Roger M. Baron is the 2012 recipient of the John Wesley Jackson Memorial Award for Outstanding Professor of Law at the University of South Dakota School of Law. Baron, nominated by students and colleagues at the Law School, also received the award in 1995 and 2008. The award was announced Saturday, April 14, during the Barristers' Ball, an annual event of the School of Law.
"Professor Baron is an entrepreneur of student experience, and events he has started here are now traditions," Dean Tom Geu said. "He is a marvelous teacher and scholar who cares deeply for students and colleagues on a personal basis. USD Law is a better place because Roger is here."
Baron, who joined the faculty in 1990 and teaches courses on civil procedure, family law and insurance, expressed his gratitude and shared his thoughts about teaching to students and others attending the ball.
"What goes on in the classroom is the number-one priority in my work," he stated, noting that he strives to ensure that every minute of every hour of class is a learning experience.
Baron is active in legal issues of insurance and related matters, especially those of subrogation and reimbursement in connection with personal injury claims. In 2006, he helped a team of lawyers prepare briefs and oral arguments in the case of Sereboff v. Mamsi, which was argued on March 28, 2006, before the Supreme Court of the United States. His various law review articles have been cited and quoted with approval by state supreme courts and appellate courts in dozens of states and Puerto Rico. His articles on subrogation have been cited in written opinions by federal district courts in Nebraska, Illinois and New Jersey.
Baron also continues to operate USDLAW, the electronic list serve allowing the free flow of communication on matters of interest to South Dakota lawyers, judges and law students. To date, the only other USD School of Law faculty member to receive the Jackson Award three times is Charles M. Thatcher.
The Jackson Award was established in 1981 through a gift by Horace and Dorothy Jackson of Rapid City in honor of members of the Jackson family. Baron's selection was made by a committee and based on criteria demonstrating excellence in the teaching of law. These include effectiveness in the classroom; efforts to improve legal education in ways that serve the needs of the profession and of South Dakota; research and writing; contributions to the profession through public service; and contributions to the academic environment of the USD School of Law.