Remembering Professor Regis W. Campfield


Regis W. Campfield died October 27, 2017.  He was the Marilyn Jeanne Johnson Distinguished Law Faculty Fellow and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law where he taught for 32 years before retiring in 2009.  His important and enduring contributions to the area of trusts and estates made him a true luminary in his field.  He was a prolific writer, scholar and speaker from the beginning of his academic career.  Originally from Western Pennsylvania, he received his B.B.A. cum laude in 1963 from Notre Dame University and his LL.B. in 1966 from the University of Virginia where he was an Editor of the Virginia Law Review. 
After law school, Professor Campfield practiced with the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio.  While with the law firm, he also served a brief stint in the Air Force, followed by service as a Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps officer.   Upon leaving Squire Sanders & Dempsey, he returned to his alma mater, Notre Dame, where he became a tenured faculty member of the Law School. 
In 1977, Professor Campfield served as a visiting professor at SMU Law School and subsequently accepted a permanent position as Professor of Law.  At SMU, he taught courses in Wills and Trusts, Estate and Gift Taxation, and Estate Planning.  “I had the pleasure of knowing my esteemed colleague and friend, Regis for more than 40 years,” said Henry J. Lischer Jr., Professor of Law Emeritus at SMU Dedman School of Law.  “He was a well-respected scholar and teacher who attained a level of professional accomplishment and recognition attained by very few. Those at SMU Law School benefitted greatly from his work, and for the luster he added to this institution.”
Professor Campfield was the author of Taxation of Estates, Gifts and Trusts (24th edition); Estate Planning and Drafting (3rd edition); Fiduciary Tax Guide and Taxation of Income, as well as numerous other articles and publications.
In addition, Professor Campfield founded the Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute, a continuing legal education program that he chaired for over thirty years.  He was instrumental in organizing a number of Estate Planning Briefings for the Communities Foundation of Texas.
He was the recipient of the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner award, which is a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Estate Planners & Council.
Professor Campfield was a member of The American Law Institute, a Fellow and Past Regent of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and a former member of the Executive Council of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He was a member of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, its Estate and Gift Tax Committee, and past Chair of its Committee on Tax Practice Management. 
He was a Member of the Technology Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Chair of the Committee on Tax Legislation and Regulations; Joint Property (Section of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association), and the Editor of Probate Lawyer, the annual publication of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
“Many lawyers had the privilege to study under Professor Campfield’s watchful eye and instruction, and many scholars and practitioners have relied upon his extensive body of scholarly work,” said Jennifer M. Collins, Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law.  “He had a deep compassion for and dedication to SMU Law School and will be greatly missed by his colleagues, former students and friends.” 
In addition to his many professional activities, Professor Campfield was devoted to his family and enjoyed spending time with them.  “Although Regis received well-deserved recognition for his many accomplishments as a member of the SMU law faculty for over 30 years, I believe he would like to be remembered most for his devotion to his family and particularly the love and care he showed his grandchildren,” said John J. Mylan, Professor of Law Emeritus at SMU Dedman School of Law.
Professor Campfield is survived by his wife Dr. Mary Tarpley Campfield, two daughters Clare and Allison, and his grandchildren.
A funeral mass will be held at ST. RITA CATHOLIC CHURCH, 12521 Inwood Road in Dallas at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 6.  Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. and a reception will follow the mass.