Elected Member

Professor Mark Geistfeld

New York, NY
New York University School of Law
Lewis and Clark College
Columbia Law School

Mark Geistfeld is the Sheila Lubetsky Birnbaum Professor of Civil Litigation at New York University School of Law, where he has been a member of the fulltime faculty since 1991. He was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2014.

Geistfeld received his JD from Columbia University, after having served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review. He also received a PhD in economics from Columbia, with highest distinction, and a MA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. His primary teaching areas are torts, products liability, and insurance. He has also taught law and economics.

Geistfeld’s research has extensively addressed the common-law rules governing the prevention of and compensation for physical harms. He has authored or co-authored five books along with over 50 articles and book chapters, often showing how difficult doctrinal issues can be resolved by systematic reliance on the underlying legal principles. For example, in his books Product Liability Law (Aspen Pub., 2d ed. 2021) and Principles of Products Liability (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2021), he shows why the two dominant conceptions of products liability are not conflicting, as has been commonly assumed, but instead work together in a complementary fashion that persuasively explains the primary doctrines while resolving various issues that have perplexed the courts. Similarly, in Tort Law: The Essentials (Aspen Pub., 2008), Geistfeld explains the important doctrines of tort law by reference to a compensatory tort right that unifies the primary liability functions of deterrence and compensation. In a series of ensuing articles, he shows why this conception is historically accurate and consistent with extensive empirical studies of contemporary social norms. Geistfeld also addresses the liability and insurance implications of autonomous vehicles in various publications, including “A Roadmap for Autonomous Vehicles: State Tort Liability, Automobile Insurance, and Federal Safety Regulation,” 105 California Law Review 1611 (2017). Much of his scholarship relies on insurance considerations due to the interplay between tort liability and insurance mechanisms.

Before joining the NYU Law faculty, Geistfeld spent a year as a litigation associate in the New York office of Dewey Ballantine, another year as a law clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then another year as a litigation associate in the New York office of Simpson Thacher. He continues to stay involved in litigation practice, having served as an expert witness or legal consultant in a number of interesting tort and insurance cases.

Geistfeld is a senior editor of the Journal of Tort Law, an Adviser to both the Restatement of the Law Third Torts: Concluding Provisions and the Restatement of the Law Third Torts: Medical Malpractice, and often is a referee for peer-reviewed scholarly journals, university presses, and governmental funding agencies. He formerly was the director of the Masters of Comparative Jurisprudence program at NYU, and is now a co-director of the NYU Center for Law and Economics.

Professor Mark Geistfeld Image
Areas of Expertise
Tort Law
Insurance Law
Products Liability (Tort Law)