Richard
Marcus

Distinguished Professor of Law and Horace O. Coil Chair in Litigation

Biography

Professor Richard Marcus was born and raised in San Francisco. He attended Pomona College, where he lettered for four years on the track team, engaged in a variety of 1960s-era political activities and spent a year as president of the student body. He then attended the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he was research editor of the California Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif when he graduated in 1972. Both before and after graduation from law school, Professor Marcus served as law clerk to Justice Raymond Peters of the California Supreme Court.

After an around-the-world expedition went awry in a bus accident in Afghanistan, he spent a summer working on the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Committee in Rapid City, South Dakota. Then, during 1973 to 1974, he served as an associate-in-law at Boalt Hall and, in 1974 to 1975, as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli in San Francisco. In 1976 he got a real job, as a litigation associate at Dinkelspiel, Pelavin, Steefel & Levitt (since disbanded) in San Francisco, where he became a partner in 1980.

In 1981, Professor Marcus left practice and entered teaching as an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, becoming a full professor in 1984. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School in 1986 to 1987. He joined the UC Hastings faculty in 1989, became a Distinguished Professor in 1997, and was awarded the Horace O. Coil (‘57) Chair in Litigation in 1999. His teaching has focused on litigation-related areas such as civil procedure, complex litigation, conflicts of law, and evidence, and he has also taught contracts, corporations and remedies.

Professor Marcus’ writing has focused on litigation-related topics. He is a lead author of the West casebooks Complex Litigation (5th ed. 2010) and Civil Procedure: A Modern Approach (6th ed. 2013). He is also an author of several volumes of the Federal Practice & Procedure treatise (known as Wright & Miller) and serves on a variety of committees dealing with practice issues. Since 1996, he has served as Associate Reporter to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the U.S.

Expertise

Education

  1. University of California (Boalt Hall) 1971

    J.D., Law

  2. Pomona College 1969

    B.A., History

Selected Scholarship

  1. Revolution v. Evolution in Class Action Reform 2017

    Norht Carolina Law Review

  2. Bending in the Breeze: American Class Actions in the Twenty-First Century 2016

    DePaul Law Review

  3. Complex Litigation 2002

    Kermit L. Hall ed., The Oxford Companion to American Law (Oxford University Press)

  4. Reassessing the Magnetic Pull of Megacases on Procedure 2001

    DePaul Law Review

  5. They Can't Do That Can They? Tort Reform via Rule 23 1995

    Cornell Law Review

  6. Of Babies and Bathwater: The Prosepects for Procedural Progress 1993

    Brooklyn Law Review

  7. The Revival of Fact Pleading Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1986

    Columbia Law Review

  8. Fraudulent Concealment in Federal Court: Toward a More Disparate Standard? 1983

    Georgetown Law Review

Courses

  1. Complex Litigation
  2. Civil Procedure I
  3. Civil Procedure II