George William Van Cleve
Visiting Professor in Law and History
George William Van Cleve has taught at Loyola University Law School, Catholic University of America Law School, and American University Law School. He will teach Bankruptcy Law and a 1L elective, Introduction to Public Law and the Administrative State (a/k/a "Legislation and Regulation"), during 2012-2013. He has also taught at the University of Virginia, where his courses included History of Early American Law; the Age of Jefferson; The Law and Politics of Early American Slavery; and a graduate seminar on antebellum history.
Dr. Van Cleve's book A Slaveholders' Union: Slavery, Politics and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010. He is working on a history of the 1783-1787 "critical period" that led to the Constitution. His publications also include more than a dozen law journal and encyclopedia articles and book chapters on various topics, including constitutional, criminal, insurance, and environmental law, and legal history.
Dr. Van Cleve has more than thirty years of legal practice experience. In private practice, he has represented clients in large-scale intellectual property licensing, contract, insurance, employment discrimination and civil rights class action, environmental and antitrust litigation. He has negotiated and drafted numerous major environmental insurance agreements and permits. He has argued seven federal appeals, including an en banc appeal, and supervised or assisted in briefing numerous other appeals. He has served as an arbitrator or mediator in more than a dozen federal and state disputes.
Dr. Van Cleve has served in various senior federal government legal positions, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (Environment & Natural Resources Division) (1989-1991); Special Counsel to the Secretary of Defense (1989); Chief Minority Counsel, House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran (1987). At the Department of Justice,
Dr. Van Cleve supervised the litigation of several hundred civil enforcement cases by a staff of 150 prosecutors. He managed the day-to-day litigation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, involving a civil claim of about $1 billion. He successfully defended the United States' criminal indictment of Exxon Corporation. He also managed the litigation of the Florida Everglades water pollution case.
Dr. Van Cleve has served as: Arbitrator, Attorney-Client Arbitration Board, District of Columbia Bar Association (inactive); Court-appointed Mediator, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (inactive). He is a former Member, American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals (Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Panels). He is a certified neutral, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington. He is a member of the bar in: State of Washington; District of Columbia; Illinois (inactive); and United States Supreme Court.
Seattle University School of Law
- J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School
- Ph.D., History, University of Virginia