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Stephen B. Burbank

David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice

Stephen Burbank

Stephen Burbank is the author of definitive works on federal court rulemaking, interjurisdictional preclusion, litigation sanctions, international civil litigation, and judicial independence and accountability. He is co-editor of Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Sage, 2002). Continue reading…


  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • Judicial Administration
  • Federal Courts
  • International Civil Litigation


[Available Here]

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Articles and Book Chapters

The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, the Media, and Litigation Retrenchment, 65 DEPAUL L. REV. 293 (2016) (with Sean Farhang).

Proportionality and the Social Benefits of Discovery: Out of Sight and Out of Mind?, 34 REV. LITIG 647 (2015).

Federal Court Rulemaking and Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, 15 NEV. L.J. 1559 (2015) (with Sean Farhang)

Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, 162 U. PA. L. REV 1543 (2014). (with Sean Farhang).

Private Enforcement of Statutory and Administrative Law in the United States (and Other Common Law Countries), in PROCEDURAL JUSTICE 197-318 (Peter Gottwald & Burkhard Hess, eds. 2014) (with Sean Farhang and Herbert M. Kritzer).

Private Enforcement, 17 LEWIS & CLARK L. REV. 637 (2013) (with Sean Farhang & Herbert M. Kritzer).

Whose Regulatory Interests? Outsourcing the Treaty Function, 45 NYU J. INT'L. L. & POL 1037 (2013)

A Tea Party at the Hague?, 18 SW. J. INT'L L. 629 (2012)

International Civil Litigation in U.S. Courts: Becoming A Paper Tiger?, 33 U. PA. J. INT’L L. 663 (2012).

Leaving the Bench, 1970-2009: The Choices Federal Judges Make, What Influences Those Choices, and Their Consequences, 161 U. PA. L. REV. 1 (2012). (with S. Jay Plager and Gregory Ablavsky).

On the Study of Judicial Behaviors: Law Politics, Science and Humility, in WHAT'S LAW GOT TO DO WITH IT? WHAT JUDGES DO, WHY THEY DO IT, AND WHAT'S AT STAKE (Charles Gardner Geyh ed., Stanford Law and Politics 2011).

Litigation and Democracy: Restoring a Realistic Prospect of Trial, 46 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 399 (2011) (with Stephen N. Subrin).

Redeeming the Missed Opportunities of Shady Grove, 159 U. PA. L. REV. 17 (2010) (with Tobias Barrington Wolff).

Straw, Sand, and Sophistry, 158 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 160 (2009).

Time Out, 158 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 148 (2009).

Pleading and the Dilemmas of Modern American Procedure, 93 JUDICATURE 109 (2009).

The Complexity of Modern American Civil Litigation: Curse or Cure?, 91 JUDICATURE 163 (2008).

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 in Historical Context: A Preliminary View, 156 U. PA. L. REV. 1439 (2008).

Judicial Independence, Judicial Accountability and Interbranch Relations, 95 GEO. L.J. 909 (2006).

Federalism and Private International Law: Implementing the Hague Choice of Court Convention in the United States, 2 J. PRIV. INT'L L. 287 (2006).

Aggregation on the Couch: The Strategic Uses of Ambiguity and Hypocrisy, 106 COLUM. L. REV. 1924 (2006).

Alternative Career Resolution II: Changing the Tenure of Supreme Court Justices, 154 U. PA. L. REV. 1511 (2006).

Vanishing Trials and Summary Judgment in Federal Civil Cases: Drifting Towards Bethlehem or Gomorrah?, 1 J. EMPIRICAL LEGAL STUD. 591 (2004).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Class Actions and the Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation (June 18, 2015), U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-12 (with Sean Farhang). (forthcoming)
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Procedure and Pragmatism, contribution to a Festschrift honoring Michele Taruffo (forthcoming). (forthcoming)
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Research Areas

  • Research Interests:
  • Federal Court Rulemaking
  • Interjurisdictional Preclusion
  • Comparative Procedure
  • Judicial Independence and Accountability
  • Conflict of Laws


Penn Law - David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice (1995- ); Acting Dean (1995); Robert G. Fuller, Jr., Professor of Law (1991-95); Professor of Law (1986-91); Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean (1983-85); Assistant Professor of Law (1979-83)

University of Pennsylvania - General Counsel (1975-79); General Counsel and Assistant Professor of Law (1979-80)

Trustee - American Academy in Berlin (2007- ); Trustee, American Academy of Political and Social Science (2001-07), Chair (2004-07

Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the United States (1974-75)

Law Clerk to Justice Robert Braucher, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (1973-74)

Visiting Professor - Harvard; Navarra, Spain; Urbino, Italy; Pavia, Italy; Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; University of Michigan

Professional Activities

Special Master, National Football League (2002-11); Acting System Arbitrator, NFL (2011- )

Trustee, American Academy in Berlin (2007- );Selection Committee, Berlin Prize Fellowships, American Academy in Berlin (2003-2007), Chair (2005-2007)

Non-Executive Director, Filtronic plc (1994-2008)


  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • International Civil Litigation in U.S. Courts
  • Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Seminar)
  • The Study of Judicial Behavior (Seminar)

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