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Linarelli discusses law, tradition

Professor of Law John Linarelli lectures on “Moral Justification and the Law’s Authority” Monday in the Presi­dent’s Dining Room as part of the Faculty Lecture Series. Linarelli has spoken at many venues globally, from Oxford to Taipei, and has published a book titled “Regulating Public Procure­ment: National and International Perspectives.”/ photo by Candice Salazar

Veronica Rodriguez
Staff Writer

John Linarelli, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, drew chuckles from the audience when he said he was going to try delivering his lecture in 10 minutes on Monday afternoon.

His lecture “Moral Justifica­tion and Law’s Authority” was part of the faculty lecture series held in the President’s Dining Room. The lecture drew an audience consisting mostly of faculty from the College of Law.

Linarelli aimed to educate the audience about what scholars, lawyers and judges actually do, as well as discuss the 18th century and intellectual theory.

Although Linarelli’s lecture lasted longer than the proposed 10 minutes, the audience remained engaged and asked him questions throughout the lecture.

“I thought it was a wonderful conversation about the intellectual historical movements that ultimately produced the modern American legal system,” said Tiffany Graham, associate professor of law.

“It was especially interesting to hear him talk about the role that moral theory plays in that context,” Graham added.

Lawyers and judges help resolve small problems with big collective solutions, Linarelli said.

There are layers of distinction in the law, which include writing and teaching students how to be lawyers.

Law professors represent the legal system and then teach the next generation of lawyers, Linarelli added.

He referred back to 18th Century theory, where cases like Swift vs. Tyson give example to what laws were like during that time.

The laws of several states during this time can really be seen as statutes and long-established customs that have the force of law, Linarelli said.

Linarelli added that he believes that laws today are still rooted in such traditions.

“We can’t lose our grip on the language and concepts of morality and justice when we talk about work in the law,” Linarelli said.

This spring will be Linarelli’s last semester at the University of La Verne.

He has accepted a position as the dean of the School of Law at the University of Swansea in Wales.

Veronica Rodriguez can be reached at

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