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James Gordley

W.R. Irby Chair in Law
BA, 1967, MBA, 1968, University of Chicago; JD, 1970, Harvard University 

E-mail:  jgordley@tulane.edu
Telephone:  504.865.5971

Office:  Weinmann Hall, Room 255-B


James Gordley specializes in comparative and contract law. He came to Tulane Law School in 2007 from the University of California, Berkeley, where he had been a law faculty member since 1978. He was a fellow at the Institute of Comparative Law at the University of Florence, an associate with the Boston firm of Foley Hoag & Eliot and an Ezra Ripley Thayer Fellow at Harvard before beginning his teaching career.

Gordley has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, a Senior NATO Fellow and a fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. He has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Fribourg, Regensburg, Munich, Milan and Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi; a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Law in Hamburg, the European University Institute in Fiesole and the University of Cologne; and the Jean Monnet Distinguished Professor in Comparative Law at the University of Trent. He received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction in 2001. Tulane Law School’s graduating class of 2010 selected him for the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the European Law Institute, a titulary member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of several books, including The Jurists: A Critical HistoryFoundations of Private Law, An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Private Law (with Arthur von Mehren); The Enforceability of Promises in European Contract Law; and The Philosophical Origins of Modern Contract Doctrine.

Professor Gordley's CV

Fall 2016 - Contracts
Spring 2017 - Comparative Private Law

View publications by clicking the categories.
Articles Book Reviews Books Editorial Projects Encyclopaedia Titles

The State's Private Law and Legal Academia, 56 AM. J. COMP. L. 639 (2008)
Takings, 82 TUL. L. REV. 1505 (2008)
“When is the Use of Foreign Law Possible? A Hard Case: The Protection of Privacy in Europe and the United States,” published with the proceedings of the Louisiana State University Symposium on “Law Making in a Global World,” 67 Louisiana Law Review 1073 (2007).
“Morality and Contract: The Question of Paternalism," published with the proceedings of the conference “Law and Morality,” held at the William and Mary School of Law, March, 2006, 48 William and Mary Law Review 1733 (2007).
“Comparative Law and Legal History,” The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law 753 (Oxford University Press, 2006).
“Damages Under the Necessity Doctrine,” Issues in Legal Scholarship, Symposium: Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation Co. and the Doctrine of Necessity (2005): Article 2. http://www.bepress.com/ils/iss7/art2
“The Future of European Contract Law on the Basis of Europe's Heritage,” [2005] The European Review of Contract Law 163.
“Impossibility and Changed and Unforeseen Circumstances,” 52 The American Journal of Comparative Law 602 (2004).
“Mistake in Contract Formation,” 52 The American Journal of Comparative Law 433 (2004).
“Takings: What Does Matter?” 31 The Ecology Law Quarterly 291 (2004).
“The Foreseeability Limitation on Liability in Contract,” in Towards a European Civil Code 215 (A.S. Hartkamp & C. von Bar, eds., 3rd ed., Nijmegen & Kluwer, 2004).
“The Universalist Heritage,” in Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and Transitions 31 (P. Legrand & R. Munday, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2003).
“The Rule Against Recovery in Negligence for Pure Economic Loss: An Historical Accident?” in Recovery for Pure Economic Loss in European Tort Law 25 (V. Palmer & M. Bussani, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2003).
“Reconceptualizing the Protection of Dignity in Early Modern Europe: Greek Philosophy Meets Roman Law” in “Ins Wasser geworfen und Ozeane durchquert” Festschrift für Knut Wolfgang Nörr 281 (M. Aschreri, F. Ebel, M. Heckel, A. Padoa-Schioppa, Pöggeler, F. Ranieri & W. Rütten, eds., Böhlau Verlag, 2003).
“Morality and the Protection of Dissent,” 1 Ave Maria Law Review 127 (2003).
“Servitudes,” 3 Global Jurist Frontiers http://www.bepress.com/gj/frontiers/vol3/iss1/art3 (2003).
“Contract,” in Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies 3 (P. Cane & M. Tushnet, eds., Oxford University Press, 2003).
“Why Look Backward,” 50 The American Journal of Comparative Law 657 (2002).
“The Moral Foundations of Private Law,” 47 The American Journal of Jurisprudence 1 (2002).
“Restitution Without Enrichment?  Change of Position and Wegfall der Bereicherung,” in The Law of Unjustified Enrichment 227 (D. Johnston & R. Zimmermann, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2002).
“The Origin of Riparian Rights,” in Themes in Comparative Law in Honour of Bernard Rudden  107 (P. Birks & A. Pretto, eds., Oxford University Press, 2002).
“Economics and the Cardinal Virtues: The Ethics of Profit-Seeking,” in Rethinking the Purpose of Business: Interdisciplinary Essays from the Catholic Social Tradition 65 (S.A. Cortright & M.J. Naughton, eds., University of Notre Dame Press, 2002).
“Water Rights,” in Law and Justice in a Multistate World: Essays in Honor of Arthur T. von Mehren 683 (J.A.R. Nafziger & S. Symeonides, eds., Transnational Press, 2002).
“Labor and Commutative Justice,” in Labor, Solidarity and the Common Good: Ethical Perspectives for Management 43 (S.A. Cortright, ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2001).
“When Would Private Law Excuse Payment of a Money Debt?” in Debt Beyond Contract  La Dette au delà du Contrat 29 (E. Dommen, ed.,  Observatoire de la Finance, 2001).
  “A Perennial Misstep: From Cajetan to Fuller and Perdue to “Efficient Breach,” Issues in Legal Scholarship  (Online Edition): (2001): Article 4.
 “Comparative Law and Legal Education,” published with the proceedings of the Centennial World Conference on Comparative Law, 75 Tulane Law Review 1003 (2001).
“The Common Law in the 20th Century: Some Unfinished Business,” 88 California Law Review 1817 (2000).
“The Achievement of Baldus de Ubaldis (132?-1400),” [2000] Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 820.
“Mapping Private Law,” in Making European Law  Essays on the “Common Core” Project 27 (U. Mattei & M. Bussani, eds., Università degli Studi di Trento, 2000), reprinted in The Common Core of European Law 61(M. Bussani & U. Mattei, eds., Kluwer, 2002).
 “Contract Law in the Aristotelian Tradition,” in The Theory of Contract Law  New Essays 265 (P. Benson, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2000).
 “Legal Reasoning: Some Parallels in Common Law and Civil Law,” in Different Legal Cultures -- Convergence of Legal Reasoning 63 (H.D. Assmann, G. Brüggemeier, R. Sethe, eds., Nomos-Verlag, 2000).
 “The Principle Against Unjustified Enrichment,” in Gedächtnisschrift für Alexander Lüderitz 213 (K. Luig, H. Schack & H. Wiedemann, eds., C.H. Beck Verlag, 2000).
 “Good Faith in Contract Law in the Medieval Ius Commune,” in Good Faith in European Contract Law 93 (R. Zimmermann & S. Whittaker, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2000).
“The Purpose of Awarding Restitutionary Damages  A Reply to Professor Weinrib,” 1 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 39 (2000).
 “Good Faith and Profit Maximization,” 19 Review of Business 11 (1998).
 “Is Comparative Law a Distinct Discipline?” 46 The American Journal of Comparative Law 701 (1998).
“Responsibility in Crime, Tort, and Contract for the Unforeseeable Consequences of an Intentional Wrong: A Once and Future Rule?” in The Law of Obligations  Essays in Celebration of John Fleming 175 (P. Cane & J. Stapleton, eds., Oxford University Press, 1998).
“Contract, Property and the Will--The Civil Law and Common Law Traditions,” in The State and Freedom of Contract 66 (H. Scheiber, ed., Stanford University Press, 1998).
“Codification and Legal Scholarship” published with the proceedings of the American Society of Comparative Law Symposium on “Law in the Twenty-First Century,” 31 Davis Law Journal 735 (1998), Chinese translation, “Fa dian bian zuan yu fa lu zue shu,” 1 Si fa yan jiu [Private  Law Review] 52 (2002).
“Immissionsschutz, Nuisance and Troubles de Voisinage in Comparative and Historical Perspective,” [1998] Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 13.
“When Paths Diverge: A Response to Albert Alschuler on Oliver Wendell Holmes,” 49 University of Florida Law Review 441 (1997).
Ardor quaerens intellectum: Sex within Marriage according to the Canon Lawyers and the Theologians of the 12th and 13th Centuries,” 83 Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte Kanonistische Abteilung 305 (1997).
“Contract and Delict: Toward a Unified Law of Obligations,” 1 Edinburgh Law Review 345 (1997).
“Law . . . and the Imagination?” 1 Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 128 (1997).
“Contract in Pre-Commercial Societies and in Western History,” Chapter 2 of Volume VII, Contracts in General (A. von Mehren, ed.) of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (1997).
 “An American Perspective on the Unidroit Principles,” Saggi, conferenze e seminari no. 22, Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero (Rome, 1996).
 “Protecting Possession” (with Ugo Mattei), 44 The American Journal of Comparative Law 293 (1996).
“Tort Law in the Aristotelian Tradition,” in Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law: A Collection of Essays 131 (D. Owen, ed., Oxford University Press, 1995), reprinted in Lecturas sobre el pensamiento político y jurídico de Aristóteles 71 (S. Rus Rufino, ed., Universidad de León & Universidad de Sevilla, 1999).
“Comparative Legal Research and its Function in the Development of Harmonized Law  An American Perspective,” in Towards Universal Law  Trends in National, European and International Lawmaking, 5 De Lege  Juridiska Fakulteten I Uppsala Årsbok 37 (1995), reprinted 43 American Journal of Comparative Law 555 (1995).
“Enforcing Promises,” 83 California Law Review 547 (1995), also published as Working Paper No. 94-13, Working Paper Series, Program in Law and Economics, Center for the Study of Law and Society, School of Law, University of California at Berkeley.
“The Cultural Justification of Unearned Income: An Economic Model of Merit Goods Based on Aristotelian Ideas of Akrasia and Distributive Justice” (with Robert Cooter), in Profits and Morality 150 (R. Cowan & M. Rizzo, eds., University of Chicago Press, 1995).
 “Myths of the French Civil Code,” 42 The American Journal of Comparative Law 459 (1994). reprinted in Lecturas sobre el pensamiento y politico de la Europa de las nacionalidades Actas del congreso internacional “Racionalismo  y nacionalismo en la Europa Moderna, León 26-29 de Octubre de 1999 (S. Rus Rufino, ed., University of León, 2000).
“Common law und civil law: eine überholte Unterscheidung,” [1993] Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 498; Italian version, “Common Law v. Civil Law: una distinzione che va scomparendo?” in 1 Scritti in onore di Rodolfo Sacco 559 (P. Cendon, ed., 1994).
“Mere Brilliance: The Recruitment of Law Professors in the United States,” 41 American Journal of Comparative Law 367 (1993).
“Humanists and Scholastics,” in Essays on Law and Religion  The Berkeley and Oxford Symposia in Honour of David Daube 13 (The Robbins Collection, Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley, 1993).
“Profili della disciplina dei fondi pensione nel diritto americano” (with A. Candian), 4 Diritto ed economia dell'assicurazione 695 (1992).
“La teoria della persona giuridica negli Stati Uniti,” 90 Rivista del diritto commerciale e del diritto generale delle obbligazioni 1069 (1992).
“The Rights of Organizations,” 26(2) Listening 134 (1991).
“Natural Law Origins of the Common Law of Contract,” in Towards a General Law of Contract (J. Barton, ed., Duncker & Humbolt, Berlin, 1990) 367 (volume 8 of Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History, H. Coing & K. Nörr, eds.).
Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas on Law and Justice (Legal Classics Library, Birmingham, Ala., 1988).
“Law and Religion: An Imaginary Conversation with a Medieval Jurist,” 4 Journal of Law and Religion 193 (1986); reprinted 75 California Law Review 169 (1987); Spanish translation (by Salvador Rus Rufino) “Derecho y Religión.  Una Conversacion Imaginaria con un Jurista Medieval, 33 Persona y Derecho  Revista de fundamentación de las Instituciones Juridicas y de Derechos Humanos 179 (1995).
“Legal Reasoning: An Introduction,” 72 California Law Review 138 (1984).
“Equality in Exchange,” 69 California Law Review 1587 (1981), reprinted in The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory, 2 Contract Law 3 (L. Alexander, ed., New York University Press, N.Y., 1991); reprinted in Aristotle and Modern Law, R.O. Brooks & J.B.Murphy, eds., Dartmouth Publ. Co., Aldershot, U.K., 2003).
“European Codes and American Restatements: Some Difficulties,” 81 Columbia Law Review 140 (1981), Chinese translation, “Ou zhou ge guo fa dian he mei guo de fa lu zhong shu: yi xie nan yi jie de bei lun,” 1 Si fa yan jiu [Prviate Law Review] 23 (2002).
“The Meaning of Equal Access to Legal Services,” 10 Cornell International Law Journal  220 (1977).
“Legal Aid: Modern Themes and Variations. Part Two: Variations on a Modern Theme, 24 Stanford Law Review 387 (1972) (Part One, by Mauro Cappelletti, appears at p. 347).

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