Research Fellows

Michael Pressman
Research Fellow | 917.676.3333


Law Clerk to the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Sept. 2017 – Sept. 2018
Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Bacharach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Sept. 2016 – Aug. 2017


PhD, Philosophy, University of Southern California, 2018
JD, Stanford Law School, 2010
MA, Philosophy, Stanford University, 2006
BA, Philosophy, Stanford University, 2006

Teaching and Research Interests:

Primary: Torts, contracts, remedies, civil procedure, evidence
Secondary: Jurisprudence, law and philosophy, law and economics, property, tax, bioethics

Brief Description of My Research: 

My scholarship bridges law, philosophy, and their intersection. My legal scholarship to date has focused primarily on torts, contracts, and private law remedies. Within philosophy, my research has focused on questions about value and how to quantify and aggregate it. And my scholarship has increasingly come to be concerned with areas in which philosophical work in value theory can and should inform the values identified by private law remedies. In particular, a recent focus has been on how tort law should value lost life-years and on how value theory can identify the need for, and help provide, amendments to law-and-economics principles. Another recent focus, as exemplified by my job talk paper, has been on exploring possible alternatives to customary damages measures for negligence cases.


Academic Publications:

Law Reviews:
♦ Alternative Damages Measures for Negligence Cases (job talk) (in progress)
♦ Hedonic-Loss Damages that Optimally Deter: An Alternative to “Value of a Statistical Life” that Focuses on Both Decedent and Tortfeasor, 72 Hastings L.J. (forthcoming 2021)
♦ The Relevance of Defendants’ Wealth for Forward-Looking, Backward-Looking, and Mixed Accounts of Tort Damages, 95 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. (forthcoming 2020)
♦ Aggregating Happiness: A Framework for Exploring Compensation for Lost Years of Life, 69 DePaul L. Rev. 875 (2020)
♦ Calculating Compensation Sums for Private Law Wrongs: Underlying Imprecisions, Necessary Questions, and Toward a Plausible Account of Damages for Lost Years of Life, 53 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 597 (2020)
♦ “The Ability to Pay” in Tax Law: Clarifying the Concept’s Egalitarian and Utilitarian Justifications and the Interactions Between the Two, 21 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 141 (2018)
♦ The Compatibility of Forward-Looking and Backward-Looking Accounts of Tort Law, 15 U. N.H. L. Rev. 45 (2016)
♦ The Two-Contract Approach to Liquidated Damages: A New Framework for Exploring the Penalty Clause Debate, 7 Va. L. & Bus. Rev. 651 (2013)

♦ The Badness-of-Death Debate and the Underlying Accounts of “Goodness for a Person” (under review)
♦ On Michael D. Bayles’s “The Price of Life,” 125 Ethics 1154 (2015)
♦ A Defense of Average Utilitarianism, 27 Utilitas 389 (2015)
♦ On Anderson Woods’s “The Greatest Happiness Regardless of Number,” 125 Ethics 546 (2015)

Non-Academic Publications:

♦ The Challenge of Achieving a Representative Cross-Section of the Community for Jury Trials During the Pandemic, 5 Jury Matters 7 (2020)
♦ A Report on the Civil Jury Project’s Mock Zoom Jury Trial, 5 Jury Matters 6 (2020)
♦ The Permissibility and Constitutionality of Jury Trial by Videoconference, 5 Jury Matters 5 (2020) (with Michael Shammas)
♦ Bench Trial by Videoconference, 5 Jury Matters 5 (2020)
♦ High-Low Agreements: When Are They Enforceable? Do They Encourage Jury Trials?, 5 Jury Matters 2 (2020)
♦ What We Can Learn from the Results of the Civil Jury Project’s Recently-Discharged-Juror Questionnaire, 4 Jury Matters 9 (2019)
♦ Innovations in Action: The Perspective of Recent Jurors, 4 Jury Matters 6 (2019)
♦ A Review of the Susman-Marten Proposal to the Federal Judicial Center to Include Jury Trial Training in Baby Judges’ School, 3 Jury Matters 12 (2018)
United States v. Chung: State of Mind in Trade Secrets Actions, 15 IP Litigator 5 (2009) (with John Williamson)
♦ Defining the Trade Secret: Establishing that Information Is “Not Readily Ascertainable by Proper Means,” 14 IP Litigator 5 (2008) (with John Williamson)

My SSRN papers: