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Summer 2003
Chairs of Distinction
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The way we settle disputes, while not always neat and tidy, “has been an important source of strength to our society,” he says. But civil litigation changed greatly during the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, he explains, noted Harvard Law Professor Roscoe Pound said courts were granting too many new trials. Today, Yeazell says, “no informed observer would think this is a problem; if anything, those close to the system worry about the opposite — whether there are too few trials.

“Something has happened and it’s worth figuring out.”

Why? Because, he says, the trial has been “both a powerful symbol of justice and a way of resolving disputes” in U.S. and British society. “We’ve developed an interesting and remarkable system for resolving disputes,” he says. “But we need to understand how those rules are evolving. As we look at developing societies, we start talking about the rule of law, that we need some kind of orderly system to resolve disputes, enforce contracts, etc.”

The Price endowment, he says, allows him to magnify his research by financing research assistants, who also work with others in the law school.

For David Price LL.B. ’60, chairman of Santa Monica, Calif.-based American Airports Corp., endowing a chair was a way of showing his gratitude to a university that had a huge impact on his life.

“I feel very beholden to UCLA,” he says. His first job after law school resulted from the recommendation of one of his professors, and “later, when I did well in business, I wanted to help the law school. I wanted to have something that would attract quality professors to a state-funded university to increase the excellence of the program.”

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