Kenneth S. Abraham

Kenneth S. Abraham

David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law
(434) 924-3616

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 life member of the American Law Institute. For 20 years he served on the ALI Council — the board of lawyers, judges and academics that governs the institute. He is also an adviser to the ALI’s “Restatement of Torts (Third)” and was the senior adviser to the “Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance.” He has served on a number of other boards and commissions concerned with tort law and insurance reform.

In 2024, Abraham won the William L. Prosser Award from the American Association of Law Schools — the highest award AALS gives in the field of torts — for “outstanding contributions in scholarship, teaching, and service.” Abraham was a 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 was the first law professor to be elected an honorary fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Abraham is the author of six books and more than 90 law review articles. 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” (6th ed. 2022), has become a basic text for first-year law students across the country. And his casebook, “Insurance Law and Regulation” (7th ed. 2020), has been used as the principal text in courses on insurance law in more than 100 American law schools.

Abraham has been a consulting counsel and an expert witness in a variety of major insurance coverage cases, involving commercial general liability, directors and officers liability, environmental cleanup liability, toxic tort and 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.

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