November 21, 2017

Rutgers Law School has awarded former Co-Dean John Oberdiek in Camden and Vice Dean Reid Weisbord in Newark with the 2017 Greg Lastowka Award for Scholarly Excellence. The Lastowka Award, now in its second year, is named in memory of Rutgers Law School Professor Greg Lastowka, an expert in cyber law, who died of cancer in 2015.

Co-Deans Ronald K. Chen and Michael Cahill announced the winners earlier this fall. The selection committee included Professors Michael Carrier and Adil Haque, who received the Lawstowka Award last year. The Lastowka Award winners receive a prize of $1,500 each to be used on their scholarly research in a way that contributes to the scholarly life of the law school.

Former Co-dean John Oberdiek.

The work for which former Dean Oberdiek won the award, includes his recently published book, Imposing Risk: A Normative Framework (Oxford University Press, 2017).  He explained, “The book is an examination of the philosophical and moral issues raised by the fact that we all impose risk upon one another all the time.  I take up the question of what it is that we are even doing when we impose risk on one other; what the moral significance of doing so consists in; whether there can be a right against being subject to risk and, if so, what that would look like; and what moral standards govern the (morally permissible) imposition of risk..”

Professor Weisbord’s research focuses primarily on the law of wealth transfer, including wills, trusts, and intestate estates. One of Weisbord’s recently published works, forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review with co-author David Horton (U.C. Davis), examines an original hand-collected sample of New Jersey wills and discovered several striking patterns of boilerplate containing language that was either illogical or contrary to the testators’ probable intent. Weisbord is the lead author on a new first edition textbook, Wills, Trusts & Estates: The Essentials, to be published by Wolters Kluwer in its Aspen Casebook Series in January 2018. Weisbord’s other recent publications have appeared in the Boston University Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Yale Law Journal Forum, and Columbia Law Review Online.

Vice Dean Reid Weisbord

Both professors expressed their gratitude in being named Lastowka award winners.

“I am humbled and honored to win this award named in honor of our late colleague, Greg Lastowka,” said Weisbord. “The Lastowka Award is a testament to Rutgers’ commitment to scholarly excellence and the university’s mission to advance the frontier of knowledge. I am deeply grateful to the selection committee for considering my work and to Rutgers Law School for awarding this prize.”

Oberdiek said, “I was of course delighted to discover that I had won the award.  But it was also bittersweet.  Greg was a friend of mine, his tragic death is still fresh in my mind, and the announcement was made at our annual Lastowka Lecture, which Greg’s extended family makes a point of attending.  So, while I was happy for the recognition and honored to be associated with Greg’s legacy, I couldn’t help but think about the loss.”

Both Oberdiek and Weisbord will serve as the judges for next year’s Lastowka Award.


Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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