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Our History: Former Faculty [Fall 2020 - this site is under construction as we update this list]: Priest, A.J. Gustin (1953-1978)

Tenured faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law through its history.

A.J. Gustin Priest, 1953-1978

A.J. PriestA native of Nebraska, A.J. Gustin Priest served as a sergeant of infantry during World War I. He earned his B.A. from the University of Idaho, as well as a law degree there in 1921. He practiced law for five years in Boise before moving to New York City for a position with a public utility holding company. After leaving for private practice in 1935, he gained a national reputation representing public utility corporations while a partner in the firm of Reid and Priest. He joined the Virginia law faculty in 1953 and retired from full-time teaching in 1966, continuing as a lecturer & scholar in residence until 1978.

With characteristic vigor Priest threw himself into teaching, eager to impart his knowledge and expertise in corporate practice to his students. He taught Public Utility Regulations, Corporations, Corporate Finance, Parliamentary Law and Corporate Securities. A lawyer with deep integrity, Priest emphasized to his students the significance of high moral standards in the legal profession. Priest devoted his considerable energy to a number of organizations and causes outside the legal professions, including the world peace movement. He was the first chairman of the national executive council of the United World Federalists. He also served as chairman of the Section of Public Utility Law of the American Bar Association, as president of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni in New York, and as national president of the Beta Theta Pi college fraternity. He received the Man of the Year award from the United World Federalists and was a life member of the American Bar Foundation. He died in 1978.



The Great Ones: An Exploration of Personal Qualities Which Have Made and Moulded Beta Theta Pi (with Robert T. Howard) (Beta Theta Pi, 1956).

Old Hilarity (Michie, 1965).

Principles of Public Utility Regulation: Theory and Application (Michie, 1969).

Articles and Book Chapters

What Should Commissions Regulating Public Utilities Do about Accelerated Tax Amortization?, 39 Va. L. Rev. 579-606 (1953).

Dixon-Yates and the Public Interest, 41 Va. L. Rev. 289-309 (1955).

The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Business Associations, 42 Va. L. Rev. 989-999 (1956).

The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Business Associations, 43 Va. L. Rev. 959-962 (1957); 44 Va. L. Rev. 1347-1350 (1958).

Those Dividends Were Not Paid out of Capital, 60 Pub. Util. Fort. 1001-1005 (1957).

The Independent Regulatory Agencies, 24 ICC Prac. J. 796-806 (1957); abridged version printed in Va. L. Wkly., Oct. 3, 1957, at 1-2, 4; and in 9 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 11-15 (1957-58).

The Preference Clause Is Unfair, Unjust and Anachronistic, in Is a Preference Among Distributors of Federal Power Justified? 171-189 (Albert W. Stone ed., Montana State University Press, 1957).

Discontinuance of Railroad Service, 61 Pub. Util. Fort. 656-665 (1958).

Major Public Utility Decisions in Perspective, 46 Va. L. Rev. 1327-1344 (1960).

Some Bases of Public Utility Regulation, 36 Miss. L.J. 18-29 (1964).

How Socialism Creeps – The Electric Utility Industry as an Example, A.B.A. Sec. Min. & Nat. Resources L. Proc. 36-42 (1965).

The Public Utility Rate Base, 51 Iowa L. Rev. 283-320 (1966).

Factors Leading up to the Permian Basin Decision, Pub. Util. Fort., Mar. 2, 1967, at 13-24.

Toward World Peace: but Slowly, Slowly, 53 A.B.A. J. 331-334 (1967).

Possible Adaptation of Public Utility Concepts in the Health Care Field, 35 Law & Contemp. Probs. 839-848 (1970).

Government Is the Answer, 5 Int’l Law. 652-666 (1971).

Must AT&T Be Dismembered?, Pub. Util. Fort., July 3, 1975, at 17-21.


Corporate Democracy; a Practitioner’s View, Va. L. Wkly., Mar. 5, 1953, at 1, 3-4; reprinted in 4 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 107-110 (1952-53).

“Preference” vs. Fair Play: Why Some Users of Electricity Take a Back Seat When Federal Power Is Sold (National Association of Electric Companies, 1954).

Review of Hartman, State Taxation of Interstate Commerce, 40 Va. L. Rev. 539-541 (1954).

Review of Berle, The 20th Century Capitalist Revolution, 10 Reading Guide 30-32 (1955).

Review of Welch, Preparing for the Utility Rate Case, 65 Yale L.J. 118-121 (1955).

Review of Bowen, The Lion and the Throne, 12 Reading Guide 46-47 (1957).

Review of Willbern et al., Public Administration and Policy Formation, 43 Va. L. Rev. 145-149 (1957).

Review of Prettyman, Trial by Agency, 45 A.B.A. J. 736-737 (1959).

Review of Model Business Corporation Act Annotated, 47 A.B.A. J. 294-295 (1960).

Priest Warns Against Mendacity, Deceptions, Va. L. Wkly., Mar. 16, 1961, at 1-2; reprinted in 12 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 64-68 (1960-61).

Review of Wildavsky, Dixon-Yates, 17 Reading Guide 17-19 (1962).

Corporation Gifts Aid Financing of Education, Va. L. Wkly., Apr. 25, 1963, at 1-2, and May 3, 1963, at 1, 5; reprinted in 14 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 111-117 (1962-63).

Quincy Wright, 11 Va. J. Int’l L. 5-6 (1970).

Review of Corbett, The Growth of World Law, 26 Reading Guide 29-32 (1971).