WVU law professor, author to speak in Amicus Curiae series at Marshall


Charles R. DiSalvo, West Virginia University law professor and author of the book, M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law:  The Man Before the Mahatma, will be the featured speaker Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series at Marshall University.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Foundation Hall, Home of the Ericson Alumni Center, on Marshall’s Huntington campus.   DiSalvo will discuss how Gandhi invented and experimented with his practice and philosophy of nonviolence after his experience in attempting to obtain justice as an attorney in South Africa from 1893 to 1911.

DiSalvo’s book on Gandhi was awarded Honorable Mention by the Association of American Publishers for all law books published in 2013.  His is the only book, out of thousands that have been written about Gandhi, that focuses on this aspect of Gandhi’s life and career.  The book argues that Gandhi was driven into civil disobedience in his pursuit of Indian independence from British rule by the failure of the South African legal system to render justice to the Indian community there.

DiSalvo is the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law, where he has taught since 1979.  A much-honored educator, he has been recognized as Professor of the Year six times and is the winner of other college, university, state and national teaching awards. He earned his B.A. in history from St.  John Fisher College, his M.A. in East Asian Studies from Claremont Graduate School and his law degree from the University of Southern California, where he was an editor of the law review.

In his legal career, DiSalvo has represented litigants in cases involving civil disobedience in state and federal trial and appellate courts and is the cofounder of the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest.

The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy focuses on issues of law, history, politics and governance in the United States.  Sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, the series brings scholars from throughout the U.S. to Marshall to speak on these issues.