Professor Allan Erbsen

Allan Erbsen

  • Popham, Haik, Schnobrich/Lindquist & Vennum Professor of Law
336 Mondale Hall


  • Harvard College, A.B.
  • Harvard Law School, J.D.


  • Civil Procedure
  • Class Action
  • Complex Litigation
  • Courts
  • Federal Courts
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Professor Allan Erbsen teaches and writes in the areas of civil procedure, federal courts, and constitutional law.

Professor Erbsen was the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year for 2006-2007 and the Stanley V. Kinyon Tenure-Track Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006. Two of his articles have been selected for presentation at the peer-reviewed Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum. He has served as Acting Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Law School. In 2015, he chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on Civil Procedure.

Professor Erbsen received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was Articles Chair of the Harvard Law Review. He was a law clerk for Judge Judith Rogers of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and spent six years in private practice at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago and Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering in Washington, D.C. While in practice, he specialized in appellate litigation, international arbitration, and class actions. During the 2004-2005 academic year, Professor Erbsen was a Vanderbilt Fellow and Instructor in Law at Vanderbilt Law School. In Fall 2008, he was a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Federal and State Courts

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure II - 1L

Civil Procedure II

Journal Articles

Personal Jurisdiction’s Moment of Opportunity: A Reform Blueprint for Originalists and Nonoriginalists, 75 Florida Law Review 415 (2023)
A Unified Approach to Erie Analysis for Federal Statutes, Rules, and Common Law, 10 UC Irvine Law Review 1101 (2020)
Wayfair Undermines Nicastro: The Constitutional Connection Between State Tax Authority and Personal Jurisdiction, 128 Yale Law Journal Forum 724 (2019)
Personal Jurisdiction Based on the Local Effects of Intentional Misconduct, 57 William and Mary Law Review 385 (2015)
Reorienting Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine Around Horizontal Federalism Rather than Liberty After Walden v. Fiore, 19 Lewis & Clark Law Review 769 (2015) (symposium contribution)
Erie's Four Functions: Reframing Choice of Law in Federal Courts, 89 Notre Dame Law Review 579 (2013)
Erie's Starting Points: The Potential Role of Default Rules in Structuring Choice of Law Analysis, 10 Journal of Law, Economics & Policy 125 (2013) (symposium contribution)
Constitutional Spaces, 95 Minnesota Law Review 1168 (2011)
Impersonal Jurisdiction, 60 Emory Law Journal 1 (2010)
Horizontal Federalism, 93 Minnesota Law Review 493 (2008) (selected for Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum (June 2008))
From "Predominance" to "Resolvability": A New Approach to Regulating Class Actions, 58 Vanderbilt Law Review 995 (2005) (selected for Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum (May 2005))

Book Chapters

The Substance and Illusion of Lex Sportiva, in The Court of Arbitration for Sport, 1984-2004 (Ian S. Blackshaw, Robert C.R. Siekmann & Janwillem Soek, eds., TMC Asser Press, 2006), reprinted in Lex Sportiva: What is Sports Law? (Robert C. R. Siekmann & Janwillem Soek, eds., Springer, 2012)

CLE Materials

Everything Else in Rule 12, Quick-Draw Litigation (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2019)
Kelvin D. Collado

Other Publications

Normalizing Procedural Norms, Jotwell (May 2023) (reviewing Diego A. Zambrano, The Unwritten Norms of Civil Procedure, 118 Nw. U. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2023))
Civil Procedure for Lawyerless Courts, Jotwell (Feb. 2022) (reviewing Pamela K. Bookman & Colleen F. Shanahan, A Tale of Two Civil Procedures, 122 Colum. L. Rev. (forthcoming. 2022))
Procedural Evolution in Multidistrict Litigation, Jotwell (May 2021) (reviewing Abbe R. Gluck & Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, MDL Revolution, 96 N.Y.U. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming, 2021))
Discretion, Division, and the Supreme Court's Docket, Jotwell (May 2020) (reviewing Jonathan R. Nash & Michael G. Collins, The Certificate of Division and the Early Supreme Court, 94 S. Cal. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021))
An Erie Tale, Jotwell (May 2019) (reviewing Brian L. Frye, The Ballad of Harry James ToMvkins, 52 Akron L. Rev. 531 (2019))
Sequential Progression of Dispute Resolution in Federal Courts, Jotwell (Oct. 2017) (reviewing Alexandra D. Lahav, Procedural Design (2017))
Common Law in the Age of Arbitration, 2016 Jotwell 335 (2016) (reviewing Myriam Gilles, The Day Doctrine Died: Private Arbitration and the End of Law, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. 371 (2016))
Judicial Competition for Case Filings in Civil Litigation, 2015 Jotwell 347 (2015) (reviewing Daniel Klerman & Greg Reilly, Forum Selling, USC Center for Law and Social Science Research Papers Series No. CLASS 14-35)
Personal Jurisdiction Based on Intangible Harm, 2015 Jotwell 252 (2015) (reviewing Alan M. Trammell & Derek E. Bambauer, Personal Jurisdiction and the "Interwebs," 100 Cornell L. Rev. 1129 (2015))
Seeking Accuracy in Aggregate Litigation, 2013 Jotwell 265 (2013) (reviewing Edward K. Cheng, When 10 Trials Are Better Than 1000: An Evidentiary Perspective on Trial Sampling, 160 U. Pa. L. Rev. 955 (2012))
Substance, Procedure, and the Interdependence of Gatekeeping Standards Across Multiple Stages of Litigation, 2013 Jotwell 183 (2013) (reviewing Louis Kaplow, Multistage Adjudication, 126 Harv. L. Rev. 1179 (2013))
An Anti-Doping Agenda for the Next Olympics, 15 For The Record (National Sports Law Institute, Marquette Law School) 6 (Oct./Dec. 2004)
Recent Case, 109 Harvard Law Review 524 (1995) (discussing state liability for private acts of violence)