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Carl W. Tobias
Williams Professor of Law
Courses Taught Torts Products Liability Constitutional Law
Profile

Professor Carl Tobias holds the Law School’s prestigious Williams Chair and writes in a number of areas, with a particular emphasis on federal judicial selection. A prolific scholar, Professor Tobias is the author of over 120 law review articles and the author or co-author of more than 80 essays, commentaries, and other shorter works in law reviews. He has published in the country’s top law journals, including the Stanford, Columbia, California, and Cornell Law Reviews, among others. Professor Tobias is also a frequent commentator in the media and has written several hundred opinion pieces published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Slate and Politico, among other high-profile media outlets. He has served as a Legal Consultant to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Bar Association’s Commission on the Twenty-First Century Judiciary as well as a member of the District Court Local Rules Review Committee of the Ninth Circuit Chief District Judges Conference, the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, and the Study Committee to Review the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. Professor Tobias has been a member of the prestigious American Law Institute since 1994.

Memberships
Member, American Law Institute (1994-present)
Member, Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group, United States District Court for the District of Montana (1994-present)
Reporter, National Conference on Appellate Justice (2005)
Legal Consultant, ABA Commission on the Twenty-First Century Judiciary (2002-2003)
Member, Study Committee to Review the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (1999-2003)
Member, District Court Local Rules Review Committee, Ninth Circuit Judicial Council (1994-1997)
Reporter, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government, Task Force on Science and Technology in Judicial and Regulatory Decision Making, Data Collection Discussion Group (1992)
Legal Consultant, Administrative Conference of the United States (1990-1995)
Director, Montana Natural Resources Clinic (Environmental Law Clinic under National Wildlife Federation auspices) (1980-1982)
Legal Consultant. Office of General Counsel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1976-1982 - Summers)
Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, 1975
Counsel, Virginia Wetlands Study Commission and Virginia Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, 1971 to 1972
Professional Experience
Williams Professor of Law (2004-present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
Visiting Williams Professor of Law (2003-2004)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
Professor of Law (1998-2004)
William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev.
Professor of Law (1975-1998)
University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Mont.
General Civil Litigation and General Environmental Work (1972-1975)
Hunton and Williams, Richmond, Va.
Publications
Articles

Filling the Texas Federal Court Vacancies, 95 Texas L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2017).

Marriage Equality Comes to the Fourth Circuit, 95 N.C. L. Rev. No. 6 (forthcoming 2017).

Filling the Seventh Circuit Vacancies, 2017 Wis. L. Rev. 225 (2017).

Combatting the Ninth Circuit Judicial Vacancy Crisis, 73 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 678 (2017).

Confirming Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit, 88 Temple Law Review Online (2017).

Recalibrating Judicial Renominations in the Trump Administration, 74 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 678 (2017).

Confirming Circuit Judges in a Presidential Election Year, 84 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. Arguendo 160 (2016). 

Confirm Judge Koh for the Ninth Circuit, 73 Wash. & Lee. L. Rev. Online 449 (2016).

Confirming Judges in the 2016 Senate Lame Duck Session, 19 U. Pa. J. Const. L. Online 1 (2016).

Confirm Myra Selby for the Seventh Circuit, 92 Ind. L.J. (2016).

Transforming the Thurmond Rule in 2016, 66 Emory L.J. Online 2001 (2016).

Filling the Federal Court Vacancies in a Presidential Election Year, 50 U. Rich. L. Rev. No. 4 (May 2016).

Electing Justice Roush to the Supreme Court of Virginia, 72 Wash. & Lee. L. Rev. Online 360 (2015).

Marriage Equality Comes to Wisconsin, 2015 Wis. L. Rev. Forward 81 (2015).

Marriage Equality Comes to America, 6 HLRe 13 (2015).

Implementing Marriage Equality in America, 65 Duke L. J. Online 25 (2015).

Filling the D.C. Circuit Vacancies, 91 Indiana L.J. No. 1 (2015).

Judicial Selection in Congress’ Lame Duck Session, 90 Ind. L.J. Supp. 52 (2015).

Filling the Federal Appellate Court Vacancies, 17 U. Pa. J. Const. L. Online 1 (2015).

Certiorari and the Marriage Equality Cases, 4 U. Mich. J. L. Ref. 28A (2015).

Marriage Equality Comes to Virginia, 49 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1193 (2015).

The Republican Senate and Regular Order, 101 Iowa L. Rev. Bull. Online.

Considering Patricia Millett for the D.C. Circuit, 4 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 11 (2014).

Filling the District of Arizona Vacancies, 56 Ariz. L. Rev. Syl. 4 (2014). 

Salvaging the 2013 Federal Law Clerk Hiring Season, 91 Wash. U. L. Rev. 243 (2013).

Senate Gridlock and Federal Judicial Selection, 88 Notre Dame L. Rev. 2233 (2013). 

Tips for Capturing 2014 Federal Court Clerkships, 66 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 145 (2013).

Filling the Fourth Circuit Vacancies, 89 N.C. L. Rev. 2161 (2011).

Judge Thompson and the Appellate Court Confirmation Process, 91 B.U. L. Rev. 727 (2011).

Diversity and the Federal Bench, 87 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1197 (2010).

A Fourth Circuit Photograph, 45 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1373 (2010).

Fourth Circuit Judicial Appointments,  61 S.C. L. Rev. 445 (2010).

Counsel, Virginia Wetlands Study Commission and Virginia Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, 1971 to 1972

Postpartisan Federal Judicial Selection, 51 B.C. L. Rev. 769 (2010).

Filling Federal Appellate Vacancies, 41 Ariz. St. L.J. 829 (2009).

Resolving Amicus Curiae Motions in the Third Circuit and Beyond, 1 Drexel L. Rev. 125 (2009).

The Tragedy of the Commons: The Case of the Blue Crab, 19 S. Cal. Interdis. L.J. 73 (2009).

Dear President Bush: Leaving a Legacy on the Federal Bench, 42 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1041 (2008).

FDA Regulatory Compliance Reconsidered, 93 Cornell L. Rev. 1003 (2008).

Reconsidering Virginia Judicial Selection, 43 U. Rich. L. Rev. 37 (2008).

Fourth Circuit Publication Practices, 62 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1733 (2005).

The Federal Appellate Court Appointments Conundrum, 2005 Utah L. Rev. 743.

In the News

Battle begins over implementing Trump's transgender ban (The Hill)
Sun., Aug. 27, 2017

Trump gives new meaning to the Friday night news dump, enraging his critics (The Washington Post)
Sat., Aug. 26, 2017

Fate of transgender already in military unclear under order (AP, via Bradenton Herald)
Sat., Aug. 26, 2017

Op-ed: Judge should be renominated for Western District of Oklahoma (NewsOK)
Sat., Aug. 19, 2017

Federal judicial nominations: A quick recap (Above the Law)
Thu., Aug. 17, 2017

Wells Fargo Vice Chairwoman to Succeed Departing Chairman (The New York Times)
Tue., Aug. 15, 2017

S.C. attorney general sues Purde Pharma over opioid marketing (WFAE 90.7)
Tue., Aug. 15, 2017

Taylor Swift wins - Jury believes she was groped (USA Today)
Mon., Aug. 14, 2017

Trump nominating U.S. attorneys at brisk pace - Louisiana expected (The Times-Picayune)
Mon., Aug. 14, 2017

Scandal-hit Wells moves to replace chairman (Financial Times, premium)
Thu., Aug. 10, 2017

Op-ed: Trump should renominate McElroy (Providence Journal)
Tue., Aug. 8, 2017

Trump appoints Milwaukee attorney to long-standing 7th Circuit vacancy (Wisconsin Public Radio)
Fri., Aug. 4, 2017

Mich. senators let Trump appeals judge choice advance (The Detroit News)
Fri., Aug. 4, 2017

The Supreme Court moves toward digital with online court filings (The Hill)
Thu., Aug. 3, 2017

Op-ed: Confirm Judge Pan for D.C. District Court (The Washington Post)
Wed., Aug. 2, 2017

Op-ed: Renominating judges saves time, promotes bipartisanship (Detroit Free Press)
Wed., Aug. 2, 2017

Trump is moving swiftly to appoint conservative judges (Lifezette)
Wed., Aug. 2, 2017

Op-ed: Renominate Sweet for federal court (The Buffalo News)
Thu., Jul. 27, 2017

Trump is quietly moving at a furious pace to secure 'the single most important legacy' of his administration (Business Insider)
Thu., Jul. 27, 2017

Jury orders punitive, but no compensatory, damages in AbbVie Drug liability test trial (Insurance Journal)
Wed., Jul. 26, 2017

The Supreme Court Delivers a Blow to Plaintiff Paradise (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Wed., Jul. 26, 2017

Stabenow, Peters to meet with judicial nominee Larsen (The Detroit News)
Mon., Jul. 24, 2017

Louisville attorney John Bush confirmed 51-47 for seat on federal court of appeals (Courier-Journal)
Thu., Jul. 20, 2017

Supreme Court lets Trump administration reinstate travel ban restrictions on refugees but not on grandparents (Los Angeles Times)
Wed., Jul. 19, 2017

Agenda for Montana's federal appellate court meeting on topics that draw Trump's ire (AP, via The Missoulian)
Mon., Jul. 17, 2017

Virginia Supreme Court ruling upholds pipeline surveying law; challenges still possible
Thu., Jul. 13, 2017

U.S. Senate panel OKs John K. Bush for appeal courts despite 'provocative' posts (Courier-Journal)
Thu., Jul. 13, 2017

U.S. Senate unanimously confirms David Nye for Idaho federal judgeship (Boise State Public Radio)
Wed., Jul. 12, 2017

First federal district judge approved under Trump Administration is from Idaho (Idaho Statesman)
Wed., Jul. 12, 2017

Trump gets first chance to shape powerful appeals court (Greenwire)
Tue., Jul. 11, 2017

Trump faces decision on new ethics chief (The Hill)
Tue., Jul. 11, 2017

Trump's challenges escalate, with son's email of 'love' for Russia help (The Christian Science Monitor)
Tue., Jul. 11, 2017

New GM bellwethers turn to fight over revised ignition part (Law360)
Mon., Jul. 10, 2017

U.S. ethics chief who pressured Trump resigns (Politico)
Thu., Jul. 6, 2017

Walter Shaub, head of government ethics office who feuded with Trump, resigns (USA Today)
Thu., Jul. 6, 2017

New disclosure forms show lasting impact of McDonnell case (WVTF)
Wed., Jul. 5, 2017

Op-ed: Why Trump should renominate Inga Bernstein for the District of Massachusetts (The Hill)
Wed., Jul. 5, 2017

Senate Democrats embrace extreme vetting of Trump's court picks (The Washington Times)
Tue., Jul. 4, 2017

Trump's Michigan judicial nominee hits a snag (The Detroit News)
Tue., Jul. 4, 2017

Professor A. E. Dick Howard, scholars file amicus brief in Virginia gerrymandering case (University of Virginia School of Law)
Fri., Jun. 30, 2017

Supreme Court on Trump's travel ban: Why its tone sounds a bit different (The Christian Science Monitor)
Tue., Jun. 27, 2017

State Supreme Court rules against Daily Press on access to court records (Daily Press)
Thu., Jun. 29, 2017

Trump gets green light for partial travel ban (The HIll)
Mon., Jun. 26, 2017

Supreme Court will hear Colorado gay wedding cake case (The Denver Post)
Mon., Jun. 26, 2017

Donald Trump is in the perfect position to dramatically remake the courts (Huffington Post)
Thu., Jun. 22, 2017

Supreme court poised to examine Trump's travel ban (The Guardian)
Thu., Jun. 22, 2017

Cruz a 'no' vote on new Senate GOP health care plan (Chron)
Thu., Jun. 22, 2017

Trump pick for 'rather esoteric court' fuels political storm (Greenwire)
Wed., Jun. 21, 2017

With resignation, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick finally found a battle he wasn't willing to fight (Los Angeles Times)
Wed., Jun. 21, 2017

Law profs offer theories for Cosby outcome (Law.com)
Mon., Jun. 19, 2017

Bill Cosby trial: Mistrial declared after jury deadlocks (CNN)
Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

Supreme Court weighs fate of Trump travel ban order (The Hill)
Thu., Jun. 15, 2017

Uber CEO pays a price for breaking the rules (Los Angeles Times)
Tue., Jun. 13, 2017

Uber board puts CEO Travis Kalanick on leave: report (Oregon Live)
Sun., Jun. 11, 2017

Top Uber exec Emil Michael departs the company as Kalanick's fate remains in doubt (The Washington Post)
Mon., Jun. 12, 2017

Courts considered Trump's Twitter in ruling (U.S. News)
Mon., Jun. 12, 2017

Uber's board shakes up company leadership, forcing out a top exec (The Washington Post)
Sun., Jun. 11, 2017

In emergency meeting, Uber board weighs top executives' fate (SFGate)
Sun., Jun. 11, 2017

Questions over obstruction likely to persist (San Antonio News-Express)
Thu., Jun. 8, 2017

Atlanta attorney nominated by Trump to head FBI (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Wed., Jun. 7, 2017

Trump nominates U.S. District Court judge in Fargo to federal appeals court (Grand Forks Herald)
Wed., Jun. 7, 2017

Confirmation of Nye as next Idaho federal judge on Senate judiciary agenda for tomorrow morning
Wed., Jun. 7, 2017

President Trump nominates Allison Eid to fill Neil Gorsuch's seat on 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (The Denver Post)
Wed., Jun. 7, 2017

AbbVie faces first of thousands of men suing over AndroGel testosterone drug (FiercePharma)
Tue., Jun. 6, 2017

AbbVie testosterone gel faces scrutiny as first trial begins (The Washington Post with Bloomberg)
Mon., Jun. 5, 2017

Trump's DOJ submitted 'watered down' version of his travel ban to Supreme Court (The New American)
Mon., Jun. 5, 2017

Trump tweets might undercut travel ban case (The Hill)
Mon., Jun. 5, 2017

No one said taking on drug companies would be easy (Crain's Cleveland Business)
Fri., Jun. 2, 2017

Op-ed: Nominating Diane Humetewa for seat on appeals court (Los Angeles Review of Books)
Fri., Jun. 2, 2017

Op-ed: After a ruling on Trump's travel ban, all eyes are on the 4th Circuit (The Washington Post)
Fri., Jun. 2, 2017

U.S. state, local government lawsuits over opioids face uphill battle (Reuters)
Fri., Jun. 2, 2017

Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson ask for more federal judges for Florida (The Florida Times-Union)
Fri., Jun. 2, 2017

Trump travel ban on shaky ground (The Hill)
Sun., May. 28, 2017

Trump travel ban: White House appealing to Supreme Court after block upheld (The Guardian)
Thu., May. 25, 2017

Senate confirms Judge Thapar to 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (The Washington Times)
Thu., May. 25, 2017

Every Democrat votes to block Trump's federal court nominee. Looks like payback. (McClatchy, via The Tribune)
Wed., May. 24, 2017

Using pen name, judicial nominee wrote slavery and abortion are our 'greatest tragedies' (Courier-Journal)
Wed., May. 24, 2017

How Uber and Waymo ended up rivals in the race for driverless cars (The New York Times)
Wed., May. 17, 2017

Judge tells Uber to return Waymo files taken by engineer (Seattle Times)
Mon., May. 15, 2017

Op-ed: Comey's gone, now how do we replace him at the FBI? (The Hill)
Mon., May. 15, 2017

Uber engineer barred from work on key self-driving technology, judge says (The New York Times)
Mon., May. 15, 2017

Gov. Scott presses for dike funds (The News-Press)
Sun., May. 14, 2017

Judge asks federal prosecutors to investigate Uber in trade secret case (The Washington Post)
Fri., May. 12, 2017

Candidate for FBI post may not be qualified (U.S. News)
Thu., May. 11, 2017

Justice official's reputation for impartiality is tested by Comey firing (The New York Times)
Wed., May. 10, 2017

Comey's shadow looms over high-stakes search for next FBI director (Washington Times)
Wed., May. 10, 2017

Justice official's reputation for impartiality is tested by Comey firing (The New York Times)
Wed., May. 10, 2017

Early judgment: The right cheers new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch's first weeks on the court
Wed., May. 10, 2017

Maurice Greenberg loses bid for damages from AIG bailout (The New York Times)
Tue., May. 9, 2017

Greenberg loses battle over damages related to AIG bailout (Financial Times)
Tue., May. 9, 2017

Firing of FBI director concerns, confuses Dem, GOP lawmakers (San Francisco Chronicle)
Tue., May. 9, 2017

Other presidents clash with FBI directors, but rarely fire them (McClatchy)
Tue., May. 9, 2017

Trump's travel ban faces new test (The Express Tribune)
Mon., May. 8, 2017

Trump renominates Idaho Judge Nye for long-vacant federal judgeship (The Spokesman-Review)
Mon., May. 8, 2017

Trump travel ban: federal appeals court hears arguments in crucial next stage (The Guardian)
Mon., May. 8, 2017

Federal appeals court in Richmond to hear Trump immigration appeal today (Richmond Times Dispatch)
Sun., May. 7, 2017

Trump's new travel ban faces key test in appeals court (AP, via AL.com)
Sat., May. 6, 2017

Federal appeals court in Richmond to hear Trump immigration appeal Monday (The Daily Progress)
Sat., May. 6, 2017

Fla. senators, not a commission, will recommend U.S. attorneys. Will this make prosecutors political? (The Florida Times-Union)
Thu., May. 4, 2017

Circuit court nominees in the Trump administration: a nationwide round-up (Above the Law)
Mon., May. 1, 2017

Six things to know about breaking up the 9th Circuit (Washington Examiner)
Fri., Apr. 28, 2017

Trump takes up GOP tradition of bashing 9th Circuit, aka '9th Circus' (The Washington Post)
Thu., Apr. 27, 2017

Donald Trump's first lower court nominee is fine with the president trashing judges (Huffington Post)
Wed., Apr. 26, 2017

Trump tweets about judges become fodder in 6th Circuit confirmation (The National Law Journal)
Wed., Apr. 26, 2017

J&J, Bayer accused of hiding Xarelto's dangers, face 18,000 patient lawsuits (Chicago Tribune)
Tue., Apr. 25, 2017

Kentucky's Thapar, Trump appeals court nominee, will get hearing Wednesday (89.3 WFPL)
Tue., Apr. 25, 2017

Supreme Court: GM can't avoid defective ignition-switch lawsuits (Detroit Free Press)
Mon., Apr. 24, 2017

GM appeal of ignition switch ruling rejected by high court (AP, via U.S. News)
Mon., Apr. 24, 2017

Federal judge issues injunction to block Arkansas executions (CNN)
Sat., Apr. 15, 2017

Post-trial risk drove Rolling Stone defamation settlement (WCVE)
Wed., Apr. 12, 2017

Conservatives urge Trump to use slew of court vacancies to reshape legal system (The Washington Times)
Sun., Apr. 9, 2017

Pugh names federal Judge Andre Davis as Baltimore's new city solicitor

Supreme Court enters new era, raising conservative hopes (The Hill)
Sat., Apr. 8, 2017

Neil Gorsuch heads to a Supreme Court changed by his appointment (The Christian Science Monitor)
Fri., Apr. 7, 2017

Senate confirms Supreme Court pick Gorsuch (The Washington Times)
Fri., Apr. 7, 2017

N.C. wants full appeals court to re-hear Yadkin River suit (WFAE)
Thu., Apr. 6, 2017

Can Trump's Justice Department undo police reform (The Atlantic)
Tue., Apr. 4, 2017

The coming battle over the filibuster's blue-hued cousin (Ozy)
Tue., Apr. 4, 2017

Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals executive to retire after 45 years (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Thu., Mar. 30, 2017

Judge to rule later on Trump University case involving Fort Lauderdale attorney (Sun Sentinel)
Thu., Mar. 30, 2017

Is Trump stalling a travel ban appeal at 9th Circuit? (Politico)
Thu., Mar. 30, 2017

Early 2017 Archives

2016 Archives

2015 Archives

2013-2014 Archives

Education
B.A., Duke University 1968
LL.B., University of Virginia 1972
Contact Information
Room 323 Law School
(804) 287-6440
(804) 289-8683 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Federal Courts and Judicial Selection
Constitutional Law
Torts
Product Liability