Kenneth W. Simons

Chancellor’s Professor of Law

Professor of Philosophy (courtesy)
Kenneth W. Simons's image
Expertise:

Torts, criminal law, moral and political philosophy

Background:

Professor Simons is a leading scholar of tort law, criminal law, and law and philosophy who has served since 2014 as a Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement Third of Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons. He has published influential scholarship concerning assumption of risk and contributory negligence; the nature and role of mental states in criminal, tort and constitutional law; and negligence as a moral and legal concept. He has also explored such topics as bias crimes, corrective justice, the logic of egalitarian norms, mistake and impossibility in criminal law, and strict criminal liability.

Before joining UC Irvine School of Law, Prof. Simons was Professor of Law and The Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law at Boston University School of Law. He was Associate Dean for Research and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs there.

Professor Simons was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and to Judge James L. Oakes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prof. Simons also worked as an associate at Goodwin, Procter & Hoar in Boston, in the field of civil litigation, including commercial law, tort, contracts, and prisoners’ rights. He received his J.D. from Michigan Law School, magna cum laude, and graduated from Yale University, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in philosophy.

Current Courses:
Statutory Analysis
Prior Courses:

Common Law Analysis: Torts, Criminal Law, Philosophy of Punishment, Law and Ethics of War, Constitutional Law, Products Liability

Recent Publications

Prof. Simons’ Scholarly Papers on SSRN

Recent and Upcoming Events

  • March 31, 2017
    Invited participant, Presenter, “Can Strict Criminal Liability for Responsible Corporate Officers be Justified by the Duty to Use Extraordinary Care?” Conference on Crime Without Fault: The Justifiability of Public Welfare Offenses and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, Georgetown Law School
  • Nov. 11-12, 2016
    Invited participant, Conference on Self-Defense, University of San Diego School of Law, presented paper, “Self-defense, Necessity and the Duty to Compensate, in Law and Morality.”
  • July 19-22, 2016
    Invited Participant, Obligations VIII Conference, Revolutions in Private Law, University of Cambridge, England.  Presented paper, “The Hegemony of the Reasonable Person in Anglo-American Tort Law”
  • April 29, 2016
    Presenter, “The Hegemony of the Reasonable Person in Anglo-American Tort Law,” University of San Diego School of Law Faculty Colloquium
  • March 30, 2016
    Presenter, Chancellor’s Professor Lecture, “Assumption of Risk and Consent in the Twenty-First Century,” University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Nov. 13–14, 2015
    Invited presenter, “Punishment and Blame for Culpable Indifference,” Criminal Law Theory Conference, Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Oct. 23–24, 2015
    Invited participant, The North American Workshop on Private Law Theory, University of Toronto
  • Sept. 11–12, 2015
    Invited participant, Yale Center for Law and Philosophy, Roundtable on Douglas Husak, Ignorance of Law: A Philosophical Inquiry, New Haven CT
  • April 2, 2015:
    Speaker, “Can jurors understand the mental state categories employed in the criminal law?” Criminal Justice Forum, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University
  • May 20, 2014:
    Presenter, “Restatement of the Law Third: Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons, Discussion Draft” (co-authored with Professor Ellen Pryor), 2014 American Law Institute Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • May 2, 2014:
    Presenter, “Punishment and Blame for Culpable Indifference,” A Comparative Conversations on Causation and Culpability in the Criminal Law conference, Buffalo Criminal Law Center, SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Jan. 18-19, 2014:
    Presenter, “Consent and Assumption of Risk in Tort and Criminal Law,” Unraveling Tort and Crime II workshop, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
  • April 24, 2013:
    Invited participant, Panel Discussion of Victor Tadros’ book, The Ends of Harm, Harvard Law School
  • March 18, 2013:
    Invited participant, Panel Discussion of Stuart Green’s book, Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age, New England School of Law