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Our History: Former Faculty [Fall 2020 - this site is under construction as we update this list]: Wadlington, Walter J. (1963-2003)

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

Walter J. Wadlington, 1963-2003

Walter Wadlington

Walter J. Wadlington received his A.B. from Duke in 1951 and his LL.B. in 1954 from Tulane University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif.  He practiced law in New Orleans, served in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps, and spent a year as a Fulbright scholar and tutor at the University of Edinburgh.  He joined the Virginia Law faculty in 1962 after teaching for two years at Tulane Law School.  He taught courses which included Modern Social Legislation, Law and Poverty, Domestic Relations, and Juvenile and Family Courts. An eminent scholar in the fields of family law, law and medicine, medical malpractice, and children in the legal system, Wadlington is a member of the American Law Institute and of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  He directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Medical Malpractice Program and chaired the advisory board of its program on Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems.  He has served on the National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction, chaired the Virginia State Bar Association Committee on Domestic Relations, and co-chaired the National Task Force on Day-Care Licensing.  He was a visiting professor or fellow at York University, LSU, UNC, Brown, Southern Methodist University, the Australian National University, and William & Mary.

Wadlington’s teaching and writing in the area of family law served as a logical stepping off point for his interest in law and medicine, beginning with an early focus on the rights of children in the medical care context and growing to include the practical and ethical dilemmas encountered in the delivery of health care. At its 35th reunion, the Class of 1967 honored Wadlington with major funding contributions made in his name to the James Madison Professorship, held by Wadlington from 1970 until his retirement in 2002. Wadlington passed away in 2019.



Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (with Monrad G. Paulsen and Julius Goebel, Jr.) (Foundation Press, 1970; 2d ed. 1974).

Statutory Materials on Family Law (with Monrad G. Paulsen) (Foundation Press, 1971; 2d ed. 1974).

Separation and Divorce: Virginia Lawyers Handbook (editor) (Virginia Bar Association and Virginia State Bar, 1976; 1980).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (with Monrad G. Paulsen) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 1978).

Family Law & Practice (editor) (Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

Cases and Materials on Law and Medicine (with Jon R. Waltz and Roger B. Dworkin) (Foundation Press, 1980).

Statutory Materials on Family Law and Children in the Legal System (Foundation Press, 1981).

Cases and Materials on Children in the Legal System (with Charles H. Whitebread and Samuel M. Davis) (Foundation Press, 1983).

Cases and Other Materials on Domestic Relations (Foundation Press, successor ed. 1984; 2d ed. 1990; 3d ed. 1994).

Family Law Statutes, Treaties and Legislative Models (editor) (Foundation Press, 1995).

Children in the Legal System: Cases and Materials (with Samuel M. Davis, Elizabeth S. Scott, and Charles H. Whitebread) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 1997; 3d ed. 2004; 4th ed. 2009).

Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 1998; 5th ed. 2002; 6th ed. 2007).

Family Law Statutes, International Conventions and Uniform Laws (editor with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2000).

Family Law in Perspective (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 2001; 2d ed. 2007; 3d ed. 2012).

Family Law Statutes: Selected Uniform Laws, Federal Statutes, State Statutes, and International Treaties (with Raymond C. O’Brien) (Foundation Press, 2011).

Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials (with Raymond C. O’Brien and Robin Fretwell Wilson) (Foundation Press, 7th ed. 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters

Conjunctive, Alternative, and Facultative Obligations in Louisiana, 37 Tul. L. Rev. 67-78 (1962).

The Adopted Child and Intra-Family Marriage Prohibitions, 49 Va. L. Rev. 478-491 (1963).

The Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Domestic Relations, 49 Va. L. Rev. 1418-1426 (1963); 50 Va. L. Rev. 1470-1476 (1964); 51 Va. L. Rev. 1426-1432 (1965); 52 Va. L. Rev. 1572-1588 (1966); 53 Va. L. Rev. 1620-1623 (1967); 54 Va. L. Rev. 1215-1223 (1968); 55 Va. L. Rev. 1201-1207 (1969); 56 Va. L. Rev. 1411-1418 (1970).

Imputation of Payment: A Study in Obligations, 38 Tul. L. Rev. 31-52 (1963).

Adoption of Adults in Louisiana, 40 Tul. L. Rev. 1-20 (1965).

Child Abuse: Legal Implications, in Childhood Accidental Injury Symposium Proceedings 28-32 (Roger J. Meyer ed., University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1966).

Divorce Without Fault Without Perjury, 52 Va. L. Rev. 32-87 (1966).

The Loving Case: Virginia’s Anti-Miscegenation Statute in Historical Perspective, 52 Va. L. Rev. 1189-1223 (1966).

Minimum Age Difference as a Requisite for Adoption, 1966 Duke L.J. 392-414 (1966).

The Divorced Parent and Consent for Adoption, 36 U. Cin. L. Rev. 196-209 (1967).

Portrait of the Judge as Popular Author: An Appeal for Anonymity and Restraint in Domestic Relations Opinions, Fam. L.Q., Dec. 1967, at 77-82.

Shotgun Marriage by Operation of Law, 1 Ga. L. Rev. 183-204 (1967).

Medicare, 20 J. Legal Educ. 607-611 (1968).

Selection of Patients for Artificial and Transplanted Organs (with Harry S. Abram), 69 Annals Internal Med. 615-620 (1968).

Adoption of Adults: A Family Law Anomaly, 55 Cornell L. Rev. 566-584 (1969).

Modern Social Legislation: Its Challenge for the Modern Physician, Mod. Med., June 30, 1969, at 75-77.

A New Look at the Courts and Children’s Rights, 16 Children 138-142 (1969).

Artificial Insemination: The Dangers of a Poorly Kept Secret, 64 Nw. U. L. Rev. 777-807 (1970).

A Case of Insanity and Divorce, 56 Va. L. Rev. 12-36 (1970).

Minors and Health Care: The Age of Consent, 11 Osgoode Hall L.J. 115-125 (1973).

Laws on Sex, Marriage and Divorce: What the Physician Should Know, in Marital & Sexual Counseling in Medical Practice 422-445 (D. Wilford Abse et al. eds., Harper & Row, 2d ed. 1974).

Physicians’ Assistants – A Challenge for Professional Liability Insurers, 27 CPCU Annals 290-297 (1974).

Adoption: The Rights of Parents Versus the Best Interests of Their Children (with Andre P. Derdeyn), 16 J. Am. Acad. Child Psychiatry 238-255 (1977).

Sexual Relations after Separation or Divorce: The New Morality and the Old and New Divorce Laws, 63 Va. L. Rev. 249-279 (1977).

Teaching Law and Medicine in the United States, 14 J. Soc’y Pub. Tchrs L. 96-102 (1977).

Courtship, Antenuptial Agreements, and Contracts in Lieu of Marriage, in Family Law & Practice 1-10 (Walter J. Wadlington ed., Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

Marriage Formation, in Family Law & Practice 11-22 (Walter J. Wadlington ed., Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association, 1979).

Virginia Domestic Relations Law: Recent Developments, 67 Va. L. Rev. 351-368 (1981); 68 Va. L. Rev. 507-520 (1982).

Artificial Conception: The Challenge for Family Law, 69 Va. L. Rev. 465-514 (1983).

Consent to Medical Care for Minors: The Legal Framework, in Children’s Competence to Consent 57-74 (Gary B. Melton et al. eds., Plenum Press, 1983).

Courtship and Marriage, in Family Law and Practice in Virginia 1-1 to 1-21 (Richard Balnave ed., Virginia Law Foundation, 1986).

The Health Care Profession, 1 Biolaw 51-68 (1986).

Paying for Children’s Medical Care: Interaction Between Family Law and Cost Containment, 36 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1190-1220 (1986).

United States: Continuing Reform to Reflect Social and Economic Realities, 26 J. Fam. L. 237-246 (1987).

United States: The Continuing Debate about Surrogate Parenthood, 27 J. Fam. L. 321-328 (1988-89).

Baby M.: Catalyst for Family Law Reform?, 5 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y 1-20 (1989).

The Health Care Profession, 1989 Revision, 1 Biolaw R:61-R:67 (1989).

Withholding Life Support Systems, Nutrition or Hydration: Approaches of the Natural Death Statutes, in Health Care Law and Ethics 123-142 (Richard McK. Southby and Harold L. Hirsh eds., George Washington University, 1989).

The United States: The Ongoing Role of the Courts in Reviewing State Regulation of Domestic Relations, 28 J. Fam. L. 643-652 (1990).

Legal Responses to Patient Injury: A Future Agenda for Research and Reform, Law & Contemp. Probs., Spring 1991, at 199-223.

Two “No-Fault” Compensation Schemes for Birth Defective Infants in the United States (with Warren J. Wood, III), 7 Prof. Negl. 40-44 (1991).

The United States: Renewed Focus on Children’s Issues, 29 J. Fam. L. 471-480 (1991).

A Medical Malpractice Crisis in 1995?: Some Conceivable Scenarios, 36 St. Louis U. L.J. 897-912 (1992).

Legislative Responses to Surrogacy Contracting: Recent Experience in the United States, in Congress Papers 1517-1532 (First World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, 1993); expanded version published as Contracts to Bear a Child: The Mixed Legislative Signals, 29 Idaho L. Rev. 383-410 (1993).

Addressing the Malpractice Problem: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Programs (with Joel C. Cantor), Health Aff., Winter 1994, at 230-240; revised version published in To Improve Health and Health Care 1997: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Anthology 109-131 (Stephen L. Isaacs & James R. Knickman eds., Jossey-Bass, 1997).

Medical Decision Making for and by Children: Tensions Between Parent, State, and Child, 1994 U. Ill. L. Rev. 311-336.

Report on Human Cloning Through Embryo Splitting: An Amber Light (member, National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction), 4 Kennedy Inst. Ethics J. 251-282 (1994).

Law Reform and Damages for Medical Injury in the United States, in Law Reform and Medical Injury Litigation 89-118 (Sheila A.M. McLean ed., Dartmouth, 1995).

The Legal System: A Background for Clinicians, in The Business of Critical Care: A Textbook for Clinicians Who Manage Special Care Units 347-376 (William J. Sibbald & Thomas A. Massaro eds., Futura, 1996).

Legal and Ethical Issues of Pediatric Medicine (with Thomas A. Massaro), in Primary Pediatric Care 31-37 (Robert A. Hoekelman ed., Mosby, 3d ed. 1997).

Marriage: An Institution in Transition and Redefinition, in Cross Currents: Family Law and Policy in the United States and England 235-255 (Sanford N. Katz et al. eds., Oxford University Press, 2000).

Some Reflections on Teaching Law and Medicine in Law School since the ’60s, 14 Health Matrix 231-236 (2004).


Review of Baer, Admiralty Law of the Supreme Court, 18 Reading Guide 63-64 (1963).

Review of Newman, ed., Essays in Jurisprudence in Honor of Roscoe Pound, 18 Reading Guide 31 (1963).

Review of Smith, British Justice, 18 Reading Guide 31-32 (1963).

Professor Discusses Juvenile Court Theory, Va. L. Wkly., Nov. 10, 1966, at 1-2, 4; reprinted in 18 Va. L. Wkly. Dicta 108-112 (1966-67).

Review of Yiannopoulis, ed., Civil Law in the Modern World, 40 Tul. L. Rev. 691-694 (1966).

Current Family Law Articles, 2 Fam. L. Q. 441-444 (1968).

Review of Krause, Illegitimacy, 58 Va. L. Rev. 188-191 (1972).

New Legal Weapons for Enforcement of Child and Family Support: The Social Service Amendments of 1974, 1975-76 U. Va. L. Sch. Found. Ann. Rep. 15, 20.

Marriage: Will the Law Accommodate the New Lifestyles?, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1978, at 7-11.

Review of Glendon, State, Law and Family, 12 Fam. L. Q. 253-257 (1978).

Statement, in In-Vitro Fertilization – Oversight 105-108 (Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing, Aug. 4, 1978).

Browning Hoffman: Tribute to a Teacher (with Charles H. Whitebread), 66 Va. L. Rev. 423-425 (1980).

Artificial Conception: Legislative Responses to Family Law Problems, Va. L. Wkly., Feb, 6, 1981, at 1-2, 4.

Foreword, in The Family in International Law: Some Emerging Problems (Third Sokol Colloquium) v-vii (Richard B. Lillich ed., Michie, 1981).

Monrad G. Paulsen, 3 Cardozo L. Rev. 11-15 (1981).

Review of Krause, Child Support in America, 17 Fam. L.Q. 93-96 (1983).

Breaking the Silence of Doctor and Patient (reviewing Katz, The Silent World of Doctor and Patient), 93 Yale L.J. 1640-1651 (1984).

Uniform Marital Property Act Symposium: Foreword, 21 Hous. L. Rev. 595-600 (1984).

Symposium: The Parent-child Relationship and the Current Cycle of Family Law Reform: Prologue to the Symposium, 45 Ohio St. L.J. 307-311 (1984).

Biomedical Progress: The Challenges for Doctors and Lawyers, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1985, at 4-8.

The Lawyer and Historic Preservation (with Thomas R. White), Va. L. Sch. Rep., Spring 1987, at 7-14.

Family Law Begs for Broad Review: Technology Outdates Current Rules, N.J. L.J., Feb. 18, 1988, at 31.

Parents, Children, and the Courts: Foreword, 22 Ga. L. Rev. 845-850 (1988).

Foreword: Shifting Concepts of the Family and Its Roles, 8 J.L. & Pol. 1-3 (1991).

Medical Injury Compensation: A Time for Testing New Approaches, 265 JAMA 2861 (1991).

Ethical Advice in Reproductive Medicine (with others), 61 Fertility & Sterility 236-238 (1994).

The Lynchburg Story: A Review, Va. L. Sch. Wkly, Oct. 21, 1994, at 1, 3.

New Directions in Family Law: Foreword, 81 Va. L. Rev. 2043-2044 (1995).

Reproductive Technologies: III. Artificial Insemination, in 4 Encyclopedia of Bioethics 2216-2221 (Warren Thomas Reich ed., Macmillan, 1995).

Symposium on Regulating Medical Innovation: Foreword, 82 Va. L. Rev. 1403-1405 (1996).

Foreword, in Raymond C. O’Brien & Michael T. Flannery, Long-Term Care: Federal, State, and Private Options for the Future ix-x (Haworth Press, 1997)

Symposium: Domestic Violence and the Health Care System: Foreword, 35 Hous. L. Rev. 1-6 (1998).

Stewart G. Pollock: Portrait of a Judge as Artist and Humanist, 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 426-429 (2000).