William S. Dodge

William Dodge

Position Title
John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law

1115 King Hall

Professor Dodge is a leading expert on international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution. He is a Founding Editor of TLB, the Transnational Litigation Blog (www.tlblog.org).

Professor Dodge served as Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 2011 to 2012 and as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law from 2012 to 2018. He is currently a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of the Conflict of Laws.

Professor Dodge is co-author (with Detlev Vagts, Hannah Buxbaum, and Harold Koh) of the casebook Transnational Business Problems (6th ed. Foundation Press 2019), co-author (with George Bermann and Donald Childress) of Transnational Litigation in a Nutshell (2d ed. West 2021), 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 70 other publications in books and law reviews, including the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada have relied on his work.

Professor Dodge teaches International Business Transactions, International Litigation and Arbitration, Conflict of Laws, and Contracts. He has won the Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award both at UC Davis and at UC Hastings, where he was previously Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law.

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.

Education and Degree(s)
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 1991
  • B.A. History, summa cum laude, Yale University, 1986, Phi Beta Kappa
Honors and Awards
  • Co-Reporter, Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law, American Law Institute
  • Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State
  • 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
Research Interests & Expertise
  • International Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Litigation & Arbitration
  • Foreign Relations Law
  • Contracts
Membership and Service
  • U.S. State Department, Advisory Committee on International Law
  • Adviser, Restatement (Third) of the Conflict of Laws, American Law Institute
  • Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Academic Council
  • Co-Chair, Northern California International Law Scholars


Transnational Litigation in a Nutshell   (2d ed., West, 2021) (with George A. Bermann & Donald Earl Childress III)

Transnational Business Problems  (6th ed., Foundation Press, 2019) (with Detlev F. Vagts, Hannah L. Buxbaum & Harold Hongju Koh)

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

The New Presumption Against Extraterritoriality , 133 Harv. L. Rev. 1582 (2020)

Presumptions Against Extraterritoriality in State Law , 53 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1389 (2020)

International Comity in Comparative Perspective , in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Foreign Relations Law 701 (Curtis A. Bradley ed., Oxford University Press, 2019)

Customary International Law, Change, and the Constitution , 106 Geo. L.J. 1559 (2018)

Personal Jurisdiction and Aliens , 116 Mich. L. Rev. 1205 (2018) (with Scott Dodson)

The Charming Betsy  and The Paquete Habana , in  Landmark Cases in Public International Law 11 (Eirik Bjorge & Cameron Miles eds., 2017)

Jurisdiction in the Fourth Restatement of Foreign Relations Law , 18 Yearbook of Private Int’l L. 143 (2017)

Chevron  Deference and Extraterritorial Regulation , 95 N.C. L. Rev. 911 (2017)

International Comity in American Law , 115 Colum. L. Rev. 2071 (2015)

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

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)

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)

Withdrawing from Customary International Law: Some Lessons from History , 120 Yale L.J. Online 169 (2010)

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 Law , in  International Law Stories 175 (John E. Noyes, Laura A. Dickinson & Mark W. Janis eds., Foundation Press, 2007)

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)

Antitrust and the Draft Hague Judgments Convention , 32 Law & Pol’y Int’l Bus. 363 (2001)

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)