The Catholic University of America

Rev. Raymond C. O'Brien

Rev. Raymond C. O'Brien, professor of law, is a graduate of La Salle University and the University of Virginia Law School. In addition, he has earned a master's degree in church administration and a doctorate in ministry from The Catholic University of America. He is an ordained Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Washington. Father O'Brien has published extensively in the area of family law, to include the casebook Domestic Relations (1998), with Professor Walter Wadlington. Articles include topics involving AIDS, the rights of children, pedophilia and marriage. In addition to family law, he has published in the field of decedents' estates, including a book entitled Long Term Care: Federal, State and Private Options (1997) with Michael Flannery. He has taught at the law school since 1977 and is also a permanent Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center; since 1990 he has taught a summer course for the Loyola Law School (L.A.). He teaches family law and trusts and estates.          

             
 

Research and Writing


Papers Presented and Public Addresses 

Lecturer, BARBRI Bar Review Program, lecturing on trusts and estates law for students preparing for the Georgia and the Virginia Bar Examinations, 2007 to present.
 
“Reasonable Efforts in Parent-Child Reunification”, Law Review Symposium sponsored by the Law Review of Michigan State University, Spring 2013.
 
“Same Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships”, Family Law Section of the Montgomery County Bar Association, Rockville, Maryland, 2008
 
“Adoption in America,” University of Lisbon School of Law, Lisbon, Portugal, 2004.
 
"Health Care Reform: Medicaid and Medicine," School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1998.
 
"Elder Law Seminar: Effective Management of Personal and Financial Resources," School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1997.
 
"Pedophilia: The Church’s Response to a Grave Problem," Address to Faculty and Students, The North American Pontifical College, The Vatican, 1991.
 
"AIDS and the Future of the Family," Address to Students, School of Law, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1991.
 
Keynote Address, Annual Meeting, American Association of Affirmative Action, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990.
 
"Legal Aspects of the HIV Pandemic," Panel Presentation, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
 
Fourth International Conference on AIDS, The Vatican, Rome, Italy, 1989.
 
"AIDS Within the Academic Community," San Marcos University, San Marcos, Texas, 1988.
 
"AIDS: What Is It?" St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, 1987. 

 

Publications
 
Books
 
"The Fundamentals of Elder Law," with Michael Flannery, Foundation Press, 2014, (forthcoming).
 
Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations (with Professor Walter Wadlington and Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson) (7th ed. 2013), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law in Perspective (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (3rd ed. 2012), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (4th ed. 2011), Foundation Press
 
Decedents’ Estates: Cases and Materials (with Professor Michael Flannery) (2d ed. 2011), Carolina Academic Press.
 
The Prudent Investing of Trusts: Cases and Materials (with Professor Michael Flannery) (2009), Carolina Academic Press.
 
Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations (with Walter Wadlington) (6th ed. 2007), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law in Perspective (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (2d ed. 2007), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (3d ed. 2007), Foundation Press.
 
Supplement for Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (5th ed. 2005), Foundation Press.
 
Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (5th ed. 2002), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law in Perspective, (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (2001), Foundation Press.
 
Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (2d ed. 2000), Foundation Press.
 
Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations (with Professor Walter Wadlington) (4th ed. 1998), Foundation Press.
 
Long Term Health Care: Federal, State and Private Options for the Future (with Michael T. Flannery (1997), Haworth Press.
 
AIDS and the Family, AIDS and the Law, 2d ed., 1991 & Supp. 1993, Wiley L. Publications.
 
AIDS and the Family, AIDS and the Law, 1988, Wiley L. Publications.
 

Articles
 
"Reasonable Efforts and Parent-Child Reunification," Michigan State Law Review, 1029-1078, (2013).
 
"Attorney Responsibility and Client Incapacity,", 30 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 59-95 (2013).
 
“Family Law’s Challenge to Religious Liberty,” 35 Univ. Ark. (Little Rock) Law Rev. 3-88 (2012).
 
“Integrating Marital Property into a Spouse’s Elective Share,” 59 Cath. Univ. L. Rev. 617-718 (2010).
 
“The Momentum of Posthumous Conception: A Model Act,” 25 J. Contemp. Health Law & Pol’y 332-385 (2009).
 
“Adoption in America,” 1 Univ. of Lisbon L. Rev. 69-94 (2006).
 
“Clergy, Sex and the American Way,” 31 Pepperdine L. Rev. 363-476 (2004).
 
“The Reawakening of Marriage,” 102 W. Virginia L. Rev. 339-391 (1999).
 
"Single Gender Marriage: A Religious Perspective," 7 Temple Pol. & Civ. Rights. L. Rev., 429-484 (1998).
 
"Mandatory HIV Testing of Professional Boxers: An Unconstitutional Effort to Regulate a Sport That Needs to Be Regulated." (With Michael T. Flannery), 31 U.C. David L. Rev. 409-502 (1998).
 
“An Argument for the Inclusion of Children Without Medicare,” 33 J. FAM. LAW 567-627 (1995).
 
“Domestic Partnerships: Recognition and Responsibility,” 32 San Diego L. Rev. 163-220 (1995).
"Analyzing the Due Process Rights of Children and Parents in a Clash of Best Interests," 26 U. Conn. L. Rev. 1209-1260 (1994).
 
"The Legal Dilemma of Partner Notification During the HIV Epidemic: A Commentary," Journal of Clinical Ethics (In press 1993).
 
“Book Review Essay: The Culture of Desire by Frank Browning,” 9 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y 605-621 (1993).
 
“Book Review Essay: Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations by Walter Wadlington,” 8 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y 473-494 (1992).
 
"The Pending Gauntlet to Free Exercise: Mandating That Clergy Report Child Abuse" (with Michael T. Flannery), 25 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1-56 (1991).
 
"A Legislative Initiative: Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990," 7 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 183-205 (1991).
 
"Discrimination: The Difference with Aids," 6 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 93-125 (1990).
 
"AIDS: Perspective on the American Family," 34 Villanova Law Review 209-279 (1989).
 
"Pedophilia:   The Legal Predicament of Clergy," 4 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 91-154 (1988).
 
"Analytical Principle: A Guide for Lapse, Survivorship, Death Without Issue, and the Rule," 10 George Mason Law Review 383-428 (1988).
 
"A Theological Method for Legal Education," 1985 Journal of Christian Jurisprudence 87-110 (1985).
 
"Illegitimacy: Suggestion for Reform Following Mills v. Habluetzel," 15 St. Mary’s Law Journal 79-122 (1983).
 
"Religious Education in the 1980’s: Perspectives and Challenges," 1982 Journal of Christian Jurisprudence 205-218 (1982).
 
 
Monographs
 
Legal Education and Religious Perspective, Bethesda, Maryland: Cambridge, 1985.
 
Book Chapters:
 
"AIDS and the Family," AIDS and the Law (Supplement) (1993).
 
"AIDS and the Family," AIDS and the Law (2d ed.), New York, New York: Wiley Law Publishers (1992).
 
"AIDS and the Integrity of the Family," To Live: Why? Church and Health in the World 266-275 (1990).
 
"AIDS and the Family," AIDS and the Law (Supplement), 28-42 (1990).
 
"AIDS and the Family," AIDS and the Law, New York, New York: Wiley Law Publishers, 85-139 (1987).
 

Book Reviews
 
Shattered Mirrors: Our Search for Identity and Community in the AIDS Era, by Monroe Price, Dean and Professor of Law, 40 Journal of Legal Education 399-402 (1990).
 
Book Review Essays
 
Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials (2d ed.) by Walter Wadlington, Professor of Law, 8 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, 473-494 (1992).
 
The Culture of Desire by Frank Browning, 9 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y (1993). 

 

 

Curriculum Vitae

 

 

 

Personal Data
Ordained Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.: May 17, 1975.

 
Education
D. Min.   1985      Doctor of Ministry
School of Religious Studies, Department of Theology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
 
M.Ch. A. 1975      Masters in Church Administration
School of Religious Studies, Department of Theology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
 
J.D.        1969     Juris Doctor
The School of Law, The University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, Virginia.
 
B.A.       1966    Bachelor of Arts
La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
 
Professional Experience
Present - Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
 
Responsibilities: Teaching courses in Family Law and Decedents’ Estates, service on various law school committees as well as supervising and counseling students.
 
1987-1992 Associate Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
 
Responsibilities: In addition to teaching courses in Decedents’ Estates and Family Law, I supervise student directed research, serve as faculty advisor and work with various law school committees.
 
1977-1983 Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
 
Responsibilities: Within the law school, initiated a national recruitment effort involving students and graduates, ex officio membership on the Admissions Committee, the Judicial Clerkship Committee, and the Student Affairs Committee. At the university level, serving with the President on the Pastoral Council, the Committee on Aging, Committee on the Handicapped, Spanish Affairs Committee and various dean and faculty appointment committees. In addition to the speeches and panels presented throughout the country, I gave numerous talks at professional associations, elementary and secondary school associations, religious groups and societies plus career meetings. Counseling responsibilities included coordination with the Counseling Center at the University and the supervision of various tutorial programs operated at the law school and university/law school levels.
 
1987-present  Visiting Professor of Law, The Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
 
Responsibilities: Teaching Decedents’ Estates each Spring semester.
 
1990-present     Visiting Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California. Responsibilities: Teaching Family Law or Decedents’ Estates during the Summer session.
 
1985-92     Visiting Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, D.C. Responsibilities: Teaching Decedents’ Estates in either the Fall or Spring semester.
 
1987     Visiting Professor of Law, St. Mary’s Law School, San Antonio, Texas.Responsibilities: Teaching Family Law during the Summer session.
 
1971-1975 Adjunct Professor of Law, School of Law, George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.
 
Responsibilities: Participated in the establishment of the law school prior to its purchase by George Mason University. This included petitions for accreditation and purchase of the present location. Courses taught: Criminal Law and Procedure, Estates, Estate and Gift Tax, and Professional Responsibility.
 
1969-1971 Captain, United States Army
 
Responsibilities: For nearly two years I taught all types of classified materials at the main Army installation concerned with electronic warfare and intelligence gathering. I possessed the highest security clearance and was sent to many areas of the world to learn and to teach. I also served in various other responsibilities as a duty officer, to include: troop commander, legal affairs officer, and special events coordinator.
 
 
Professional Offices
2002-2006 Council Member, The Advisory Council, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
 
2002-2006 Council Member, Division of AIDS, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
 
1987-1991 Trustee, Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
 
Responsibilities: The LSAC joins the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools in its governance of legal education in the United States. Elected by the nation’s law school deans to a three year term, responsibilities included the overall supervision of the eleven million dollar LSAC budget.
 
1988-1996 Faculty Co-Editor, The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy.
 
Responsibilities: A scholarly publication of international import, I am responsible for coordinating students efforts.
 
1978-1992 Director, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
 
Responsibilities: As a service to the Spanish-speaking community, I coordinate at least 80 law school students and graduates to complete federal and state income tax returns on Saturdays during February, March and half of April at the Spanish Catholic Center in suburban Washington, D.C. Each year we serve at least 500 clients.
 
Bar Admissions and Honors
Virginia State Bar
District of Columbia Bar
American Bar Association
United States Army Meritorious Service Medal
Co-dedication, Volume 5, Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy
Vicennial Medal, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
 

 

In His Words ...

"Legal education is an interplay of history, analysis, discernment and commitment. It congeals in law school and continues throughout your career."

– Rev. Raymond C. O'Brien

Contact

Office: 407 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5883

E-mail: obrien@law.edu
 

Courses

  • Family Law
  • Trusts and Estates
     

Education

D. Min.
Doctor of Ministry
School of Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America, 1985
 
M.Ch. A.
Masters in Church Administration
School of Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America, 1975


J.D.

The University of Virginia School of Law, 1969

B.A. 
La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA., 1966 

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Rights of children
  • Domestic relations and family law
  • AIDS
     

Experience

  • Visiting Professor of Law, The Georgetown University Law Center, 1987-present
  • Council Member, The Advisory Council, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 2002-2006
  • Director, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) 1978-1992