campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College President Testifies at U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Potential Connections Between Legal Liability Caps and Gulf Oil Spill

NEW LONDON, N.H. - Colby-Sawyer College President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. testified on June 8 as an expert witness in maritime law before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the potential impact of court decisions and liability caps on the behavior of major oil corporations.

The senate committee hearing explored “The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior?” Led by Committee Chair Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont), the hearing took place on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C. Read President Galligan's oral and written testimony.

An expert in maritime law, President Galligan also testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday, May 27, in a hearing that addressed legal liability issues stemming from the Gulf Coast oil spill. Committee Chair and U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) invited President Galligan to speak to the liability statutes of maritime law, which apply to domestic and international maritime activities, including the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig operated by British Petroleum (BP).

President Galligan, a former dean and professor of law at the University of Tennessee – College of Law in Knoxville, Tenn., has published numerous books and articles, spoken extensively and taught classes on maritime law. 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.

To view the web cast of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary's hearing, visit the committee web site.

President Galligan joined Colby-Sawyer College as its eighth president in August 2006. Prior to his service as dean and professor at the University of Tennessee, he taught at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University (LSU) from 1986 until May 1998. At LSU, he was named the Dr. Dale E. Bennett Professor of Law and was honored by the students as the Outstanding LSU Professor six times.

President Galligan's co-authored scholarship with Professor Frank L. Maraist has been honored by the Louisiana Bar Journal and the Tulane Law Review. He was recently honored with the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Public Service Award and the Knoxville Bar Association's Law and Liberty Award.

Currently President Galligan 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 a L.L. M. from the Columbia University Law School.

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

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000