The Thomas E. Fairchild Lecture

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Thomas E. Fairchild

Thomas E. Fairchild

December 25, 1912 - February 12, 2007

Judge Fairchild was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1956 and served from January 1957 to August 1966. Although reelected in 1966, he did not serve a second term because on August 11, 1966, President Johnson appointed Judge Fairchild circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He began service on August 24, 1966, and served as chief judge from February 7, 1975, to July 1, 1981. Judge Fairchild took senior status on August 31, 1981, and until his death, served as a senior circuit judge for the Seventh Circuit and, by designation, for eight other federal circuit courts.

Judge Fairchild attended Deep Springs College and Princeton University and received an A.B. degree from Cornell University in 1934. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1937, he received his LL.B. after completing office practice in 1938. He served as Attorney General of Wisconsin, 1948-1951, and United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, 1951-1952. He also acted as chairman of the Governor's Commission on Constitutional Revision, 1960-1965, served on the Judicial Conference Committee on Administration of the Probation System, 1969-1972 and was a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1975-1981. Judge Fairchild received honorary degrees from the University of Wisconsin, St. Norbert's College, Carthage College and the John Marshall Law School.

Judge Fairchild was a member of the American Bar Association; the state bar associations of Wisconsin and Illinois (honorary); the Federal and Seventh Circuit Bar Associations; the Milwaukee, Chicago, and Dane County Bar Associations; the James E. Doyle Inn of Court (honorary); the American Judicature Society; the Institute of Judicial Administration; and the American Law Institute, where he served on its council. Judge Fairchild also regularly and enthusiastically attended the annual meeting of the Tri-County Bar Association.

Judge Fairchild and his wife, Eleanor (also deceased), had four children: Edward T. Fairchild, Susan Fairchild Chase, Jennifer Fairchild Lord and Andrew D. Fairchild; eight grandchildren: Elliot T. Fairchild, Justin M. Fairchild, Laura K. Chase, Thomas E. Chase, Mitchell F. Watson, Robyn L. Fairchild, Ned A. Fairchild and Emily A. Fairchild; and four great-grandchildren: Zachary S. Watson, Andrew Watson, Kaylin Watson and Nicole Watson.

Thomas E. Fairchild Lecture

The Thomas E. Fairchild Lectureship was established in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin Law School as a tribute to Judge Fairchild. Judge Fairchild, a 1937 UW Law School graduate, was Wisconsin Attorney General, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, circuit judge, justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and then later chief judge and ultimately senior circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit until his death on February 12, 2007. For 50 years, Judge Fairchild demonstrated both a scholarly regard for those principles of law that generations have molded into the American definition of justice and equality and a remarkable sensitivity to the ever-changing human conditions that make the search for justice and equality an ongoing one.

Initiated by Judge Fairchild’s former law clerks, the lectureship brings to the University of Wisconsin Law School a distinguished member of the legal profession — from the bench, bar, or academia — to speak on a topic of importance to the profession.

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2016 Fairchild Lecture

Our Justice System at an Inflection Point


William C. Hubbard

4 p.m.
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Godfrey & Kahn Hall, Room 2260
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall, Madison, Wisconsin

Reception immediately following

Online Registration

For more information: 
Contact Jini Jasti at or (608) 263-7906

2016 Fairchild Lecturer

William C. Hubbard

William C. Hubbard, a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, South Carolina, is immediate past president of the American Bar Association.

Hubbard established the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which will make recommendations on how technology and innovation can help expand the availability of affordable legal services to the poor and middle class. As president, he also emphasized the ABA's advocacy on criminal justice and sentencing reform, strengthened the association's legal efforts on behalf of domestic violence victims, and led the ABA's commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in June 2015.

Hubbard has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA. He served two years as chair of the ABA House of Delegates (2008-10) and is a past president of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Endowment. He also served on the ABA Board of Governors, the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and the ABA Young Lawyers Division as its chair. He is a member of the council of the American Law Institute, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Hubbard is chair of the board of directors of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. He is a permanent member of the US Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. In addition to South Carolina, he is also admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the US District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Hubbard also has served on the board of trustees of the University of South Carolina since 1986, including as chairman of the board from 1996 to 2000.

Hubbard practices business litigation related to breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty claims, unfair trade practices, energy and utilities disputes, and class actions.

In 2002, Hubbard received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award given by the governor of South Carolina. In 2007, he received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fourth Circuit. In 2015, he was called to the bench as an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple in London.

Before joining Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Hubbard served as a law clerk for Judge Robert F. Chapman of the US District Court for the District of South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He received his JD degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977.

Directions to the Law School and Parking Information

Parking: We recommend people park in either Lot 7 under the Grainger Hall School of Business at the corner of University Avenue and Brooks St.(entrance to Lot 7 is on Brooks Street.) and the Lake Street Ramp, located on N. Lake Street. [More Campus Parking Info]

Previous Fairchild Lectures

A Judge's Use of History
       Justice John Paul Stevens
1989 Wisconsin Law Review 223
The Development of Legal Doctrine Through Amicus Participation:
The SEC Experience
 Dean David S. Ruder
1989 Wisconsin Law Review 1167
The Court of Appeals and the Future of the Federal Judiciary
               The Honorable Kenneth W. Starr
1991 Wisconsin Law Review 1
The Judicial Function and the Elusive Goal of Principled Decision Making
                The Honorable Harry T. Edwards
1991 Wisconsin Law Review 837
Appellate Justice:  Fairness or Formulas
              The Honorable Mary Schroeder
1994 Wisconsin Law Review 9
1994 Refreshing Institutional Memories:
Wisconsin and the American Law Institute
                   Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson
1995 Wisconsin Law Review 1
The Life of the Law:
Principles of Logic and Experience from the United States

            Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
1996 Wisconsin Law Review 1
1996The Shelf Life of Justice Hugo L. Black
John P. Frank, Esq.
1997 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Moment of Truth for the Legal Profession
Sol M. Linowitz, Esq.
1997 Wisconsin Law Review 1211
The Future of the Independent Counsel Statute
              The Honorable Lawrence Walsh
1998 Wisconsin Law Review 1379
Old and In the Way: 
The Demographic Transformation of the Legal Profession and Its Implications for the Delivery of Legal Services

    Professor Marc Galanter
1999 Wisconsin Law Review 6
Will the Death Penalty Remain Alive in the Twenty-First Century?
       Mr. Stephen B. Bright, Esq.
2001 Wisconsin Law Review 1
The Market for Data: 
The Changing Role of Social Sciences in Shaping the Law
     Professor Elizabeth Warren
2002 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Revitalization of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in the
Mid 20th Century

       The Honorable Patrick Lucey
        The Honorable Gaylord Nelson
Mrs. Ellen Proxmire
    Mr. Alexander Shashko

2003 Wisconsin Law Review 1
The Role of District Courts
     The Honorable Reena Raggi
2004 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Citizenship in a Time of Repression
 Mr. Michael Traynor, Esq.
2005 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Upholding an Oath to the Constitution:  A Legislator's Responsibilities
    The Honorable Russ Feingold
2006 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Thomas E. Fairchild:  A Judge's Legacy
                 The Honorable Joan Humphrey Lefkow
2007 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Snapshots from the Seventh Circuit:  Continuity and Change,
1966 to 2007

 The Honorable Diane Wood
2008 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Thoughts On How the Legal System Treats Jurors
          U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald
2009 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Its Only Words:  Thoughts of a Lawyer and a Novelist
Mr. Scott Turow, Esq.

Abraham Lincoln, A Lawyer for the Ages
           Mr. John Skilton, Esq., Perkins Coie

2011 Wisconsin Law Review 1
Federal Sentencing Policy:  A Path For The Future
            The Honorable William K. Sessions III

2012 Wisconsin Law Review 1

Inequality, Individualized Risk and Insecurity
Professor Michael J. Zimmer

2013 Wisconsin Law Review 1
2013The War on Drugs
                               The Honorable William J. Bauer                                                                      
2014 Wisconsin Law Review 1
2014Protecting the Fourth Amendment So We Do Not Sacrifice
Freedom for Security

                    Mr. Collins T. Fitzpatrick, Esq.                                                                
2015 Wisconsin Law Review 1

Audio & Video of Previous Events

Scott Turow, 2009 Fairchild speaker

Fairchild Lecture 2009

Streaming Video

Fairchild Lecture 2008

Fairchild Lecture 2008

Streaming Video
Video Download

Fairchild Lecture 2007

Fairchild Lecture 2007

Streaming Video
Video Download

Fairchild Lecture 2006

Fairchild Lecture 2006

Streaming Video
Video Download

Fairchild Lecture 2005

Fairchild Lecture 2005

Streaming Video
Video Download

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