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Walter J. Wadlington

James Madison Professor Emeritus
LL.B., Tulane University School of Law, 1954
A.B., Duke University, 1951

Walter J. Wadlington retired as James Madison Professor of Law in 2003, after a 40-year career at the Law School. His main research and teaching interests are in family law and law and medicine, and he served as Professor of Legal Medicine at the Medical School from 1979 to 2003. He co-teaches Medical Care for Children: Law, Economics, and Health Policy.

As a law student, Wadlington was editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He then practiced law in New Orleans, served in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps, and spent a year as a Fulbright scholar and tutor at the University of Edinburgh. Before coming to Virginia, he taught for two years at Tulane Law School. He has been a visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, and at Louisiana State University, University of North Carolina, and Southern Methodist University law schools. He also has been a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, and the visiting Tazewell Taylor Professor at the College of William & Mary.

Wadlington is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the American Law Institute. Between 1985 and 1991 he directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Medical Malpractice Program. He served on the national advisory committee of that Foundation's Clinical Scholars Program from 1988-97 and chaired the advisory board of its program on Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems, from 1994-98. He was a trustee-at-large of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates from 1996-2003. From 1991-95 Wadlington served on the National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction. He has chaired the Virginia State Bar Association Committee on Domestic Relations and was co-chair of the National Task Force on Day-Care Licensing. He was a member of the IOM study committees on Legal and Ethical Issues Relating to Inclusion of Women in Clinical Studies; Effects of Medical Professional Liability on Delivery of Maternal and Child Health Care; Availability of Improved Diagnostic Tests for Evaluation of Social Security Disability; and Environmental Justice. He has served on the board of the American Society of Law and Medicine and the editorial board of the Preservation Law Reporter. In 1988 he was awarded the Distinguished Health Law Teacher Award of the Health Law Teachers Section of the American Society of Law and Medicine.

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Children in the Legal System (with Samuel M. Davis, Elizabeth S. Scott, and Lois A. Weithorn) (Foundation Press, 5th ed. 2014).

Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials (with Raymond C. O’Brien and Robin Fretwell Wilson) (Foundation Press, 7th ed. 2013).

Family Law in Perspective (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2012).

Cases and Materials on Domestic Relations (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press , 3d ed. 2007).

Family Law In Perspective (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 2d ed.2007).

Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2007).

Children in the Legal System: Cases and Materials (with Samuel M. Davis, Elizabeth S. Scott, & Charles H. Whitebread) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 1997; 3d ed. 2004).

Family Law in Perspective (with Raymond C. O'Brien) (Foundation Press, 2001).

Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (The Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2000).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (with Raymond C. O'Brien) (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 1998).

Family Law Statutes, Treaties and Legislative Models (editor) (Foundation Press, 1995).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 1994).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (Foundation Press, 1984; 2d ed. 1990).

Cases and Materials on Children in the Legal System (with Charles H. Whitebread and Samuel M. Davis) (Foundation Press, 1983).

Statutory Materials on Family Law and Children in the Legal System (Foundation Press, 1981).

Separation and Divorce: Virginia Lawyers Handbook (editor) (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1976, 1980).

Cases and Materials on Law and Medicine (with Jon R. Waltz and Roger B. Dworkin) (Foundation Press, 1980).

Family Law & Practice (editor) (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (with Monrad G. Paulsen) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 1978).

Statutory Materials on Family Law (with Monrad G. Paulsen) (Foundation Press, 1971, 2d ed. 1974).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (with Monrad G. Paulsen and Julius Goebel Jr.) (Foundation Press, 1970, 2d ed. 1974).


"Some Reflections on Teaching Law and Medicine in Law School Since the ’60s," 14 Health Matrix 231 (2004).

"Marriage: An Institution in Transition and Redefinition," Chapter 11 in Sanford N. Katz, John Eekelar, and Mavis Maclean, Cross Currents: Family Law and Policy in the United States and England (Oxford University Press, 2000).

"Domestic Violence and the Health Care System," 35 Houston L. Rev. 1 (1998).

"Legal and Ethical Issues of Pediatric Medicine" (with T. A. Massaro, M.D.), Chapter 4 in R. A. Hoekelman, Primary Pediatric Care (Mosby,3d ed. 1997).

"Addressing the Problem of Medical Malpractice" (with Robert Berenson, Joel Cantor, and Julia Howard), Chapter 6 in Stephen L. Isaacs & James R. Knickman, eds., To Improve Medical Care, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Anthology (Jossey Bass, 1997).

"Symposium on Regulating Medical Innovation: Foreword," 82 Va. L. Rev. 1403-1405 (1996).

"New Directions in Family Law: Foreword," 81 Va. L. Rev. 20432044 (1995).

"Law Reform and Damages for Medical Injury in the United States," in Sheila A.M. McLean ed., Law Reform and Medical Injury Litigation 89-118 (Dartmouth, 1995).

"Report on Human Cloning through Embryo Splitting: An Amber Light" (as member of National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction), 4 Kennedy Inst. Ethics J. 251-282 (1994).

"Medical Decision Making for and by Children: Tensions between Parent, State, and Child," 1994 U. Ill. L. Rev. 311-336.

"The Lynchburg Story: A Review," Va. L. Sch. Wkly., Oct. 21, 1994, at 1, 3.

"Ethical Advice in Reproductive Medicine" (with others), 61 Fertility & Sterility 236-238 (1994).

"Contracts to Bear a Child: The Mixed Legislative Signals," 29 Idaho L. Rev. 383-410 (1993).

"A Medical Malpractice Crisis in 1995?: Some Conceivable Scenarios," 36 St. Louis U. L. J. 897-912 (1992).

"The United States: Renewed Focus on Children's Issues," 29 J. Fam. L. 471-480 (1991).

"Two 'No-Fault' Compensation Schemes for Birth Defective Infants in the United States" (with Warren J. Wood, III), 7 Prof. Negl. 40-44 (1991).

"Medical Injury Compensation: A Time for Testing New Approaches," 265 JAMA 2861 (1991).

"Legal Responses to Patient Injury: A Future Agenda for Research and Reform," Law & Contemp. Probs., Spring 1991, at 199-223.

"Foreword: Shifting Concepts of the Family and its Roles," 8 J. L. & Pol. 1-3 (1991).

"The United States: The Ongoing Role of the Courts in Reviewing State Regulation of Domestic Relations," 28 J. Fam. L. 643-652 (1990).

"The Health Care Profession. 1989 Revision," 1 BioLaw R:61-R:67 (1989).

"Baby M.: Catalyst for Family Law Reform?" 5 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 1-20 (1989).

"United States: The Continuing Debate about Surrogate Parenthood," 27 J. Fam. L. 321-328 (1988-89).

"Parents, Children, and the Courts: Foreword," 22 Ga. L. Rev. 845-850 (1988).

"FamilyLaw Begs for Broad Review: Technology Outdates Current Rules," NJ L. J., Feb. 18, 1988, at 31.

"United States: Continuing Reform to Reflect Social and Economic Realities," 26 J. Fam. L. 237-246 (1987).

"The Lawyer and Historic Preservation" (with Thomas R. White), Va. L. Sch. Rep., Spring 1987, at 7-14.

"Paying for Children's Medical Care: Interaction Between Family Law and Cost Containment," 36 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1190-1220 (1986).

"The Health Care Profession," 1 BioLaw 51-68 (1986).

"Courtship and Marriage," in Richard Balnave, ed., Family Law and Practice in Virginia 1-1 to 1-21 (Virginia Law Foundation, 1986).

"Biomedical Progress: The Challenges for Doctors and Lawyers," Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1985, at 4-8.

"Symposium: The Parent-Child Relationship and the Current Cycle of Family Law Reform: Prologue to the Symposium," 45 Ohio St. L. J. 307-311 (1984).

"Uniform Marital Property Act Symposium: Foreword," 21 Hous. L. Rev. 595-600 (1984).

"Breaking the Silence of Doctor and Patient (reviewing Katz, The Silent World of Doctor and Patient). 93 Yale L. J. 1640-1651 (1984).

Review of Krause, Child Support in America, 17 Fam. L. Q. 93-96 (1983).

"Artificial Conception: The Challenge for Family Law," 69 Va. L. Rev. 465-514 (1983).

"Virginia Domestic Relations Law: Recent Developments," 68 Va. L. Rev. 507-520 (1982).

"Virginia Domestic Relations Law: Recent Developments," 67 Va. L. Rev. 351-368 (1981).

"Monrad G. Paulsen," 3 Cardozo L. Rev. 11-15 (1981).

"Foreword" to Richard B. Lillich, ed., The Family in International Law: Some Emerging Problems (Third Sokol Colloquium) v-vii (Michie, 1981).

"Artificial Conception: Legislative Responses to Family Law Problems," Va. L. Wkly., Feb, 6, 1981, at 1-2, 4.

"Browning Hoffman: Tribute to a Teacher" (with Charles H. Whitebread), 66 Va. L. Rev. 423-425 (1980).

"Marriage Formation," in Family Law & Practice 11-22 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

"Courtship, Antenuptial Agreements, and Contracts in Lieu of Marriage," in Walter J. Wadlington, ed., Family Law & Practice 1-10 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

Statement in In-Vitro Fertilization -- Oversight 105-108. U.S. Congress. House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Hearing, Aug. 4, 1978.

Review of Glendon, State, Law and Family. 12 Fam. L. Q. 253-257 (1978).

"Marriage: Will the Law Accommodate the New Lifestyles?" Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1978, at 7-11.

"Teaching Law and Medicine in the United States," 14 J. Soc'y Pub. Tchrs. L. 96-102 (1977).

"Sexual Relations after Separation or Divorce: The New Morality and the Old and New Divorce Laws," 63 Va. L. Rev. 249-279 (1977).

"Adoption: The Rights of Parents versus the Best Interests of their Children" (with Andre P. Derdeyn), 16 J. Am. Acad. Child Psychiatry 238-255 (1977).

"New Legal Weapons for Enforcement of Child and Family Support: The Social Service Amendments of 1974," 1975-76 U. Va. L. Sch. Found. Ann. Rep. 15, 20.

"Physicians' Assistants -- A Challenge for Professional Liability Insurers," 27 CPCU Annals 290-297 (1974).

Laws on sex, marriage and divorce: what the physician should know. Marital & sexual counseling in medical practice 422-445 (D. Wilford Abse et al., eds.). 2d ed. Harper & Row, 1974.

"Minors and Health Care: The Age of Consent," 11 Osgoode Hall L. J. 115-125 (1973).

Review of Krause, Illegitimacy, 58 Va. L. Rev. 188-191 (1972).

"The Fifteenth Annual Survey of Virginia Law: 1969-1970: Domestic Relations," 56 Va. L. Rev. 1411-1418 (1970).

"A Case of Insanity and Divorce," 56 Va. L. Rev. 12-36 (1970).

"Artificial Insemination: The Dangers of a Poorly Kept Secret," 64 Nw. U. L. Rev. 777-807 (1970).

"A New Look at the Courts and Children's Rights," 16 Children 138-142 (1969).

"Modern Social Legislation: Its Challenge for the Modern Physician," Mod. Med., June 30, 1969, at 75-77.

"The Fourteenth Annual Survey of Virginia Law: 1968-1969: Domestic Relations," 55 Va. L. Rev. 1201-1207 (1969).

"Adoption of Adults: A Family Law Anomaly," 55 Cornell L. Rev. 566-584 (1969).

"The Thirteenth Annual Survey of Virginia Law: 1967-1968: Domestic Relations," 54 Va. L. Rev. 1215-1223 (1968).

"Selection of Patients for Artificial and Transplanted Organs" (with Harry S. Abram), 69 Annals Internal Med. 615-620 (1968).

"Medicare," 20 J. Legal Educ. 607-611 (1968).

"Current Family Law Articles," 2 Fam. L. Q. 441-444 (1968).

"Shotgun Marriage by Operation of Law," 1 Ga. L. Rev. 183-204 (1967).

"Portrait of the Judge as Popular Author: An Appeal for Anonymity and Restraint in Domestic Relations Opinions," Fam. L. Q., Dec. 1967, at 77-82.

"The Divorced Parent and Consent for Adoption," 36 U. Cin. L. Rev. 196-209 (1967).

"The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations," 53 Va. L. Rev. 1620-1623 (1967).

Review of Yiannopoulis, ed., Civil Law in the Modern World, 40 Tul. L. Rev. 691-694 (1966).

"Professor Discusses Juvenile Court Theory," Va. L. Wkly., Nov. 10, 1966, at 1-2, 4. Reprinted in 18 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 108-112 (1966-67).

"Minimum Age Difference as a Requisite for Adoption," 1966 Duke L. J. 392-414 (1966).

"The Loving Case: Virginia's Anti-Miscegenation Statute in Historical Perspective," 52 Va. L. Rev. 1189-1223 (1966).

"Divorce without Fault without Perjury," 52 Va. L. Rev. 32-87 (1966).

"Child Abuse: Legal Implications," in Roger J. Meyer, ed., Childhood Accidental Injury Symposium Proceedings 28-32 (University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1966).

"The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations," 52 Va. L. Rev. 1572-1588 (1966).

"The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations," 51 Va. L. Rev. 1426-1432 (1965).

"Adoption of Adults in Louisiana," 40 Tul. L. Rev. 1-20 (1965).

"The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations," 50 Va. L. Rev. 1470-1476 (1964).

Review of Smith, British Justice, 18 Reading Guide 31-32 (1963).

Review of Newman, ed., Essays in Jurisprudence in Honor of Roscoe Pound, 18 Reading Guide 31 (1963).

Review of Baer, Admiralty Law of the Supreme Court, 18 Reading Guide 63-64 (1963).

"Imputation of Payment: A Study in Obligations," 38 Tul. L. Rev. 31-52 (1963).

"The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations," 49 Va. L. Rev. 1418-1426 (1963).

"The Adopted Child and Intra-Family Marriage Prohibitions," 49 Va. L. Rev. 478-491 (1963).

"Conjunctive, Alternative, and Facultative Obligations in Louisiana," 37 Tul. L. Rev. 67-78 (1962).

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