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UH Law School professor to be honored with property rights prize

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Apr 21, 2017

David L. Callies
David L. Callies

UH Law Professor David L. Callies will receive the 2017 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize in the fall from the William & Mary Property Rights Project. Callies will receive this prestigious prize during the project’s 14th annual conference to be held at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, on October 12-13.

The prize is named in honor of the lifetime contributions to property rights of Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner. It is presented annually to a scholar, practitioner or jurist whose work affirms the fundamental importance of property rights. Recently it has gone to legal scholars from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and the University of Michigan. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was a recipient in 2011.

Callies, a prolific scholar whose work explores land use, property, and state and local government law, has lectured around the world and written or collaborated on more than 90 articles and 20 books. He has been a member of the American Law Institute since 1990 and is the Benjamin A. Kudo Professor of Law at UH Mānoa. Prior to entering academia, he was an attorney in private practice and an assistant state’s attorney.

Callies gained fame as a leading expert on land use and development in Hawai‘i early in his distinguished career, said Lynda L. Butler, Chancellor Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School and director of the school’s Property Rights Project.  Callies' research interests have become truly international in scope over time and encompass land use control, eminent domain, and sustainable development in numerous other countries. Butler noted that the annual Brigham-Kanner conference has been held in China and in The Hague as well as in Virginia.

UH Law Dean Avi Soifer called the prize “a much-deserved honor for Professor Callies” that not only resonates in legal circles, but in the wider business community. “David Callies brings tremendous breadth to our offerings in business and land law,” said Soifer, “and his presence within this constellation of prize winners speaks to the importance of his scholarship. Our students are very fortunate to be receiving world-class instruction in the complex areas in which he excels, from one of the world’s great experts.”

Callies is renowned as a “scholar, teacher, lawyer, mentor,” according to Robert H. Thomas, an attorney and director at Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in Honolulu.  “For four decades, David Callies has shaped property law, and the practice of property law, as a legal scholar, practitioner, and advocate. He has devoted his career to a search for understanding the deeper meaning of what it means to own property, and the relationship between property rights and individual liberties. His work has also integrated property law's traditions with more modern concepts such as environmental concerns and the public trust.  A truly deserving prizewinner, David Callies represents the best of the law’s academic and practice sides."

Michael Berger, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who received the Brigham-Kanner Prize in 2014, called Callies “one of the brightest stars in the constitutional property rights firmament.”  His lengthy academic career, Berger said, “has been festooned with scholarly explorations of property law that have enriched the scholarly literature and influenced the way that courts have viewed the law. When I learned that he was to be this year’s honoree, all I could do was cheer.”

The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize, which has been awarded annually since 2004, honors the work of Toby Prince Brigham, founding partner of Brigham Moore, LLP, and Gideon Kanner, professor of law emeritus at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Callies’ previous recognitions include The Owners’ Counsel of America’s Crystal Eagle Award, the Lambda Alpha International Member of the Year Award, and the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award, which is conferred by the ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law.

To request a brochure about the conference, please email Ali Trivette at or call (757) 221-7466.

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