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Tobias Barrington Wolff

Professor of Law

Tobias Wolff

Tobias Barrington Wolff writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, the conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction, and constitutional law. He is co-author (with Linda Silberman and Allan Stein) of Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice (Aspen, 3d ed 2009) and his recently published articles include Civil Rights Reform and the Body (Harvard Law & Policy Review), Redeeming the Missed Opportunities of Shady Grove (with Stephen Burbank) (University of Pennsylvania Law Review), and Federal Jurisdiction and Due Process in the Era of the Nationwide Class Action (University of Pennsylvania Law Review). Continue reading…


  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Sexuality and the Law


A RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE? HOW THE CASE OF Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale WARPED THE LAW OF FREE ASSOCIATION (with Andrew Koppelman) (Yale Univ. Press, 2009).
[Available Here]

CIVIL PROCEDURE: THEORY AND PRACTICE (Aspen Publishers, 3d ed., 2009 & Supp. 2011-2012) (with LINDA SILBERMAN & ALLAN STEIN).

Articles and Book Chapters

Scott v. Harris and the Future of Summary Judgment, 15 NEV. L.J. 1351 (2015).

Multiple Attempts at Class Certification, 99 IOWA L. REV. BULL. 137 (2014).

Discretion in Class Certification, 162 U. PA. L. REV. 1897 (2014).

Managerial Judging and Substantive Law, 90 WASH. U. L. REV. 1027 (2013).

Civil Rights Reform and the Body, 6 HARV. L. & POL'Y REV. 201 (2012).

Collegiality and Individual Dignity, 81 FORDHAM L. REV. 392 (2012).

Redeeming the Missed Opportunities of Shady Grove, 159 U. PA. L. REV. 17 (2010) (with Stephen B. Burbank).

Remembering Ed Baker, 12 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 967 (2010).

Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., and the Lessons of History, 158 U. PA. L. REV. 1323 (2010).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sensible Pragmatism in Federal Jurisdictional Policy, 70 OHIO ST. L.J. 839 (2009).

Expressive Association and the Ideal of the University in the Solomon Amendment Litigation, 25 SOC. PHIL. & POL'Y 92 (2008) (with A. Koppelman).

Ask & Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out (review of book by Steve Estes), 30 INT’L HIST. REV. 216 (2008).

Federal Jurisdiction and Due Process in the Era of the Nationwide Class Action, 156 U. PA. L. REV. 2035 (2008).

Interest Analysis in Interjurisdictional Marriage Disputes, 153 U. PA. L. REV. 2215 (2005).

Preclusion in Class Action Litigation, 105 COLUM. L. REV. 717 (2005).

The Pimple on Adonis's Nose: A Dialogue on the Concept of Merit in the Affirmative Action Debate, 56 HASTINGS L.J. 379 (2005) (with Robert Paul Wolff).

Political Representation and Accountability Under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 89 IOWA L. REV. 1633 (2004).

The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in the Global Economy, 102 COLUM. L. REV. 973 (2002).

Compelled Affirmations, Free Speech, and the U.S. Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy, 63 BROOK. L. REV. 1141 (1997).

Principled Silence, 106 YALE L.J. 247 (1997) (Case Note, Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Class Actions, Statutes of Limitations and Repose, and Federal Common Law, 167 U. PA. L. REV. __ (forthcoming) (with Stephen B. Burbank). (forthcoming)
[View Document]

Choice of Law and Jurisdictional Policy in the Federal Courts (article manuscript) (forthcoming)

The Class Action Fairness Act and Choice of Law in the Federal Courts (article manuscript)

Compelled Corporate Speech and the Role of Expressive Autonomy Under the First Amendment (article manuscript) (forthcoming)

The Regulation of Marital Status in the Modern Conflicts Era (article manuscript)

Conflict of Laws and the Sovereign Immunity Revolution (article manuscript)

Research Areas

  • Civil Procedure
  • Class Actions
  • Choice of Law and Multijurisdictional Disputes
  • Free Speech and the First Amendment
  • The Rights of Gay Men and Lesbians


Penn Law – Professor of Law (2007- ); Visiting Professor (fall 2006)

University of California, Davis – Professor of Law (2004-07); Assistant Professor of Law (2000-04)

Legal Advisor & LGBT Policy Chair, Senator Barack Obama, Obama for America ’08

Law Clerk, Judge Betty Binns Fletcher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1997-98)

Visiting Professor -- New York University, Harvard, Penn Law, Northwestern, Stanford

Law Clerk, Judge William A. Norris (retired Sept. 1997), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1997)

Professional Activities

Executive Board, The Equal Justice Society, Founding Board Member and Secretary to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, 2003–March 2013.

Obama for America ’08 June 2007 – November 2008 - Co-Chair (with U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin), National LGBT Steering & Policy Committee.

Civil Rules Restyling Project: Blue-ribbon committee, May–November 2005.

American Law Institute: Member, 2007–present.

AALS Section on Conflict of Laws: Executive Committee, Jan. 2006–present; Chair, January 2012–January 2013.


  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Courts
  • First Amendment
  • Law and Sexuality

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