David G. Epstein

George E. Allen Professor of Law


Professor David Epstein holds the Law School’s prestigious George E. Allen Chair and teaches in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial law, contract law, and corporations. He has also served as Dean at Emory University School of Law and the University of Arkansas Law School, held tenured law faculty positions at Southern Methodist University, University of North Carolina, University of Texas, and University of Alabama, taught as a visiting professor of law at Harvard, Georgetown, University of Michigan, New York University, and University of Chicago, and worked as a partner at King & Spalding. Professor Epstein has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters, and articles on bankruptcy, commercial law, and contract law. He is an elected member of the American College of Bankruptcy and the National Bankruptcy Conference.


Presenter, "Todos - the Story of Hugh, Kalil, Maria, and Ruth," 7th Applied Legal Story Telling Conference, Legal Writing Institute, Boulder, Colorado (July 2019).

Presenter, "The Illusion of Illusoriness," National Business Law Scholars Annual Conference, Berkeley (June 2019).

Presenter, "Bankruptcy Courts 2018," 45th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, Atlanta (March 2019).

Presenter, "Claims in Bankruptcy," Bankruptcy 2018, Practising Law Institute, New York (Dec. 2018).

Presenter, "Teaching Transactional Subjects - Harvard Business School and Law School," SALT Annual Teaching Conference, Society of American Law Teachers, Penn State Law School (Oct. 2018).

Presenter, "Teaching Conditions," 12th Annual International Conference on Contracts, Los Angeles (Feb. 2017).

Bar Admissions


Professional Experience

Allen Professor of Law (2010-present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA

Professor of Law (2003-2010)
Southern Methodist University School of Law

Charles E. Tweedy Professor of Law (1998-2003)
University of Alabama School of Law

Partner (1989-98)
King & Spalding, Atlanta, Ga.

Dean (1985-89)
Emory University School of Law

Professor of Law (1982-85)
University of Texas School of Law

Dean (1979-1982)
University of Arkansas  School of Law

Professor of Law (1974-79)
University of Texas School of Law

Assistant Professor & Associate Professor of Law (1970-74)
University of North Carolina School of Law



A Short and Happy Guide to Contracts (with Bruce Markell and Lawrence Ponoroff) (West) (1st ed. 2011) (2nd ed. forthcoming 2019).

Core Commercial Law Concepts (West Academic, 2018).

Uniform Commercial Code Article 9: Secured Transactions (West Academic 2018).

Basic Sales Finance: Selling and Financing Sales of Goods (West Academic 2018).

Bankruptcy (West 4th ed 2015) (with Bruce Markell, Lawrence Ponoroff, & Steve Nickles).

Business Structures (with Rich Freer, Mike Roberts & George Shepherd) (West) (3rd ed. 2010) (5th ed. 2018).

Contracts: Making and Doing Deals (with Bruce Markell and Lawrence Ponoroff) (West 5th ed. 2018).

Learning Core Commercial Concepts: Teaching Materials (West 2018).

Bankruptcy and Related Law in a Nutshell (West 9th ed. 2017).

Bankruptcy: Materials and Cases (3d ed. 2011) (with Bruce Markell et al.).

Students' Guide to Article 9 and Related Laws (West 2011).

Making and Doing Deals (West 3d ed. 2011) (with Bruce Markell and Lawrence Ponoroff).

Debtor-Creditor: Creditor Remedies and Debtor Rights Under State and Non-Bankruptcy Federal Law (West 2009).


An “APP” for Third Party Beneficiary Law, 91 Wash. L. Rev. 1663 (2016) (with Alexandra Cook et al.).

Not Just Anna Nicole Smith, Cleavage in Bankruptcy, 31 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 15 (2014) (with Casey Arial and David Smith).

Extrinsic Evidence, Parol Evidence, the Parol Evidence Rule: A Call for Courts to Use the Reasoning of the Restatements Rather than the Rhetoric of Common Law, 44 N.M. L. Rev. 49 (2014) (with Tim Archer and Shalayne Davis).

Fifty: Shades of Grey--Uncertainty About Extrinsic Evidence and Parol Evidence After All These UCC Years, 45 Ariz. St. L.J. 925 (2013) (with Adam Tate and William Yaris). 

Review, A Surprising Book, 12 Green Bag 2d 103 (2008). 

Response to Reasonable Expectations in Sociocultural Context, 1 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 54 (2011). 

Contract Law's Two "P.E.'s": Promissory Estoppel and the Parole Evidence Rule, 62 Baylor L. Rev. 397 (2010). 

Reliance on Oral Promises: Statute of Frauds and "Promissory Estoppel," 42 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 913 (2010). 


LL.M., Harvard Law School 1969

LL.B., University of Texas School of Law 1966

B.A., University of Texas 1964

Contact Information

Room 112, Law School
(804) 289-8922
(804) 289-8992 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise