James Gordley came to Tulane Law School in 2007 from Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, where he served on the faculty beginning in 1978. He was a fellow at the Institute of Comparative Law at the University of Florence, an associate with the Boston firm of Foley Hoag & Eliot, and an Ezra Ripley Thayer Fellow at Harvard before beginning his teaching career.
Professor Gordley has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, a Senior NATO Fellow and a fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. He has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Fribourg, Regensburg, Munich, Milan, and Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi; a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Law in Hamburg, the European University Institute in Fiesole, and the University of Cologne; and the Jean Monnet Distinguished Professor in Comparative Law at the University of Trent. He was awarded the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction in 2001. In 2010, the Tulane Law School graduating class selected Professor Gordley to receive the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the European Law Institute, and a titulary member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. In 2010, Professor Gordley was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, one of only a small number of US law professors honored in this way.
He is the author of several books, including Foundations of Private Law, An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Private Law (with Arthur von Mehren); The Enforceability of Promises in European Contract Law; Gratian, The Treatise on Laws with the Ordinary Gloss (with Augustine Thompson); and The Philosophical Origins of Modern Contract Doctrine.
Recent publications include: “The Functional Method,” in Methods in Comparative Law 107 (P.G. Monatieri, ed., Elgar Publishing, 2012); “Suárez and Natural Law,” in The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez 209 (B. Hill & H. Langelund, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012); “The Future of Private Law,” in The Law of the Future and the Future of Law 367 (S. Muller., S. Zouridis, M. Frishman & L. Kisenmaker, eds., Torkel, Oslo, 2011); “The Abuse of Rights in the Civil Law Tradition,” in Prohibition of Abuse of Law: A New Principle of EU Law?” 33 (S. Vogenauer, ed., Hart Publishing, 2011); “The Foreseeability Limitation on Liability in Contract,” in Towards a European Civil Code 699 (A.S. Hartkamp, M. Hesselink, E. Hondius, C. Mak & E. du Perron, eds., 4rd ed., Kluwer, 2011)(revised from 3rd ed., 2004); “Ius Quaerens Intellectum: The Method of the Medieval Civilians,” in P.J. du Plessis & J.W. Cairns, eds., The Creation of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula 77 (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); “The Origins of Sale: Some Lessons from the Romans,” 84 Tulane Law Review 1 (2010); “Disturbances among Neighbours: An Introduction,” in The Development of Liability between Neighbours 65 (J. Gordley, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2010); “Disturbances among Neighbours in French Law,” ibid., 65; “A Case-Based Assessment of the Draft Common Frame of Reference,” 58 American Journal of Comparative Law 343 (2010)(with Louisa Antoniolli & Francesca Fiorentini).