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Our History: Former Faculty [Fall 2020 - this site is under construction as we update this list]: Goetz, Charles John (1976-2006)

Tenured faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law through its history.

Charles John Goetz, 1976-2006

Charles Goetz

Lauded as providing “a foundation for the remarkable progress in the economic understanding of contract law,” from the late 1970s until his retirement in 2006 Charles J. Goetz brought a unique background to his law classes.  Goetz earned an A.B. from Providence College in 1961 and received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1965, doing his doctoral research on tax preferences in a collective decision-making context.  Goetz was a NATO postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pavia, Italy. He was a Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech in 1974 when he was invited to be a visiting professor at Virginia Law, becoming the first full-time non-lawyer member of the faculty.  The next year he joined the faculty permanently and embarked on a well-known series of articles on contract theory co-authored with Robert E. Scott.  Goetz and Scott’s work, in the words of Yale Law professor Alan Schwartz, “changed Contract Law scholarship forever.”  Goetz’s 1984 Cases and Materials on Law and Economics was the first casebook in its field.

During his tenure at the Law School, Goetz has been a driving force in the interdisciplinary study of law and economics at the Law School, teaching Contracts, Antitrust Law, Law and Economics, and several other courses.  Goetz has taught economics courses for the judiciary, in the Law School's LL.M. program for judges, and in programs for the federal judiciary under the auspices of the Federal Judicial Center and of the George Mason Law and Economics Center. In addition he served as a forensic economist and consultant on commercial litigation cases.  Goetz’s scholarship and professional activities contributed enormously to Virginia Law’s reputation as one of the preeminent institutions for the economic analysis of law.



Federal Income Taxation: Principles and Policies (with Erwin N. Griswold) (Foundation Press, 1976).


Reflections on the Tax Legislative Process: Prelude to Reform, 58 Va. L. Rev. 1389-1450 (1972).

Taxation of Unrealized Gains at Death – An Evaluation of the Current Proposals, 59 Va. L. Rev. 830-859 (1973); reprinted in 2 Federal Estate and Gift Taxes 1243-1273 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Mar. 23, 1976).

Assessing the Distributional Effects of Income Tax Revision: Some Lessons from Incidence Analysis, 4 J. Legal Stud. 351-368 (1975).

Evolution of the Tax Shelter Provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1976: Fewer than Fifty Ways to Limit Your Losses, 29 S. Cal. Tax Inst. 1-55 (1977).

Legal Transitions: The Case of Retroactivity in Income Tax Revision, 126 U. Pa. L. Rev. 47-87 (1977).


Tax Reform and the Crisis of Financing Higher Education (with Louis F. Oberdorfer, Reuben Clark and F. David Lake, Jr.) (Association of American Universities, 1973).

Statement, in 8 General Tax Reform 3363-3390 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Mar. 27, 1973).

Statement, in 2 Federal Estate and Gift Taxes 1233-1242 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Mar. 23, 1976); reprinted in Estate and Gift Tax Hearings 77-91 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee Print, 1976).

Federal Income Taxation: Principles and Policies: Supplement on the Tax Reform Act of 1976 (with Erwin N. Griswold) (Foundation Press, 1977).

Statement, in Estate and Gift Tax Carryover Basis and Generation-skipping Trust Provisions and Deductibility of Foreign Convention Expenses 157-160 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Oct. 6, 1977).

Statement, in 9 President’s 1978 Tax Reduction and Reform Proposals 6144-6166 (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Apr. 6, 1978).

Statement, in Capital Gains Tax Bills 137-141 (Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, Hearing, June 28, 1978).