UF Law Professor Robert Moffat passes away after long illness
Longtime Professor of Law Robert C. L. Moffat passed away Nov. 14 after a long illness.
By Matt Walker
Robert C. L. Moffat, University of Florida Levin College of Law professor and affiliate professor of philosophy, sociology and criminology and law, passed away Nov. 14 in Gainesville after a long illness.
Moffat joined the University of Florida Law School in 1966 as an assistant professor before being promoted to associate professor in 1968 and tenured professor in 1971. During his nearly half-century teaching career at UF Law, Moffat specialized in law and public policy, jurisprudence, criminal law and law and morality.
Moffat leaves behind a lasting legacy of numerous articles, publications, speeches and presentations on a wide variety of topics, but his memory will also live on through the people's lives he impacted throughout his years as a law professor.
"Professor Moffat cared deeply about his students, and took a great deal of personal satisfaction in their achievements. The depth of his love for teaching and his affection for his students were demonstrated by his reluctance to leave the classroom even in the last days of a severe and painful illness," said UF Law Dean Robert Jerry.
His devotion also spread to his colleagues in the legal field and to the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.
"Bob had the respect of his colleagues as a dedicated and serious scholar. His immense knowledge of the legal philosophies of Lon Fuller and other influential theorists was of great benefit to those of us who sought refreshment from time to time on jurisprudential issues," said Stuart R. Cohn, John H. & Mary Lou Dasburg Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International Studies at the Levin College of Law. "At the same time his feet were firmly implanted in the here and now and he was able to bridge chronological and philosophical gaps for the benefit of his students and in his scholarly articles. He was devoted to the law school and his students and he will be sorely missed."
After earning his B.A., M.A. and L.L.B. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was editor-in-chief of the Southwestern Law Journal, Moffat went to the University of Sydney in Australia to earn his LL.M. Moffat was a Fulbright Scholar from 1962-1964 and earned First Class Honors when he graduated in 1966.
Among the many professional memberships and offices of which Moffat was a member over the years, the longest running was the American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. He joined the organization in 1966, served as executive director from 1987-1999 and was elected president of the organization for the 2003-2005 term.
Moffat consistently contributed to the world of academia throughout his extensive career, with his most recent article, "Searching for Substantive Justice: Lessons from Lon Fuller's Natural Law," being published in the April 2010 issue of the Iowa Journal of Gender, Race & Justice.
Moffat is survived by a son, Iain, and daughter, Kaaren.
A memorial service was held Thursday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Gainesville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Robert Moffat's memory be made to the Professor Robert and Janette Moffat Memorial Scholarship in Law, University of Florida Foundation, Inc. Attn: Gift Processing, PO Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604.