U.S. District Judge Furgeson Is Named Dean of UNT's Downtown Dallas Law School

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U.S. District Judge W. Royal Furgeson
One week ago today, during council's chat about the coming bond program, the subject of the UNT Dallas College of Law came up: Angela Hunt wanted to know when the university would take over the old Municipal Building, at which point City Manager Mary Suhm reminded the council, "They're a good way from being where they need to be." A memo to council containing some kind of a time line is said to be forthcoming.

But this much we now know: Per the missive that just landed in the in-box, U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson will become the founding dean of UNT Dallas College of Law effective April 2013. Says the note, the school's on track to accept its first class in August 2014.

Chancellor Lee Jackson, the former Dallas County Judge, says of the pick in the note that follows: "Judge Furgeson, besides possessing a fine legal mind, brings the kind of broad range of practical experience we were looking for." To which the judge adds this: "Several colleagues have asked me why I would give up a lifetime appointment to take on a start-up law school during these tough economic times, when tuition is rising and demand for lawyers is declining. But the prospect of pioneering a new law school that addresses these issues head-on was too challenging and exciting to pass up."
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson to Become Founding Dean of UNT Dallas College of Law


Federal Jurist to Bring "Broad Range of Practical Experience" to new downtown Dallas law school

Chancellor Lee F. Jackson announced today the appointment of U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson as founding dean of UNT Dallas College of Law, effective April 2013, in anticipation of the law school's opening in August 2014. Dean Designate Furgeson is enthusiastic about assuming his new duties as soon as he can fulfill his obligations to the federal judiciary.

"Our extensive search brought us into contact with many highly regarded legal educators," Jackson said. "But Judge Furgeson, besides possessing a fine legal mind, brings the kind of broad range of practical experience we were looking for. He's a distinguished judge well known throughout Texas, a respected litigator, and he shares our vision of providing students with an affordable and accessible high-quality legal education."

A Clinton appointee, Judge Furgeson has ridden the federal circuit in Texas for 17 years, first presiding in El Paso, then Midland-Odessa, San Antonio and now Dallas. Prior to taking the bench, he was a shareholder in the prominent El Paso law firm of Kemp, Smith, Duncan & Hammond, where during his 24 years with the firm, he headed the commercial litigation section and remained committed to the pro bono efforts of the firm.

His résumé reflects years of accomplishment and recognition. Among his many honors, he received the Jurist of the Year Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity--both in 2004. Texas Tech University Law School bestowed its 2008 West Texas Legal Legend Award upon the judge, who was born in Lubbock and attended undergraduate school at Tech. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

"Several colleagues have asked me why I would give up a lifetime appointment to take on a start-up law school during these tough economic times, when tuition is rising and demand for lawyers is declining," Judge Furgeson said. "But the prospect of pioneering a new law school that addresses these issues head-on was too challenging and exciting to pass up."

Gov. Rick Perry signed SB 956 on June 19, 2009 to authorize the new law school. The law school will be located in the heart of downtown Dallas, where it can develop partnerships with major law firms, countless solo practitioners and the judicial and legal communities centered in the four courthouses within its two-mile radius. It will be part of the continuing renaissance of downtown, serving as an economic generator for the city, where law students can one day live, apprentice and play (if time allows), after attending classes in the Old Municipal Building, a 1914 Beaux Arts structure of historic significance (it's where Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald).

UNT System remains committed to its partnership with the City of Dallas to restore the Old Municipal Building to its former grandeur. The System anticipates this renovation will be complete and ready for occupancy by the law school in 5 to 10 years, depending on the availability of state funds. In the meantime, UNT System will proceed with a $24 million renovation of 1901 Main Street in downtown Dallas (formerly the Titche/Joske's department store), which will serve as the temporary home of the new law school for at least the first three years of its operations.

UNT Dallas College of Law will be the only public law school in North Texas, and will provide the region with an affordable alternative to private law schools, attracting a high percentage of minority students and easing the debt on all students, as they embark on their legal careers.

Judge Furgeson said he is "eager to get on with the business of running the law school," but first is committed to fulfilling his responsibilities to the federal bench. The judge is currently the president of the Federal Judges Association, a voluntary organization of Article III judges devoted to protecting the role of the judicial branch in our constitutional framework. His personal commitment to this leadership role requires him to remain on the bench for the next 15 months, after which his service to the association ends. Until he formally resigns his judgeship, he will adhere to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which will limit his work with the law school.

In the interim, the launch of UNT Dallas College of Law will proceed under the able guidance of UNT System Vice Chancellor Rosemary Haggett. The next three years will see the following developments:

· Appointment of an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
· Appointment of an Associate Dean of the Law Library.
· Appointment of a Director of Admissions who will begin accepting student applications in the fall of 2013.
· Construction of the new law library and interim law school offices, starting in 2012.
· Hiring of full-time faculty.
· Matriculation of the first class in August 2014.

Judge Furgeson will remain informed about all the developments of the new law school, and when he leaves the bench in April 2013, he will assume full active leadership as the founding dean and begin the next chapter in his memorable legal career.

"Royal Furgeson and I were in law school together, where we became lifelong friends," said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. "He will bring excellent leadership skills to the role of founding dean of this important new law school."

"Because a brand new law school has no track record, the only evidence of its quality is the integrity of its leaders," said Frank Newton, the former Dean of Texas Tech School of Law, who supported the judge's appointment. "In Royal, you have the perfect pick, a confident, gregarious leader whose record of accomplishment adds a clear aura of credibility to the new school."

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13 comments
suzzie3519
suzzie3519

The Observer has over time praised Judge Furgeson without regard to the Constitutional Rights violations afforded all US Citizens.

A Federal Judge who judges not by law but by his cronies and subjects the defendants the his wrath.  He has threatened  Mr Baron with death, taken away his right to hire an attorney, allowed the crocked Peter Vogel to act as a receiver not only for Ondova, but for Jeff  peronsally. Mr Baron's personal belongings have been "stolen" unlawfully from his posession.  The Receiver, Peter Vogel who is supposed to be a watchdog over Ondova but has neglected his fiduciary responsibly to try to keep the company whole.  Instead he is selling all assets at a fire-sale price to secret buyers.  Mr Baron had a trust for  a Diabetic Research foundation to research and find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes that at one time had millions of dollars that is not gone.  So much for the pure children  this may have helped.  Judge Furgeson has admitted in open court that he would not believe a single word Mr Baron would testify in court, so his attorney at that time suggested he take the 5th Amendment.  This outraged the judge and his attorneys.  They have ridiculed Mr Baron, ruined a  fine reputation he had all in the name of GREED.  

This Judge and his lawyers who by the way all took an oath should all be sanctioned, disbarred or even jailed.  What is happening to our beloved Country?

suzzie3519
suzzie3519

What the unsuspecting public does not know is that the "respected" Federal Judge Royal Furgeson is a non biased judge that rules on on law but on who the players are.  He has taken away Constitutional Rights of a litigant who is in the midst of Furgeson's Kangaroo Court.  He is setting precedence that will impede the rest of us in America.  He has inlisted a gaggle of lawyers who are either family members or cronies of his to fraudulently rule against the rule of law.  Now that he is appointment to run the UNT Law School, no telling what those future lawyers will learn under Furgeson's program.  G-d help us all

Cjhr923000
Cjhr923000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Because a brand new law school has no track record, the only evidence of its quality is the integrity of its leaders,"  Integrity? Judge Furguson did not have any integrity when it came to Jeff Barron. I would not let my child go to any school he was a Dean at.

Kris Sergentakis
Kris Sergentakis like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is typical federal judge behavior. Here in NYC the law firm Skadden, Arps openly purchases federal judges daily.We allowed these monsters to have lifetime appointments. It is up to our govertment to enact fundamental changes to put an end to this corruption.

see leukemia scandal dot com

Daveleforge
Daveleforge like.author.displayName 1 Like

Our story is a direct reflection of how manipulative, dishonest,and out and out ruthless the Big Banks, Indiana lawyers, and Judicial systemhas become. They have infiltrated the very core of our Justice System, whileleaving the hard working Americans to fend for themselves. When lawyersmislead, abuse, and manipulate the Federal courts, and the Judges turn a blind eyethen it’s time to say enough. We have been forced to endure a sadisticemotional and financial roller coaster ride throughout our journey to revealthe truth of an unsubstantiated wrongful foreclosure. Our understanding of theJudiciary obligation to the people is quite different from what has happened tous. Our understanding of the Judiciary's obligation is to uphold and promotethe independence, integrity, and Impartiality of the office, while avoidingimpropriety and the appearance of impropriety. We have always believed thepeople have the right to be heard. Truth, Justice and The American way isliterally becoming a myth. We the People are beginning to lose confidence inthe very thing we hold so dear. When I hear of the corruption in the Judicialsystem, I immediately coincide it with Treason against the citizens of thisgreat nation.

Jwolkgrenadier
Jwolkgrenadier like.author.displayName 1 Like

Robert Wilonsky, your article is a disgrace. You and the Dallas Observer have been aware of Furgeson's rancid history- threatening a civil litigant with death.... yet you fail to make any mention of it. Instead, you write this article glorifying him?  You have lost all credibility in my eyes.

Josephn126
Josephn126

We, as parents, want our children to have honest, respectable, law abiding individuals to have as examples to follow and want to be like.  This judge has some serious issues which caused him to resign as a Federal Judge.  Putting him in charge of a law school  to be an example to students is as bad a decision as I could imagine.   I  can only reason that the legal industry is corrupt and the law school wanted  a person with experience to be an example for law students to admire and follow.

Dschied
Dschied

How in the heck can this royal criminal "Judge" Royal Fergeson be welcomed to help found a law school dedicated to "teaching" and passing on the methodology of the crimes he has committed as a federal judge? This is an outrage. He should be investigated by a grand jury, indicted for his crimes - minimally against self-made millionaire Jeff Baron whose life he constructively decimated - and placed in a federal prison where HE can be taught a few "lessons" in "natural law".   

Bill@LawlessAmerica.com
Bill@LawlessAmerica.com

Judge W. Royal Furgeson has been charged with corruption.  Accorsing to court transcripts, Judge Furgeson actually threatened a CIVIL litigant with death if he didn't comply with a court order.  Royal Furgeson is accused of orchestrating the looting of millions of dollars from Internet pioneer Jeff Baron.  The latest news is that Royal Furgeson is confiscating a trust set up for medical research and is selling the $60 million in assets for pennies on the dollar.  UNT needs to find a new dean as Royal Furgeson belongs in prison for the rest of his life.  See this story in The Washington Examiner -- http://washingtonexaminer.com/...

Staff Iran-Conoco
Staff Iran-Conoco

That's exactly what Texas needs more incompetent lawyers!!! That'al fix the economy.

Bob J
Bob J

Actually, Lee Jackson was Dallas County Judge, not a Commissioner.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Many thanks for mentioning that, Bob. S'what happens when you're writing two blog items at once. Sigh.

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