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Torts, insurance law, environmental liability, product liability, toxic tort, property insurance, medical liability, tort theory, medical malpractice


Kenneth S. Abraham

David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law
J.D., Yale Law School, 1971
A.B., Indiana University, 1967

Kenneth Abraham is one of the nation’s leading scholars and teachers in the fields of torts and insurance law. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the board of lawyers, judges and academics that governs the Institute. He is also an advisor to the Project on the Principles of Insurance Law, and to the Restatement of Torts (Third.) He has served on many other boards and commissions concerned with tort law and insurance reform. Abraham has been a consulting counsel and an expert witness in a variety of major insurance coverage cases, involving directors and officers liability, environmental cleanup liability, toxic tort, products liability and property insurance claims. He has also served as an arbitrator for the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, resolving over 100 claims by women seeking damages for injuries caused by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device, both in the United States and Europe.

Abraham is a past recipient of the All-University of Virginia Outstanding Teacher Award, the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Certificate from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia for "outstanding achievement in teaching, research and public service,” and the American Bar Association's Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award, given for "outstanding contributions to tort and insurance law." He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Case Western Reserve Law School. He taught for nine years at the University of Maryland Law School before coming to Virginia in 1983.

Abraham is the author of more than 60 law review articles and five books. His first book, Distributing Risk: Insurance, Legal Theory, and Public Policy (1986), brought modern legal theory to the study of insurance law. His torts treatise, The Forms and Functions of Tort Law (4th ed. 2012), has become a basic text for first-year law students across the country. And his casebook, Insurance Law and Regulation (5th ed. 2010) has been used as the principal text in courses on insurance law in more than 100 American law schools.

Scholarship Profile: Insurance Law's Practical Theorist (Virginia Journal 1998)

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