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Colby-Sawyer College President Tom Galligan to Co-Chair Louisiana Symposium on Legal Issues of Gulf Coast Oil Spill

NEW LONDON, N.H. - Colby-Sawyer College President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. and Richard J. Arsenault, a founding partner of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, will co-chair the Gulf Coast Oil Symposium on May 25 in New Orleans, La.

The symposium, coordinated by the Louisiana State Bar Association, will address the environmental catastrophe created by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and feature a distinguished faculty of legal scholars and political strategist James Carville as keynote speaker. The conference will address the complex set of human, environmental, natural resources and legal issues relative to the oil spill's impact on the region's environment and economy.

President Galligan is an expert in maritime law who has spoken extensively and published numerous books and articles on torts and admiralty. His scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate and trial courts, as well as by legal scholars.

“The disaster in the gulf is one of the biggest and most significant pollution events and maritime tragedies in our nation's history,” President Galligan said. “The human, environmental and natural resources issues the oil spill poses are epic. The legal issues are complex and far reaching. The symposium will try to address some of those issues and will be interesting to lawyers, judges, regulators and industry professionals.”

Prior to joining Colby-Sawyer College as its eighth president in 2006, Galligan served as the dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law from 1998 to 2006, where he also taught classes in torts and admiralty. His co-authored scholarship with Professor Frank L. Maraist has been honored by the Louisiana Bar Journal and the Tulane Law Review.

Galligan currently serves as co-chair of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society Civics Education Task Force and is a commissioner for the New Hampshire Post-Secondary Education Commission. He holds an A.B. from Stanford University, a J.D. from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law and an L.L. M. from the Columbia University Law School.

Richard J. Arsenault has been involved in maritime litigation for 30 years. He is a former chair of the AAJ Admiralty Law Section and has chaired the Louisiana Bar Association's Annual Admiralty Symposium since its inception 17 years ago. He has published and spoken extensively on maritime topics and his scholarship has appeared in various publications, including the Maritime Lawyer, the Maritime Law Reporter, Trial Magazine and the Lousiana Bar Journal.

Arsenault is the current chair of the Louisiana Bar Association's Section on Insurance, Negligence, Worker's Compensation and Admiralty Law. Twice a year, Arsenault, Professor Galligan and several federal court judges participate in panel presentations designed to review recent maritime developments. Arsenault also serves on the LSU Law School Trial Advocacy Faculty.

Keynote speaker James Carville spent more than two decades in political arenas, retiring from domestic political consulting after organizing Bill Clinton's successful bid for the White House in 1992. He began teaching political science at Tulane University in 2009 after serving as an advisor to Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at