School of Law Welcomes Visiting Scholar Harvard Professor to Arrive in Delaware on Oct. 4
Published: September 19, 2007
Wilmington, Del. - Widener University School of Law is pleased to welcome Harvard University Law School Professor Robert H. Sitkoff to its Wilmington campus as a visiting scholar on Oct. 4 and 5.

Sitkoff's visit is made possible by a generous gift from The Delaware Counsel Group LLP, a Wilmington-based law firm that advises nationally and internationally on Delaware corporate and alternative-entity law. This marks the third year the law school and The Delaware Counsel Group LLP have hosted a visiting scholar.

Sitkoff, the John L. Gray professor of law at Harvard Law School and a trusts and estates expert, will spend Oct. 4 and 5 mixing with law school students and faculty, legal community and business leaders, as well as speaking at two formal events.

He will deliver remarks to members of the Widener Law community, the bench, bar and Delaware state officials on Friday, Oct. 5. The 2 p.m. talk is open to the public and the press is welcome to attend. It will be held at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., the Brandywine Building, 1000 West St., Conference Room 1400, First Floor, Wilmington, Del. Sitkoff will speak on the topic of "The Rise of the Statutory Trust."

Vice Chancellor Leo E. Strine of the Delaware Court of Chancery will join Sitkoff and contribute his comments to the presentation.

"I have had the pleasure to work with Robert on the Uniform Law Commission statutory trust project. His knowledge on the subject of Delaware statutory trusts and his diligent and up-to-date work in the area made him a natural for this year's scholar selection. Robert's presentation, along with Vice Chancellor Strine's comments, on Delaware statutory trusts will be of interest to those who routinely advise on such entities and Delaware law," said Ellisa Opstbaum Habbart, Esq., a partner in The Delaware Counsel Group LLP.

Widener Law Professor Lawrence A. Hamermesh, the Ruby R. Vale professor of corporate and business law and director of Widener's Institute of Delaware Corporate & Business Law, is coordinating Sitkoff's visit for the law school.

He said the visiting scholar program allows the law school and Delaware to benefit from Sitkoff's expertise, while Sitkoff is able to get reactions from lawyers and judges at the forefront of practice in Sitkoff's fields. In addition to his speech E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Sitkoff will make a similar presentation to Widener's Delaware faculty and to Widener students, including the members of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, on October 4, entitled "Agency Costs, Charitable Trusts, and Corporate Control: Evidence from Hershey's Kiss-Off.."

Sitkoff's scholarship has been published in leading journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Journal of Law and Economics. In 2005 Sitkoff published Wills, Trusts, and Estates, which is the leading American casebook on trusts and estates, with co-authors Jesse Dukeminier, Stanley M. Johanson and James Lindgren.

Sitkoff was appointed in 2003 as the reporter, or principal drafter, for the Uniform Law Commission's effort to create a uniform statutory business trust entity act. Sitkoff is editor of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates abstracting journal in the Social Science Research Network, and is a member of the American Law Institute.

Prior to joining the Harvard Law School faculty, Sitkoff taught at New York University School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law and was a law clerk to Chief Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. In law school at the University of Chicago, from which he graduated with high honors, Sitkoff was the managing editor of the Law Review, was selected for the Order of the Coif and was chosen by the faculty for the Olin Prize as the outstanding graduate of 1999 in law and economics.

"We hope Robert's visit will be professionally rewarding and will expand our ability to continue bringing other rising corporate law scholars to Wilmington," Hamermesh said. "We look forward to exposing academic professionals of his distinguished caliber to Delaware's corporate legal system and encouraging academics like him to focus on that system in their studies and publications."