Farewells: Brown becomes UT Dean, Morgan & Nesset retire

Lonnie Brown picLonnie T. Brown Jr., the holder of the Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism and a Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, left UGA at the end of the spring semester to become dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Brown, who specializes in legal ethics in the adversary system, taught Civil Procedure, The Law and Ethics of Lawyering, Georgia Practice and Procedure, and Ethics in Litigation during his two decades in Athens. He also served as the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs from 2013 to 2015 and was an Administrative Fellow in the UGA Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from 2007 to 2008.

A member of the American Law Institute, Brown is the author of Defending the Public’s Enemy: The Life and Legacy of Ramsey Clark, which was published by the Stanford University Press and named the winner of the 2020 Silver Independent Publisher Book Award in the biography category.

In 2019, he was recognized with UGA’s highest teaching honor – a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship. Notably, Brown received the annual Student Bar Association Professionalism Award for the majority of his years on the UGA faculty, and he was chosen as a graduation faculty marshal on multiple occasions.

Carol Morgan picAfter 14 years of service – which included the establishment of the school’s Business Law and Ethics Program – Clinical Professor Carol Morgan (J.D.’79) retired in June.

From chairing an exploratory committee and teaching the first mergers and acquisitions class in 2008 to a program that now includes an array of practice-based courses – the Corporate Counsel Externship, the Business Law Clinic and Negotiation Team – Morgan said her time at the law school has been the most rewarding part of her professional career.

In addition to providing opportunities for students interested in transactional law, other highlights she shared were “getting to know students and watching them grow exponentially in three years.”

She added that she loves graduation. “I especially like the Friday night reception, where I meet students’ families and get to brag about their loved ones.”

Morgan’s work at the School of Law was nationally recognized in 2021 when she was presented the Tina L. Stark Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills.

In retirement Morgan plans to spend time with her children and grandchildren who live in the Northeast, visit other family and friends, hike in New Zealand, do pro bono work and catch up on the zillion home projects that she has “blissfully ignored while working for 40+ years.”

Curtis Nesset picAfter teaching more than 80 consecutive semesters at the School of Law, Curtis C. Nesset retired in August 2022. He joined the UGA faculty in 1994 and taught legal writing, document drafting and capital punishment. He also directed the Capital Assistance Project.

One of his fondest memories is running into a former student who shared that while taking Nesset’s writing class the student did not take it seriously as he believed he “already knew how to write.” Once out of law school the student wrote a memorandum in support of a motion on behalf of a client and after presenting oral argument on the motion to the trial court, the judge pulled the former student aside and said the memorandum “was one of the poorest pieces of writing he had seen in his judicial career.” The student said he was devastated but remembered he still had his notes and book from Nesset’s class. After weeks reviewing those materials, the student said he “finally understood what [Nesset was] trying to teach.”

Nesset said he will miss working with students and the “sense of accomplishment” when “the light goes on” for them.

He has plans to move to Beaverton, Oregon, where will spend as much time as he can with his grandchildren, consult in the area of legal writing and write “an article or two” about the death penalty.