Michael G. Collins

  • Joseph M. Hartfield Professor of Law

Michael Collins teaches Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Conflict of Laws and Evidence. Before coming to UVA, where he is currently the Joseph M. Hartfield Professor of Law, Collins taught at Tulane Law School, where he was the Robert A. Ainsworth Professor of Law.

Prior to attending law school, Collins earned a graduate degree in classical languages and literature and an undergraduate degree in history and classics. After law school, he practiced commercial and employment law in Los Angeles, practiced civil rights law in New Orleans, and was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He has also been a visiting professor at Boston University, George Washington, Ohio State and Richmond. While at Tulane, he was a three-time recipient of the law school's distinguished teaching award. And in 2013, he was a recipient of the University of Virginia's All-University Teaching Award.

Collins’ research interests lie in the areas of federal courts, procedure and legal history. His recently published works include the casebook Transnational Civil Litigation (with Joachim Zekoll and George Rutherglen), an article on the obligation of state courts to entertain sister-state claims (with Ann Woolhandler) and an article titled "Reconstructing Murdock v. Memphis." His writings have appeared in the California, Columbia, Emory, Georgetown and Virginia law reviews. He has also co-authored casebooks on federal jurisdiction and on first-year civil procedure, and he has published a handbook on constitutional tort litigation.


  • J.D.
    Harvard Law School
  • M.A.
    Stanford University
  • B.A.
    Pomona College


Bad Faith Prosecution (with Jonathan Remy Nash & Ann Woolhandler), Virginia Law Review (2023).


The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials (with Joel Wm. Friedman), West Academic (5 ed. 2017).
The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials (with Joel Wm. Friedman), West (4 ed. 2013).
Transnational Civil Litigation (with George Rutherglen & Joachim Zekoll), Foundation (2013).
The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials (with Joel Wm. Friedman), Thomson Reuters/West (3 ed. 2010).
The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials (with Joel Wm. Friedman & Jonathan M. Landers), Thomson Reuters/West (2 ed. 2006).
Federal Courts: Theory and Practice (with Robert N. Clinton & Richard A. Matasar), Little, Brown (1996).

Book Chapters

Overcoming Sovereign Immunity: Causes of Action for Enforcing the Constitution (with Ann Woolhandler), in The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution, Cambridge University Press, 165–184 (2018).
The Story of Tarble’s Case: State Habeas and Federal Detention (with Ann Woolhandler), in Federal Courts Stories, Foundation Press, 141–161 (2010).

Articles & Reviews

The Certificate of Division and the Early Supreme Court (with Jonathan Remy Nash), 94 Southern California Law Review 733–786 (2021).
Was Bivens Necessary? (with Ann Woolhandler), 96 Notre Dame Law Review 1893–1921 (2021).
Inmate Constitutional Claims and the Scienter Requirement (with Ann Woolhandler), 98 Washington University Law Review 645–669 (2020).
State Jurisdictional Independence and Federal Supremacy (with Ann Woolhandler), 72 Florida Law Review 73–125 (2020).
Reining-In State Standing (with Ann Woolhandler), 94 Notre Dame Law Review 2015–2031 (2019).
Judicial Federalism under Marshall and Taney (with Ann Woolhandler), 2017 Supreme Court Review 337–384 (2018).
Jurisdictional Discrimination and Full Faith and Credit (with Ann Woolhandler), 63 Emory Law Journal 1023–1087 (2014).
Reconstructing Murdock v. Memphis, 98 Virginia Law Review 1439–1500 (2012).
Prosecuting Federal Crimes in State Courts (with Jonathan Remy Nash), 97 Virginia Law Review 141–161 (2011).
Federal Question Jurisdiction and Justice Holmes (with Ann Woolhandler), 84 Notre Dame Law Review 2151–2189 (2009).
M'Culloch and the Turned Comma, 12 The Green Bag Second Series 265–275 (2009).
Jurisdictional Exceptionalism, 93 Virginia Law Review 1829–1898 (2007).
Justice Iredell, Choice of Law, and the Constitution: A Neglected Encounter, 23 Constitutional Commentary 163–178 (2006).
Judicial Independence and the Scope of Article III - A View from The Federalist, 38 University of Richmond Law Review 675–704 (2004).
The Diversity Theory of the Alien Tort Statute, 42 Virginia Journal of International Law 649–686 (2002).
October Term, 1896 - Embracing Due Process, 45 American Journal of Legal History 71–97 (2001).
The Article III Jury (with Ann Woolhandler), 87 Virginia Law Review 587–699 (2001).
Judicial Federalism and the Administrative States (with Ann Woolhandler), 87 California Law Review 613–702 (1999).
Justice Bradley's Civil Rights Odyssey Revisited, 70 Tulane Law Review 1979–2002 (1996).
Article III Cases, State Court Duties, and the Madisonian Compromise, 1995 Wisconsin Law Review 39–198 (1995).
State Standing (with Ann Woolhandler), 81 Virginia Law Review 387–520 (1995).
Whose Federalism?, 9 Constitutional Commentary 75–86 (1992).
The Conspiracy Theory of the Eleventh Amendment, 88 Columbia Law Review 212–246 (1988).
The Unhappy History of Federal Question Removal, 71 Iowa Law Review 717–774 (1986).

Current Courses

All Courses

Federal Courts
Civil Procedure
Civil Rights Litigation
Conflict of Laws
Slavery and the Constitution
Transnational Litigation

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