A 1965 graduate of Oberlin College, Robert Scott earned a J.D. from William & Mary in 1968, an LL.M. from Michigan in 1969, and a S.J.D. from Michigan in 1973. Scott first joined the Virginia faculty in 1974 from a professorship at William & Mary School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the William & Mary Law Review. He is a nationally recognized scholar and teacher in the fields of contracts, commercial transactions and bankruptcy. Scott served on the faculty of the UVA School of Law from 1974 to 2006. He was Lewis F. Powell Jr. Professor of Law from 1982-2003. From 1988-90 he held an appointment to the University of Virginia's Center for Advanced Studies. Scott served as dean of the Virginia Law School from 1991 to 2001. During his tenure, the Law School embarked upon a highly successful capital campaign, at the time raising more money than any other law school in history; completed a $50 million renovation of the Law Grounds; and instituted a number of curricular enhancements. From 1988-90 he held an appointment to the University of Virginia's Center for Advanced Studies. In 2003 he was named the inaugural recipient of the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professorship, and in October 2004, Scott was presented the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest honor granted by the University of Virginia. In 2006 he joined the faculty of Columbia Law School.
Scott has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1999 and is a life member of the fellows of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Law Institute. He served as a member of the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 Study Committee and the Article 2 Drafting Committee. He has chaired the Association of American Law Schools' Sections on Contract Law, Law and Economics, and Commercial and Consumer Law. He also founded the Legal Studies Workshop at Virginia. He has delivered numerous papers and published extensively in law journals and co-authored five books on contracts and commercial transactions. Among his many articles are six that he co-authored with Prof. Charles Goetz that set the standard for the economic analysis of the law of contracts.
Commercial Transactions: Principles and Policies (with Alan Schwartz) (Foundation Press, 1982; 2d ed. 1991).
Sales Law and the Contracting Process (with Alan Schwartz) (Foundation Press, 1982; 2d ed. 1991).
Contract Law and Theory (with Douglas L. Leslie) (Michie, 1988; 2d ed. 1993).
Casenote Law Outlines: Sales (with Donald B. King) (Casenotes, 1992).
Payment Systems and Credit Instruments (with Clayton P. Gillette and Alan Schwartz) (Foundation Press, 1996).
Contract Law and Theory (with Jody S. Kraus) (LexisNexis, 3d ed. 2002; rev. 3d ed. 2003).
Contract Law and Theory: Selected Provisions: Restatement of Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code (with Jody S. Kraus) (LexisNexis, 3d ed, 2002; rev. 3d. ed. 2003).
The Limits of Leviathan: Contract Theory and the Enforcement of International Law (with Paul B. Stephan) (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Constitutional Regulation of Provisional Creditor Remedies: The Cost of Procedural Due Process, 61 Va. L. Rev. 807-867 (1975).
Recent Developments in Commercial Law, in First Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-7 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1975).
Recent Developments in Commercial Law, in Second Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar VII-1 to VII-11 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1976).
Liquidated Damages, Penalties and the Just Compensation Principle: Some Notes on an Enforcement Model and a Theory of Efficient Breach (with Charles J. Goetz), 77 Colum. L. Rev. 554-594 (1977); reprinted in 2 Contract Law 257-297 (Larry Alexander ed., New York University Press, 1991); excerpts reprinted in Foundations of Contract Law 100-105 (Richard Craswell & Alan Schwartz eds., Oxford University Press, 1994).
Commercial Law, in Fourth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-12 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1978).
Commercial Law, in Fifth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-14 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).
Measuring Sellers’ Damages: The Lost-Profits Puzzle (with Charles J. Goetz), 31 Stan. L. Rev. 323-373 (1979).
Commercial Law, in Sixth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-14 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1980).
Enforcing Promises: An Examination of the Basis of Contract (with Charles J. Goetz), 89 Yale L.J. 1261-1322 (1980); reprinted in 1 Contract Law 111-172 (Larry Alexander ed., New York University Press, 1991).
Commercial Law, in Seventh Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-13 (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1981).
Principles of Relational Contracts (with Charles J. Goetz), 67 Va. L. Rev. 1089-1150 (1981); excerpts reprinted in Foundations of Contract Law 181-187 (Richard Craswell & Alan Schwartz eds., Oxford University Press, 1994).
Commercial Law, in Eighth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-9 (Virginia Law Foundation, 1982).
Commercial Law, in Ninth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-13 (Virginia Law Foundation, 1983).
The Mitigation Principle: Toward a General Theory of Contractual Obligation (with Charles J. Goetz), 69 Va. L. Rev. 967-1024 (1983); excerpts reprinted in Readings in the Economics of Contract Law 61-68 (Victor P. Goldberg ed., Cambridge University Press, 1989), and in Foundations of Contract Law 56-58, 115-118 (Richard Craswell & Alan Schwartz eds., Oxford University Press, 1994).
Commercial Law, in Tenth Annual Recent Developments in the Law Seminar III-1 to III-13 (Virginia Law Foundation, 1984).
The Limits of Expanded Choice: An Analysis of the Interactions Between Express and Implied Contract Terms (with Charles J. Goetz), 73 Cal. L. Rev. 261-322 (1985).
Error and Rationality in Individual Decisionmaking: An Essay on the Relationship Between Cognitive Illusions and the Management of Choices, 59 S. Cal. L. Rev. 329-362 (1986).
A Relational Theory of Secured Financing, 86 Colum. L. Rev. 901-977 (1986).
Conflict and Cooperation in Long-Term Contracts, 75 Cal. L. Rev. 2005-2054 (1987); also published as Risk Distribution and Adjustment in Long-Term Contracts, in The Complex Long-Term Contract: Structures and International Arbitration 51-101 (Fritz Nicklisch ed., C.F. Muller, 1987).
On the Nature of Bankruptcy: An Essay on Bankruptcy Sharing and the Creditors’ Bargain (with Thomas H. Jackson), 75 Va. L. Rev. 155-204 (1989).
Rethinking the Regulation of Coercive Creditor Remedies, 89 Colum. L. Rev. 730-788 (1989).
Sharing the Risks of Bankruptcy: Timbers, Ahlers, and Beyond, 1989 Colum. Bus L. Rev. 183-194.
The Case for Market Damages: Revisiting the Lost Profits Puzzle, 57 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1155-1202 (1990).
A Relational Theory of Default Rules for Commercial Contracts, 19 J. Legal Stud. 597-616 (1990).
Getting it Right, 78 Va. L. Rev. 817-819 (1992); reprinted in Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1992, at 26-27.
Plea Bargaining as Contract (with William J. Stuntz), 101 Yale L.J. 1909-1968 (1992).
A Reply: Imperfect Bargains, Imperfect Trials, and Innocent Defendants (with William J. Stuntz), 101 Yale L.J. 2011-2015 (1992).
Chaos Theory and the Justice Paradox, 35 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 329-351 (1993); abridged version published in Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1993, at 20-26.
The Politics of Article 9, 80 Va. L. Rev. 1783-1851 (1994).
The Mythology of Article 9, 79 Minn. L. Rev. 853-859 (1995).
The Political Economy of Private Legislatures (with Alan Schwartz), 143 U. Pa. L. Rev. 595-654 (1995).
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the Role of Interdisciplinary Studies, 18 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 321-323 (1995).
Parents as Fiduciaries (with Elizabeth S. Scott), 81 Va. L. Rev. 2401-2476 (1995).
The Truth about Secured Financing, 82 Cornell L. Rev. 1436-1465 (1997).
A Contract Theory of Marriage (with Elizabeth S. Scott), in The Fall and Rise of Freedom of Contract 201-244 (F.H. Buckley ed., Duke University Press, 1999).
Marriage as Relational Contract (with Elizabeth S. Scott), 84 Va. L. Rev. 1225-1334 (1998).
The Case for Formalism in Relational Contract, 94 Nw. U. L. Rev. 847-876 (2000).
Lawyer as Public Citizen, 31 U. Tol. L. Rev. 733-737 (2000).
The Uniformity Norm in Commercial Law: A Comparative Analysis of Common Law and Code Methodologies, in The Jurisprudential Foundations of Corporate and Commercial Law 149-192 (Jody S. Kraus & Steven D. Walt eds., Cambridge University Press, 2000).
The Limits of Behavioral Theories of Law and Social Norms, 86 Va. L. Rev. 1603-1647 (2000).
Is Article 2 the Best We Can Do?, 52 Hastings L.J. 677-689 (2001).
The Rise and Fall of Article 2, 62 La. L. Rev. 1009-1063 (2002).
Contract Theory and the Limits of Contract Law (with Alan Schwartz), 113 Yale L.J. 541-619 (2003).
Rethinking the Default Rule Project, 6 Va. J. 84-96 (2003).
A Theory of Self-Enforcing Indefinite Agreements, 103 Colum. L. Rev. 1641-1699 (2003).
The Death of Contract Law, 54 U. Toronto L.J. 369-390 (2004).
Embedded Options and the Case Against Compensation in Contract Law (with George G. Triantis), 104 Colum. L. Rev. 1428-1491 (2004).
Self-Enforcing International Agreements and the Limits of Coercion (with Paul B. Stephan), 2004 Wis. L. Rev. 551-629.
Anticipating Litigation in Contract Design (with George G. Triantis), 115 Yale L.J. 814-879 (2006).
Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of Contract Design (with George G. Triantis), 56 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 187-201 (2005).
The Political Economy of International Sales Law (with Clayton P. Gillette), 25 Int’l Rev. L. & Econ. 446-486 (2005).
The Critical Challenge in Legal Education, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Spring 1985, at 6-9.
The Sustaining Professional, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1985, at 39-41.
Through Bankruptcy with the Creditors’ Bargain Heuristic (reviewing Baird & Jackson, Cases, Problems, and Materials on Bankruptcy), 53 U. Chi. L. Rev. 690-708 (1986).
Emerson G. Spies: Dean 1976-80, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1988, at 11-13.
Foreword, 1 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. v-vi (1993).
Foreword, 80 Va. L. Rev. 1193-1194 (1994).
Twenty-Five Years through the Virginia Law Review (with Gun and Camera), 87 Va. L. Rev. 577-586 (2001).