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William S. Dodge

Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law


J.D., Yale Law School 1991

B.A., summa cum laude History, Yale University 1986, Phi Beta Kappa


Professor William S. Dodge specializes in international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution. He currently serves as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction and as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law. From 2011 to 2012, he was Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the State Department.

Before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015, Professor Dodge taught for 20 years at UC Hastings College of the Law, where he was the Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law. At UC Hastings, Professor Dodge served as Associate Dean for Research and won the Rutter Award for teaching excellence.

Professor Dodge is co-author (with Detlev Vagts, Harold Koh, and Hannah Buxbaum) of the casebook Transnational Business Problems (5th ed. Foundation Press 2014) and co-editor (with David Sloss and Michael Ramsey) of International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (Cambridge University Press 2011), which won the American Society of International Law’s 2012 certificate of merit. He has more than 50 other publications in books and law reviews. His articles have been cited more than 25 times in court opinions, including three times by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Dodge received his B.A. in History, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1986. After teaching English in Tianjin, China, he attended Yale Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, served as Director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project, and earned his J.D. in 1991. Professor Dodge clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1995, he was an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

He is a member of the American Law Institute.

Subject Areas

International Law, International Business Transactions, International Litigation & Arbitration, Foreign Relations Law, Contracts

Selected Career Highlights

  • Co-Reporter, Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction, American Law Institute
  • Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State
  • The Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law
  • Law Clerk, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Law Clerk, Judge William A. Norris, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Member, American Law Institute

Selected Publications

Transnational Business Problems, (5th ed., Foundation Press, 2014) (with Detlev F. Vagts, Harold Hongju Koh & Hannah L. Buxbaum)

International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change, (Cambridge University Press 2011) (with David L. Sloss & Michael D. Ramsey)

International Comity in American Law, 115 Colum. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2015)

Defining and Punishing Offenses Under Treaties, (with Sarah H. Cleveland), 124 Yale L.J. 2202 (2015)

Alien Tort Litigation: The Road Not Taken, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1577 (2014)

Corporate Liability Under Customary International Law, 43 Geo. J. Int’l L. 1045 (2012)

Morrison’s Effects Test, 40 Sw. U. L. Rev. 687 (2011)

Local Remedies Under NAFTA Chapter Eleven, in Fifteen Years of NAFTA Chapter Eleven Arbitration 37 (Frédéric Bachand & Emmanuel Gaillard eds., 2011)

Customary International Law, Congress, and the Courts: Origins of the Later-in-Time Rule, in Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Detlev Vagts 531 (Pieter H.F. Bekker, Rudolf Dolzer & Michael Waibel eds., Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Alien Tort Litigation and the Prescriptive Jurisdiction Fallacy, 51 Harv. Int’l L.J. Online 35 (2010)

After Sosa: The Future of Customary International Law in the United States, 17 Willamette J. Int’l L. & Disp. Res. 21 (2009)

Investment Agreements Between Developed States: The Dilemma of Dispute Resolution, in The Future of Investment Arbitration 165 (Catherine A. Rogers & Roger P. Alford eds., Oxford University Press, 2009)

The Public-Private Distinction in the Conflict of Laws, 18 Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L. 371 (2008)

The Paquete Habana: Customary International Law as Part of Our
, in International Law Stories 175 (John E. Noyes, Laura A. Dickinson & Mark W. Janis eds., Foundation Press, 2007)

Customary International Law and the Question of Legitimacy, 42 Va. J. Int’l L. 687 (2002)

Investor-State Dispute Settlement Between Developed Countries: Reflections on the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, 39 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 1 (2006)

The Constitutionality of the Alien Tort Statute: Some Observations on Text and Context , 42 Va. J. Int’l L. 687 (2002)

Breaking the Public Law Taboo , 43 Harv. Int’l L.J. 161 (2002)

National Courts and International Arbitration: Exhaustion of Remedies and Res Judicata Under NAFTA Chapter Eleven , 23 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 357 (2000)

Teaching the CISG in Contracts, 50 J. Legal Ed. 72 (2000)

The Case for Punitive Damages in Contracts, 48 Duke L.J. 629 (1999)

Understanding the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality, 16 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 85 (1998)

Extraterritoriality and Conflict of Laws Theory: An Argument for Judicial Unilateralism , 39 Harv. Int’l L.J. 101 (1998)

The Historical Origins of the Alien Tort Statute: A Response to the “Originalists” , 19 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 221 (1996)

Service Activities

Co-Reporter, Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction, American Law Institute

 Adviser, Restatement (Third) of the Conflict of Laws, American Law Institute

 U.S. State Department, Advisory Committee on International Law

 Co-Chair, International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group, American Society of International Law

 Co-Chair, Northern California International Law Scholars