testament to the weight Beal carries in the Texas Admin Law circuit.
The March 3 Texas Lawyer article is the one Osler linked to.
Beal is great - he is not only the guru of Texas admin law, but an all around nice guy who is completely accessible to students.
While we're singing Beal's praises, I'd like to point out that LAPP (Legislative & Administrative Power & Procedure) is probably the most important first year class one takes for three reasons.

First, it's a great refresher on where the government gets its power and how it exercises that power (for us government majors—it's a great intro for non-political science folks too).

Second, statutory construction is a skill that is necessary in just about every second year class. I'd imagine it'd be really important in day to day practice. Once, I was interviewing at an attorney's office and some how Beal came up. He pulled out his binder with the materials from Beal's class back when he took it. It also sets Baylor apart--not many schools (if any?) have a class dedicated to statutory construction.

Third, everyone should know why and how agencies exist (even if they're not planning to practice administrative law). Being a government major from UT, I was slightly appalled that my political science degree did not teach me anything about agencies and how they fit into our three-branch constitutional structure.
I agree with TJ entirely. Oh, and by the way....GOOOOOOOO BEAL!

Let me third TJ.

There are not first year class notes I referred to more than LAPP. An extraordinary class. An extraordinary professor.
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I concur. I'm am really impressed with Professor Beal both for this accomplishment and his excellent teaching skills. Hopefully, articles like the Texas Lawyer one will show how great our faculty is. I think most students would agree that the majority of Baylor Law faculty are outstanding in their field, however often there is not enough recognition of their accomplishments.
We have the King of Admin Law (Beal), the Guru of Business Organization (Miller), and the Maharashi of Estate Planning (The Feather) but we still are not thought of as an "academic" school.
It's a shame.
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