Associate Professor & Co-Director, Centre for Innovation Law & Policy

Jackman Law Building              
Room 472
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5 

Tel.: 416-978-0293

Faculty Assistant:   Nancy Bueler 

See also Prof. Stern's pages on SSRN,, & google scholar, or scroll down for publications.

B.A. (Yale), Ph.D., English (UC Berkeley), J.D. (Yale), member of the Washington, D.C. Bar. While in law school he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. After law school he clerked for Ronald M. Gould on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, practiced litigation at Shea & Gardner (now Goodwin Procter) in Washington, D.C., and then served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.

Prof. Stern teaches and researches in the areas of civil procedure, law and literature, legal history, and criminal law.  His research focuses on the evolution of legal doctrines and methods in relation to literary and intellectual history. Current research topics include the development of the "reasonable man" standard (and its precursors and analogues) since the eighteenth century, and the changing conception of legal fictions between the renaissance and the present. He is co-chair of the Critical Analysis of Law Workshop, and is co-editor of Critical Analysis of Law. His research has been funded by SSHRC and the Foundation for Legal Research.

In 2012 Prof. Stern was the recipient of the SLS Partnership Award, bestowed by the U of T Students' Law Society in recognition of faculty members who have shown a commitment to student-friendly initiatives and student advocacy.

J.D., Yale, 2002
Ph.D. (English) U.C. Berkeley, 1999
Selected Publications

"Cleland and the "Laws of Decency": Investigating Obscenity in Eighteenth-Century England," forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Life 41 (2018)

Co-Editor (with Nan Goodman), The Routledge Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (Routledge, 2017)

"Wilde's Obscenity Effect: Influence and Immorality in The Picture of Dorian Gray," Review of English Studies 68 (Dec. 2017)

"Legal and Literary Fictions," forthcoming in New Directions in Law and Literature, ed. Bernadette Meyler & Elizabeth Anker (Oxford University Press, July 2017), 313-26

"R. v. Jones (1703): The Origins of the Reasonable Person," forthcoming in Phil Handler, Henry Mares, & Ian Williams, eds., Landmark Cases in Criminal Law (Hart, 2017), 59-79

Ed. & Intro., William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book II: Of the Rights of Things (The Oxford Edition of Blackstone, Oxford University Press, 2016) (on google books) [an excerpt from the Introduction is here]

"Effect and Technique in Legal Aesthetics," 2 Critical Analysis of Law 496 (2015)

"Creating a Public Domain in Eighteenth-Century England," Oxford Handbooks Online in Literature (2015) (on; requires inst'l subscription)

"Legal Fictions and Exclusionary Rules," in Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, ed. Maksymillian Del Mar & William Twining (Springer, 2015), 157-74 (on Google Books)

"Blackstone's Criminal Law: Common-Law Harmonization and Legislative Reform," in Foundational Texts in Criminal Law 61 (Markus D. Dubber ed., Oxford University Press, 2014) (on Google Books)

"Copyright Originality and Judicial Originality," 63 U. Toronto L.J. 385 (2013) [Project Muse]

"From Author's Right to Property Right," 62 U. Toronto L.J. 29 (2012) [Project MUSE]

For a full list, please see this publications page.

Research Materials on Law and Literature

Ideas for paper topics (pdf)

Legal Novels database (law, lawyers, judges, and trials in English & American fiction, circa 1850-1920)

Work in Progress

"Margins of Authority: Coke's Institutes and the Epistemology of the String Cite" (forthcoming, Law & Humanities, 2018)

"Judicial Opinions and Their Narratives," forthcoming in Narrative and Metaphor in the Law, ed. Michael Hanne & Robert Weisberg (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

"Factuality, Evidence and Truth in Factual Narratives in the Law," in Narrative Factuality: A Handbook, ed. Monika Fludernik and Marie-Laure Ryan (de Gruyter, Revisions Series 2018)

"Literary Analysis of Law," in The Oxford Handbook of Historical Legal Research, ed. Markus Dubber & Christopher Tomlins (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Co-Editor (with Maksymilian Del Mar & Bernadette Meyler), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities (2019)