Launch Event - The Michael Tigar Papers

September 20, 2018


Don Carleton

Executive Director Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Don Carleton has been the executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History since its creation in 1991. From 1979 until 1991, Carleton was head of the University’s Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center. Dr. Carleton served as the founding director of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, an urban history archives project sponsored by Rice University, the University of Houston, and the City of Houston. Dr. Carleton has published ten books and lectured extensively in the fields of historical research methods and sources, the history of broadcast journalism, and twentieth century U.S. political history. His book Red Scare won the Texas State Historical Association’s Coral Tullis Award for the most important book on Texas published in 1985. Dr. Carleton’s most recent book is Conversations with Cronkite. He has served as the executive producer and historian for two PBS documentaries: “When I Rise” (2011) and “Cactus Jack: Lone Star on Capitol Hill” (2016). Dr. Carleton holds the University’s J. R. Parten Chair in the Archives of American History, and has been honored with membership in The Texas Institute of Letters, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. Dr. Carleton received his PhD in U.S. history from the University of Houston.  He has long admired the work and career of Michael Tigar, and he is honored that the Briscoe Center has become the permanent home for his papers.

Fernando Chávez

Founder Chávez Law Group


Fernando Chávez is the founder of the Chávez Law Group, a leading firm in Montebello, California specializing civil rights and immigration. He specializes in personal injury and products liability. Chávez carries on the work of his father, the iconic labor leader and civil rights activist, César Chávez, by fighting for positive social change and the rights of others, regardless of national origin. Most recently, he completed a civil rights profiling case against a small, rural city in California targeting immigrant farmworkers. In 2013, he obtained a $57 million judgement from the South Bay Court for Antonio Lopez Chaj, an undocumented immigrant who was severely beaten by a security guard in Los Angeles. He serves as the chairman of the board of the Chávez Institute for Law and Social Justice, which empowers underserved communities by providing quality legal education and legal services to create systemic change. He holds a BA from Antioch College, an MA from San Jose State University, and a JD from Santa Clara School of Law. In 1971, Michael Tigar successfully defended Fernando Chávez against charges of draft evasion.

Bernardine Dohrn

Founder & Former Director, Children and Family Justice Center; Co-founder, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth Northwestern University School of Law


Bernardine Dohrn is the founder and former director of the Children and Family Justice Center, and the co-founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. Before serving as a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern, she was a leader of activist organizations including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground. She has authored and co-authored several books including Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970-1974 (2011), Race Course: Against White Supremacy (2009), and Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in our Schools (2001). Dohrn is currently the vice chair of the Advisory Committee of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and serves on the Board of Directors of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. She is also a founding board member and former chair of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, whose mission is to abolish extreme sentences of life without possibility of parole and virtual life sentences for children and youth. In 2017, the National Lawyer’s Guild awarded Dohrn its Arthur Kinoy Award, an honor given to individuals whose work and passion would have especially appealed to Arthur, a noted civil rights lawyer and professor of law. She holds a BA and JD from the University of Chicago. Dohrn is a longtime friend, fellow-activist, and academic colleague of Michael Tigar.

Karen Engle

Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law, The University of Texas School of Law; Founder & Co-director Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Karen Engle is the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and the founder and co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law. In Fall 2018, she is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Engle teaches and researches in the fields of public international law, international human rights law, and legal theory. Her books include The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Interventions in International Law (forthcoming, Stanford University Press), Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016)(co-editor), and The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010), which received the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Human Rights. Engle received a Bellagio Residency Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009 and was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Bogotá in 2010. She was the Deborah Lunder and Alan Ezekowitz Founders’ Circle Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton during the 2016-17 academic year. She received her JD magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a BA with honors from Baylor University. Engle first met Michael Tigar because of a generous endowment that he established at Texas Law in the names of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffitt, which supports law students in summer internships with human rights organizations around the world. One day, she asked him if he had plans for his papers, and here we are.

Neville Hoad

Associate Professor of English The University of Texas at Austin



Neville Hoad is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include Victorian feminism, contemporary feminist theory in French and English, and international human rights law pertaining to sexual orientations. His books include African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization (2007) and the co-edited Sex and Politics in South Africa(2005). His work has appeared in journals such as Victorian StudiesThe New Centennial Review, and the Journal of Palestine Studies. Previously, Hoad taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Witwatersrand. He holds a PhD in English from Columbia University.

Sivakumaren (“Robin”) Mardemootoo

Managing Partner; Founder, SPEAK Human Rights & Environmental Initiative Mardemootoo Solicitors

Sivakumaren “Robin” Mardemootoo studied law in Aix-en-Provence, France from where he received a Bachelors’ degree and a Master’s degree in law. He also holds an LL.M from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He is the managing partner of Mardemootoo Solicitors (MS), the largest attorneys’ firm on the island of Mauritius. He specializes in banking, corporate finance, securities regulations, cross-border investments, and international taxation. He also specializes in complex international litigation and arbitration. Alongside his commercial practice, Mardemootoo is the founder of SPEAK Human Rights & Environmental Initiative, the pro-bono arm of MS, which is dedicated to promoting international human rights worldwide through litigation and education. Mardemootoo has been ranked as “Leading Lawyer” by several online resources for professionals in financial law including IFLR, Chambers & Partners, and Legal 500. As of October 1, 2018, MS will operate as Dentons Mauritius, of which he will be the Managing Partner. Dentons is the largest law firm in the world. Mardemootoo was a student of Michael Tigar both in France and in Texas. He also worked with Tigar to advocate on behalf of the Chagossians, who were forcibly removed from their archipelago homeland in the 1960s by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Wayne Reaud

Founder Reaud, Morgan & Quinn

Wayne A. Reaud is the founder of Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, a firm in Beaumont, Texas specializing in personal injury, commercial, employment, and family law. He has represented clients in cases involving personal injury, product and premises liability, and toxic torts and business litigation, including the largest asbestos class action lawsuit in the history of Texas courts. He represented the State of Texas in its landmark litigation against the tobacco industry. He has also been a leader in Computer and Technical Litigation, winning class action lawsuits against Toshiba, Compact, Hewlett Packard, and eMachines that all resulted in recoveries of $1 billion or more. Reaud is a director of the Reaud Charitable Foundation, a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a member of the Philosophical Society, and was awarded the Honorary Order of the Coif by the University of Texas in 2011. He holds a BA from Lamar University and was honored as its Most Distinguished Alumni in 2006. He holds a JD from Texas Tech University Law School, where he was named its Most Distinguished Alumni in 1998. Michael Tigar represented Reaud in litigation against tobacco corporations for lawyers’ fees. Reaud donated a portion of those funds to the Texas Civil Rights Project to establish the Michael Tigar Human Rights Center and to American University for the UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic at the Washington College of Law.

Roger Reeves

Associate Professor of English The University of Texas at Austin


Roger Reeves is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to UT, he was Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His first book of poetry, King Me, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013 and was placed on the "Best Poetry Books of the Year" list from Library Journal. He is a faculty affiliate of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a 2015 Whiting Award, a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a 2008 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. During the 2014 school year, he was a Hodder Fellow of Princeton University. He holds a BA from Morehouse College, an MA in English from Texas A&M University, as well as an MFA and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lois Romano

Former Senior Editor, The Washington Post; Co-chair, Board of Directors Women's Foreign Policy Group



Lois Romano has had a distinguished career as a political journalist at The Washington Post, Newsweek, and POLITICO.  Most recently, she was a strategic advisor at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, and she currently co-chairs the board of the Women's Foreign Policy Group in Washington. Ms. Romano spent most of her career at The Washington Post where she was a columnist, features writer, national correspondent, and senior editor. She has covered seven presidential campaigns. Her most recent position was as the editor of Washington Post Live, the news organization's editorial events platform. In between, she was a senior political reporter and the first editorial director of POLITICO events. At POLITICO and at The Post, she was instrumental in shaping live editorial programming and content for the organizations' issue-driven events. Ms. Romano also serves on the board and on the executive committee of the International Women's Research Center. She holds an MA in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Jordan Steiker

Judge Robert M. Parker Endowed Chair in Law; Director, Capital Punishment Center The University of Texas School of Law

Jordan M. Steiker is the Judge Robert M. Parker Endowed Chair in Law and the director of the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas School of Law. In Fall 2018, he is the Touroff-Flueck Visiting Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Harvard Law School. His work focuses primarily on the administration of capital punishment in the United States, and he has written extensively on constitutional law, federal habeas corpus, and the death penalty. He is the co-author (with Carol Steiker) of Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment (Belknap Press, 2016) and (with John Blume) of Death Penalty Stories (Foundation Press, 2009). He co-authored (with Carol Steiker) the report that led the American Law Institute to withdraw the death penalty provision from the Model Penal Code. He has testified before state legislative committees addressing death penalty issues in Texas, including state habeas reform, clemency procedures, sentencing options in capital cases, and the availability of the death penalty for juveniles and persons with intellectual disabilities. He has also litigated extensively on behalf of indigent death-sentenced inmates in state and federal court, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining the School of Law faculty in 1990, he served as a law clerk for Honorable Louis Pollak, U.S. District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania) and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Harvard Law School. He joined the UT Law faculty in part because of Michael Tigar's persuasive powers and was Tigar's colleague, collaborator, and friend during his early years on the UT faculty.