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

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.

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.

Senator Chuck Grassley and Judicial Confirmations, 104 Iowa L. Rev. Online 31 (2019).

Filling the New York Federal District Court Vacancies, 76 Wash & Lee L. Rev. Online 1 (2019).

Southern California Law Review Postscript 92 S. Cal. L. Rev. Postscript 83 (2019).

Appointing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Judges in the Trump Administration, 95 Wash. U. L. Rev. Online 11 (2018).

Marriage Equality Comes to the Fourth Circuit, 75 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 2005 (2018).

President Donald Trump and Federal Bench Diversity, 74 Wash. & Lee. L. R. Online (2018).

Senate Blue Slips and Senate Regular Order, 36 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. Inter Alia (2018).

Curing the Federal Court Vacancy Crisis, 53 Wake Forest L. Rev. 883 (2018).

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

Confirming Supreme Court Justices in a Presidential Election Year, 94 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1093 (2017).

Nominating Judge Koh to the Ninth Circuit Again, 74 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 64 (2017).

Filling the Texas Federal Court Vacancies, 95 Texas L. Rev. See Also 170 (2017).

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

Judge Who Sentenced Roger Stone Is Feeling Heat from Trump (Voice of America)
Thu., Feb. 27, 2020

Looking At Changes Happening Within The Nation's Largest Federal Appeals Court (WBUR On Point)
Wed., Feb. 26, 2020

Britain starts hearing US case for extraditing Assange (Yahoo! News)
Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

In extradition bid, U.S. accuses Assange of endangering sources (The Hindu)
Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

Arizona's Senators Seek 5 New US District Judgeships (Law360)
Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

Julian Assange: He infuriated Washington. Now he's facing life in prison. (USA Today)
Sun., Feb. 23, 2020

Trump has flipped the 9th Circuit - and some new judges are causing a 'shock wave' (Los Angeles Times)
Sat., Feb. 22, 2020

Trump Boosts Conservative Lean of Key Circuit (Podcast) (Bloomberg)
Thu., Feb. 20, 2020

For Dicamba, the Future Is Lawsuits (CropLife)
Thu., Feb. 20, 2020

Roger Stone expected to challenge federal judge's sentencing, drag out case (The Washington Times)
Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

US Farmers Against BASF and Bayer (Bioplastics News)
Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

Dicamba Verdict Could Be A Precedent For Other Farmers' Suits (NPR: St. Louis Public Radio)
Tue., Feb. 18, 2020

Ban on Assault-Style Weapons Blocked in Virginia Senate (The Wall Street Journal)
Mon., Feb. 17, 2020

Bayer is facing a new wave of herbicide lawsuits - and this time it's not over Monsanto's Roundup (Fortune)
Mon., Feb. 17, 2020

Tesla Berlin Factory Risks Months-Long Legal Delay Over Wildlife (
Mon., Feb. 17, 2020

Trump makes mark on Texas judiciary (Austin American-Statesman)
Fri., Feb. 14, 2020

Bayer faces 'almost impossible' task of ending glyphosate-cancer litigation while its Roundup herbicide remains in stores (Genetic Literacy Project)
Fri., Feb. 14, 2020

Bayer Strives to End Lawsuits Over Roundup - While Still Selling It (The Wall Street Journal)
Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

Senate confirms former prosecutor as newest St. Louis federal judge (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

Senate confirms Alabama Judge Andrew Brasher for federal appeals court post (
Tue., Feb. 11, 2020

GOP senators want to confirm more judges. That could mean working with Democrats (Roll Call)
Tue., Feb. 11, 2020

Blue States Create Hurdle for Trump's 2020 Judicial Appointments (Bloomberg Law)
Tue., Feb. 11, 2020

Democrats offer their vision for remaking the courts (E&E News)
Mon., Feb. 10, 2020

Herring, other state AGs file lawsuit demanding addition of ERA to Constitution (The Washington Post)
Thu., Jan. 30, 2020

Virginia's Mark Herring, other state AGs, sue to have ERA recognized in U.S. Constitution (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
Thu., Jan. 30, 2020

A police search in Creighton Court leads to unusual hearing of full federal appeals court (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
Wed., Jan. 29, 2020

Trump legal team begins second day of arguments under Bolton furor (The Hill)
Mon., Jan. 27, 2020

2 Lawyers on Trump Defense Team Shared Epstein as a Client (U.S. News & World Report)
Fri., Jan. 24, 2020

Impeachment and 'Red Flag' Due Process (WRVA)
Fri., Jan. 24, 2020

The Senate won't vote to remove President Trump. But what happens if it did? (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Wed., Jan. 22, 2020

Heather Heyer's mom owns guns and says Democrats in Richmond, Virginia, are going too far (USA Today)
Mon., Jan. 20, 2020

Critics, lawyers agree: Chris Collins got lucky with 2-month sentence (The Buffalo News)
Sat., Jan. 18, 2020

UPDATE: Virginia Supreme Court rejects gun groups' bid to overturn Northam's gun ban at Capitol Square (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Fri., Jan. 17, 2020

Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team (The Hill)
Fri., Jan. 17, 2020

Virginia Votes to Ratify ERA, Setting Up Likely Legal Battle (The Wall Street Journal)
Thu., Jan. 16, 2020

UPDATE: Gun activists appeal to Virginia Supreme Court after judge rejects bid to halt gun ban in Capitol Square (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Thu., Jan. 16, 2020

Appeal filed after motion denied to overturn Northam's temporary weapons ban (CBS 6)
Thu., Jan. 16, 2020

With Trials Looming, Monsanto Looks to Settle Some Roundup Cases (
Thu., Jan. 16, 2020

Alabama NAACP among groups calling for halt to federal judgeship confirmation (
Wed., Jan. 15, 2020

In bipartisan vote, Senate approves former R.I. official to lead FEMA (Providence Journal)
Tue., Jan. 14, 2020

What¿s at stake for Iran after admitting it downed the Ukraine airliner (The Washington Post)
Sat., Jan. 11, 2020

Collins' record consistent on judicial confirmations (Press Herald)
Mon., Jan. 13, 2020

Roundup mediator is 'optimistic' about a 'comprehensive settlement' (St. Louis Business Journal)
Mon., Jan. 13, 2020

Bayer Roundup Mediator Is 'Optimistic' With Talks Heating Up (Claims Journal)
Fri., Jan. 10, 2020

Bayer Roundup Mediator Is 'Optimistic' With Talks Heating Up (Bloomberg)
Fri., Jan. 10, 2020

Celgene backs out of $55M drug monopoly settlement
Thu., Jan. 9, 2020

Why Mike Lee is mad about the Iran briefing (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Thu., Jan. 9, 2020

Divisive 5th Circ. Pick Snubbed On 2020 Renominations List (Law360)
Mon., Jan. 6, 2020

When Carlos Ghosn fled Japan, he left an old colleague behind (The Financial Times)
Mon., Jan. 6, 2020

Turkey Questions Pilots About Carlos Ghosn¿s Escape From Japan (The New York Times)
Thu., Jan. 2, 2020

How Trump Will Continue To Change The Courts In 2020 (Law360)
Wed., Jan. 1, 2020

Will President Trump finally fill a long-open seat on Milwaukee federal court? (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Tue., Dec. 31, 2019

The Peninsula hasn't had its own federal judge for nearly 200 years. That could soon end. (Daily Press)
Tue., Dec. 31, 2019

'Unconstitutional, Period': UVA legal scholar challenges legislative appointments to state executive boards (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Fri., Dec. 27, 2019

Charlottesville Lawsuit Drawn Out By Lack Of Compliance (VPM)
Mon., Dec. 23, 2019

Trump Appellate Pick Ozerden in Limbo With Senate Adjourned (Bloomberg Law)
Mon., Dec. 23, 2019

Boeing ousts chief executive Dennis Muilenburg (The Guardian)
Mon., Dec. 23, 2019

Trump's transformation of the courts barrels onward (The Associated Press)
Fri., Dec. 20, 2019

Trump Passes Judicial Confirmation Goal (Podcast) (Bloomberg)
Fri., Dec. 20, 2019

Trump presidency's most lasting impact? A transformed judiciary. (The Christian Science Monitor)
Thu., Dec. 19, 2019

2019 Archives

2017 - 2018 Archives

2017 Archives

2016 Archives

2015 Archives

2013 - 2014 Archives

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
Product Liability