Richard W. Wright

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Professor of Law Emeritus

Professor Wright is recognized nationally and internationally for his combining theoretical and descriptive analyses of basic issues in domestic and comparative tort law, legal proof, legal philosophy, and law and economics. His work has resulted in significant changes in accepted doctrine and underlying theoretical analysis by the American Law Institute and by academics and courts in the USA and many other countries. His published work appears in several international collections of leading scholarship on tort law, legal philosophy, and law and economics. He is an elected life member of the American Law Institute and has been an active participant in its revision of the Restatement of the Law Third on Torts. He has served as chair of the Section on Torts and Compensation Systems of the Association of American Law Schools and is a member of the advisory boards of the Center for Justice and Democracy, Journal of Tort Law, Quaestio Facti, Revista de Direito da Responsabilidade, and the Torts, Product Liability and Insurance Law Journal of the Social Science Research Network. He is an Academic Fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute and an external partner of the Centre for Enterprise Liability at the University of Copenhagen. He currently serves as organizer and lead editor of the Common Core of European Private Law’s comparative study of Reasonable Conduct in Tort Law.

Professor Wright received his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, from Loyola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated first in his class and was editor-in-chief of the law review, and an LL.M. degree from Harvard University. Before entering the academy, he worked in the Solicitor's Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., and as a legal adviser and project leader in the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress. Before joining the IIT Chicago-Kent faculty, he was a member of the faculty of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, where he received the Monrad G. Paulsen Award for outstanding contributions to legal education. He has been a visiting professor, fellow and/or lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Argentina, the University of Melbourne in Australia, the University of Palermo in Italy, the Universities of Gdańsk and Wrocław in Poland, Ivan Franko University in Ukraine, Sichuan University and the China University of Political Science and Law in China, and Brasenose College and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford in England, where he co-taught seminars in the Bachelor of Civil Law graduate law program.


LL.M., Harvard Law School

J.D., Loyola Law School Los Angeles

B.S., California Institute of Technology



Causation: Linguistic, Philosophical, Legal and Economic, 91 Chicago-Kent Law Review 461 (2016) (with Ingeborg Puppe).

The New Old Efficiency Theories of Causation and Liability, 7 Journal of Tort Law 65 (2015).

Hand, Posner, and the Myth of the "Hand Formula", 4 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 145 (2003).

The Grounds and Extent of Legal Responsibility, 40 San Diego Law Review 1425 (2003).

Once More Into the Bramble Bush: Duty, Causal Contribution, and the Extent of Legal Responsibility, 54 Vanderbilt Law Review 1071 (2001).

The Principles of Justice, 75 Notre Dame Law Review 1859 (2000).

Causation, Responsibility, Risk, Probability, Naked Statistics, and Proof: Pruning the Bramble Bush by Clarifying the Concepts, 73 Iowa Law Review 1001 (1988).

Causation in Tort Law, 73 California Law Review 1735 (1985).