Professor Edward D. Spurgeon


Edward D. “Ned” Spurgeon (1939-2021) founded the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging in 1998 and served as Director and later Co-Director until 2018. He remained a Senior Advisor to the Center while continuing as the President and a Director of the Borchard Foundation. He also served on the Board of Directors, and was past president, of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (now Justice in Aging), as a special advisor to the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (formerly the Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly) and was co-founder of the Utah Legal Services Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project. He was also a member of the American Bar Foundation (Utah Chapter).

Since 1980, Professor Spurgeon was a legal educator, with faculty appointments as Professor of Law at the University of Utah College of Law (1980-1993, 2002-present) and the University of Georgia School of Law (1993-2003) and as visiting Professor of Law at New York University, Stanford University and Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he was from 2007-2010 the first holder of the Gordon D. Schaber Chair in Health Law and Policy. He also was the Dean of the law schools at both the University of Utah (1983-1990) and the University of Georgia (1993-1998). His teaching and writing in recent years focused on law, public policy and aging; taxation of gifts, estates and trusts; and estate planning.

Spurgeon’s recent scholarship includes the book, Federal Taxation of Trusts, Grantors and Beneficiaries (with Professor John Peschel, 3d ed., 1997; supplements 1998-2010). Selected articles include “Lawyers Acting as Guardians: Policy and Ethical Considerations” in XXXI Stetson Law Review No. 3 2002 (with Ciccarello) “Integrating Tax and Elder Law into Elder Law and Tax Courses” XXX in Stetson University Law Review No. 4 2001 (with Mustard), “How Increased Respect for the Autonomy of Older People Has Changed the Legal Landscape: An Overview” in the Intermountain Aging Review (Fall/Winter 2000-01), and “Fostering Elder Rights Through Innovative Collaborations: A Look at the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program” in the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (Sept.-Oct. 2000).

Spurgeon organized a national multidisciplinary conference on the legal and ethical aspects of dementia at the University of Georgia in December 2000; papers from the path-setting conference were published in 35 Georgia Law Review No. 2 (2001) for which he co-authored the forward. Spurgeon also helped organize similar national conferences: one at Stetson University on guardianship law (2001); and a second at Fordham University on legal ethics (1993).

Spurgeon also was co-organizer with the ABA Commission on Law and Aging of a pathsetting national multidisciplinary conference at Pacific McGeorge School of Law on the topic of Facilitating Voting as People Age: the Impact of Cognitive Impairments, for which he also co-authored the Introduction.

The American Bar Association awarded Spurgeon the John H. Pickering Award of Achievement in 2016 in recognition of his significant contributions to improving justice for all. In 2014, he received the first Impact Award from Justice in Aging (formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center) along with the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation and the Borchard Center on Law & Aging for leadership that has had a significant impact on the lives of low-income seniors and for support of legal advocacy on their behalf.

Spurgeon practiced law for 15 years, including 12 years as an associate and a partner with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker in Los Angeles, before beginning his career in legal education.