Professor James Toomey wins 2023 Goettel Prize for Faculty Scholarship

September 22, 2023
James Toomey

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is proud to announce that Professor James Toomey was awarded the 2023 Goettel Prize for Faculty Scholarship for his article, “Property’s Boundaries” published by Virginia Law Review (109 Va. L. Rev. 131 (2023)).

The Goettel Prize was created in 2004 to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship by members of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University faculty.  Each year, members of the tenured and tenure-track faculty are invited to submit their work for consideration (on an anonymous basis) by a selection committee of outside reviewers.  This year's committee consisted of three distinguished law school professors: Professor Andrea Schneider of Cardozo Law, Professor Ed Snow of University of South Carolina School of Law, and Professor D. Theodore Rave of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Operations and Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, Emily Waldman, noted, “Since joining our faculty last year, James Toomey has continued to establish himself as an exciting new scholar writing at the intersection of bioethics, health law, private law theory, and elder law. In his prize-winning article, "Property's Boundaries," he brings together questions of bioethics and property by analyzing how to think about ownership rights in body-related things like cells, genes, organs, embryos, and more. Do I own, for instance, the information in my genes? What about my blood cells themselves?  These questions are becoming more pressing than ever before, in light of new scientific research and developments, and Professor Toomey provides a thoughtful and pragmatic framework for how courts should approach these types of questions.  We are very proud to see his work recognized by our distinguished panel of external judges."

“I am deeply honored that “Property’s Boundaries” has been selected by this year’s committee for the Goettel Prize. This piece sits at the core of my scholarship in bioethics and private law theory, and was a lot of fun to write, bringing together sources in philosophy, psychology, and legal theory to address one of the most difficult and persistent questions in bioethics,” stated Professor James Toomey. ““Property’s Boundaries” also took my thinking in generative new directions—laying the foundations for a forthcoming collection of essays I’m co-editing with Professors Marietta Auer, Henry Smith, and Paul Miller, called Reinach and the Foundations of Private Law (my own draft contribution available here), and my paper “Evolutionary Anamnesis,” in the journal Biology and Philosophy.”  

Professor James Toomey joined the Haub Law faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law in 2022. He teaches Property, Contracts, Health Law in America, and Wills, Trusts and Estates. Professor Toomey’s scholarship focuses on health law, bioethics, private law theory, and elder law, and his work has been published or is forthcoming in a number of leading journals including the Virginia Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the North Carolina Law Review, the Harvard Journal on Legislation, the Elder Law Journal and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. Prior to joining the Haub Law faculty, Professor Toomey was a Climenko Fellow & Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Before that, he clerked for Judge Stanley Marcus on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Professor Toomey holds a JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a BA, summa cum laude, from Cornell University.

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