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February 17, 2005

Law Profs Appointed to Endowed Chairs

Law professors Arthur D. Hellman and Welsh S. White have been named inaugural holders of two new endowed chairs created through the bequest of the late Christopher C. Walthour Jr.
Walthour was a Pitt law school alumnus and former Westmoreland County attorney and bank president. He earned two Pitt degrees, a B.S. in mathematics in 1939 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1942.
He died in August 2003 at age 86, and left his entire estate to Pitt’s School of Law.

Hellman holds the Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair, named for Walthour’s fiancée, who did while he was serving in the U.S. military in Japan during World War II.
White holds the Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair, named for Walthour’s mother.
Both positions were effective Feb. 1.
Hellman is nationally recognized as a leading scholar of the federal courts. His empirical studies on the operation of precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeals have been used as a basis for policy decisions both by Congress and the federal judiciary.
Author of several books, Hellman has testified as an invited witness at numerous hearings of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate judiciary committees and he helped draft the Judicial Improvements Act of 2002.
White is the author of three books on capital punishment, as well as numerous scholarly articles on evidence and criminal procedure. White has spent the last 10 years studying police interrogations and confessions. He has written extensively on Miranda — the U.S. Supreme Court case that established rights of suspects upon arrest — and other Supreme Court confession cases, emphasizing the conflict between law enforcement and civil liberties.
While teaching full-time at the law school, White has represented or assisted in the representation of indigent defendants, particularly in capital cases.
Both White and Hellman have been quoted extensively as legal experts by national print news media.

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