Carl W. Tobias

Williams Professor of 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.



President Donald Trump's War on Federal Judicial Diversity, 54 Wake Forest L. Rev. 531 (2019). 

Southern California Law Review Postscript92 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. No. 4 (forthcoming 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).

Commentary, Considering Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Bisexual Nominees for the Federal Courts, 90 Wash. U. L. Rev. 577 (2012).

Filling the Judicial Vacancies in a Presidential Election Year, 46 U. Rich. L. Rev. 985 (2012).

Justifying Diversity in the Federal Judiciary, 106 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 283 (2012). 

Saluting Judge Philip Pro's Quarter Century of Judicial Service, 12 Nev. L. J. 511 (2012).

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).

Assessing the Revised Arizona Local Rules of Federal Procedure, 39 Ariz. St. L.J. 521 (2007).

The Process Due Indefinitely Detained Citizens, 85 N.C. L. Rev. 1687 (2007).

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

McDonald's CEO pushed out after relationship with employee (Associated Press)
Mon., Nov. 4, 2019

McDonald's ousts CEO Steve Easterbrook after inappropriate relationship with employee (The Week Magazine)
Mon., Nov. 4, 2019

Trump Can't Block New York District Attorney's Tax Subpoena (Bloomberg)
Mon., Nov. 4, 2019

VSB holds 'unique' interview for W.D. judgeship (Virginia Lawyers Weekly)
Mon., Nov. 4, 2019

State Bar of Virginia deems Cullen 'highly qualified' for judgeship (The Roanoke Times)
Fri., Nov. 1, 2019

McDonald's sacks chief over relationship with employee (Financial Times)
Sun., Nov. 3, 2019

In party-line vote, Senate Judiciary Committee advances St. Louis County lawyer's nomination to federal judgeship (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
Thu., Oct. 31, 2019

Bayer's Roundup Headache Grows as Plaintiffs Pile Into Court (Bloomberg)
Wed., Oct. 30, 2019

Senate committee looks poised to endorse Jongbloed's nomination to U.S. District Court (Hartford Courant)
Wed., Oct. 30, 2019

What Happens Now to the More Than 1 Million People on the U.S.' Terrorist Watchlist (VICE News)
Fri., Sep. 6, 2019

Felicity Huffman to kick off sentencing of parents in college admissions case: Will judge 'send a message?' (USA Today)
Thu., Sep. 5, 2019

4 Key Takeaways As Ohio AG Fires Torpedo At Opioid MDL (Law360)
Thu., Sep. 5, 2019

Michigan's ban on flavored vaping products: What to know (Detroit Free Press)
Wed., Sep. 4, 2019

Attorney of the Year Finalist: Karen Gren Scholer (
Tue., Sep. 3, 2019

How the Johnson & Johnson Ruling Could Affect the Opioid Cases (Barron's)
Fri., Aug. 30, 2019

Washington County Judge Nominated To US 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Thu., Aug. 29, 2019

Okla. Judge orders drugmaker to pay $572M in opioid lawsuit (Newburgh Gazette)
Thu., Aug. 29, 2019

Okla.'s $572M Win In J&J Opioid Fight On Shaky Ground (Law 360)
Wed., Aug. 28, 2019

J&J verdict, sends opioid makers a billion-dollar warning (AFP)
Wed., Aug. 28, 2019

Johnson & Johnson to appeal $900m opioid ruling (Radio New Zealand)
Wed., Aug. 28, 2019

Oklahoma uses century-old property law to win J&J opioid suit -- other states could follow (CNBC)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

The GOP is confirming Trump judicial nominees it stalled under Obama (The Herald News)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

What risks lie ahead for Johnson & Johnson after $572M opioid ruling? (USA Today)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

The National Impact Of Oklahoma's Opioid Case (National Public Radio)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

Oklahoma wins case against drugmaker in historic opioid trial (CNN)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

Opioid trial judge could deliver biggest judgement in US history (CNN)
Mon., Aug. 26, 2019

4 Key Takeaways As Historic Opioid Ruling Wallops J&J (Law360)
Mon., Aug. 26, 2019

Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $572 Million For Role In Oklahoma Opioid Crisis (The Fix)
Mon., Aug. 26, 2019

The GOP is confirming Trump judicial nominees is stalled under Obama (Roll Call)
Mon., Aug. 26, 2019

Opioid crisis: All eyes on Oklahoma where judge could make $17B decision vs. drug giant (WRAL Tech Wire)
Mon., Aug. 26, 2019

Johnson & Johnson faces court judgment over opioids crisis (Financial Times)
Sun., Aug. 25, 2019

Plaintiff's Attorneys In Racial Gerrymandering Case Seek Millions In Legal Fees From State (VPM)
Sun., Aug. 25, 2019

Endo leads rally by opioid makers after making pact to avoid trial (Bloomberg)
Tue., Aug. 20, 2019

Judge bumped from case after slamming climate science event (Greenwire)
Fri., Aug. 16, 2019

New judicial opening spurs call to sit a new judge at Newport News federal courthouse (The Virginian-Pilot)
Thu., Aug. 15, 2019

Widows Of Troopers Killed In Copter Crash Sue For $50 Million (VPM, NPR News)
Thu., Aug. 15, 2019

Bayer Ready to Wind up Glyphosate Suits? (CHEManager)
Mon., Aug. 12, 2019

Controversial Weedkiller Sees Price Volatility (BBC News)
Fri., Aug. 9, 2019

Less than 6 weeks after bloodbath at Virginia Beach, Virginia rejects tougher gun laws (USA Today)
Tue., Jul. 9, 2019

Political victory for Democrats in Trump tax return lawsuit hinges on timing (The Hill)
Wed., Jul. 3, 2019

Oklahoma Portrays J&J as Opioid Crisis 'Kingpin' in Court Battle (Politico)
Wed., Jul. 3, 2019

Oklahoma attorney slams Johnson & Johnson witness in opioid trial (CNN)
Mon., Jul. 1, 2019

Bayer Roundup Legal Adviser Known for Fighting, Not Settling (Bloomberg)
Thu., Jun. 27, 2019

Torrance Catholic school case leads to rift on 9th Circuit (Los Angeles Times)
Tue., Jun. 25, 2019

This judicial nominee deserves a vote (Newsday)
Tue., Jun. 25, 2019

Opioid MDL Judge Seems Open To Novel Deal Approach (Law360)
Tue., Jun. 25, 2019

McFarland makes first appearance before Judiciary Committee (Portsmouth Daily Times)
Wed., May. 29, 2019

Mitch McConnell Plans To Change The Rules Again To Confirm Trump Judges (The Huffington Post)
Sun., Mar. 31, 2019

The Smollett hate crime case and why it won't go to trial (MSN)
Thu., Mar. 28, 2019

Monsanto ordered to pay $80 mn in Roundup cancer trial (Yahoo! News)
Thu., Mar. 28, 2019

Aux Etats-Unis, la liberté des procureurs de poursuivre... ou pas (L'OBS)
Thu., Mar. 28, 2019

$80 million awarded to man who jury says got cancer after Roundup exposure (CNN)
Wed., Mar. 27, 2019

Jury begins deliberations in Roundup trial phase 2 (Yahoo! News)
Wed., Mar. 27, 2019

Trump pick confirmed as new judge for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco Chronicle)
Wed., Mar. 27, 2019

Bridget Bade, Trump nominee and ASU alumna, confirmed to 9th Circuit (The Arizona Republic)
Tue., Mar. 26, 2019

Post-Mueller: How Will Special Counsel's Report Affect US Political Landscape? (Sputnik International)
Tue., Mar. 26, 2019

OxyContin maker to settle state's opioid claims for $270m (Financial Times)
Tue., Mar. 26, 2019

Purdue Pharma Reaches Deal to Settle Oklahoma Opioid Case (Bloomberg)
Mon., Mar. 25, 2019

Trump May Not Be Able To Tilt The Courts As Much As He Wants (The Huffington Post)
Sat., Mar. 23, 2019

Monsanto risk takes root with Bayer investors (Financial Times)
Wed., Mar. 20, 2019

Second U.S. jury finds Roundup - the weedkiller developed by Monsanto - caused cancer (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Tue., Mar. 19, 2019

Bayer shares slide after latest Roundup cancer ruling (Reuters)
Tue., Mar. 19, 2019

Early 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