Simon Stern

Professor, Faculty of Law; Graduate Faculty
Faculty of Law, Room 212, 78 Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C5


Fields of Study


Professor Stern teaches in the areas of civil procedure, law and literature, legal history, and criminal law. His research focuses on the evolution of legal doctrines and methods in relation to literary and intellectual history. Current research topics include the adoption of the analytical method in the nineteenth century and its effects on modern legal reasoning and writing; the development of the "reasonable man" standard (and its precursors and analogues) since the eighteenth century; the history of the case method and the form of the case; the history of copyright law and its relation to contemporary issues in intellectual property; and relations between legal and literary views of authorial responsibility, and the forms of liability that may arise when the two coincide. He is co-editor the Law and Literature series for Oxford University Press.

Office Hours

By Appointment.



Co-editor (with Bernadette Meyler and Maksymilian Del Mar), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities (2019)

Editor, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England: Book Two: Of the Rights of Things (The Oxford Edition of Blackstone, Oxford UP, 2016)

Co-editor (with Nan Goodman), The Routledge Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (2017)

Co-editor (with John Bender), Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (Oxford University Press, World's Classics series, 2008)

Co-editor (with Catherine Gallagher), Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: A Bedford Cultural Edition (Bedford Books, 1999)


"Omniscient Narrative Modes in Law: From Trial Strategy to the Fellow-Servant Rule." Law, Culture and the Humanities (2023) 

"From Clapham to Salina: Locating the Reasonable Man." Law & Literature (2022) 

"The Legal Imagination in Historical Perspective," in Amalia Amaya and Maksymilian Del Mar, eds., Virtue, Emotion, and Imagination in Legal Reasoning (Hart, 2019)

Editor, special issue: "Law and Literature," 5:2 CAL (Dec. 2018)

"Literary Analysis of Law," in The Oxford Handbook of Historical Legal Research, ed. Markus Dubber and Christopher Tomlins (Oxford University Press, 2018), 63-78

"Copyright as a Property Right? Authorial Perspectives in Eighteenth-Century England," 8 U.C.Irvine L. Rev. __ (2018)

"Textual Privacy and Mobile Information," 55 Osgoode Hall J.L. 398 (2018)

“Narrative in the Legal Text: Judicial Opinions and Their Narratives,” in Michael Hanne and Robert Weisberg, eds., Narrative and Metaphor in the Law (Cambridge UP, 2017)

"Richardson and the Law," in Samuel Richardson in Context, ed. Peter Sabor and Betty Schellenberg (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

"Cleland and the ‘Laws of Decency’: Investigating Obscenity in Eighteenth-Century England," forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Life (2017)

"Literary and Legal Fictions," in New Directions in Law and Literature, ed. Bernadette Meyler & Elizabeth Anker (Oxford UP, 2017)

"Creating a Public Domain in Eighteenth-Century England," Oxford Handbooks Online in Literature (2015) (Oxford website)

"Forensic Oratory and the Jury Trial in Nineteenth-Century America," Comparative Legal History 3 (2015), 293-306

"Effect and Technique in Legal Aesthetics," Critical Analysis of Law 2 (2015), 496-510

"Satirical Authorship and Literary Commerce," in Alessa Johns, ed., Reflections on Sentiment: Essays in Honor of George Starr (U of Delaware Press, 2015), 167-84

"Blackstone’s Legal Actors: The Passions of a Rational Jurist," in Nancy Johnson, ed., Impassioned Jurisprudence: Law, Literature and Emotion, 1760-1848 (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 1-19

"Legal Fictions and Exclusionary Rules," in Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, ed. William Twining & Maksymillian Del Mar (Springer 2014), 157-74 (on Google Books)

"William Blackstone: Courtroom Dramatist?" in Wilfrid Prest, ed., Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries 21 (Hart, 2014) (on Google Books)

"Law and Literature," in Markus D. Dubber and Tatjana Hörnle, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law(Oxford UP 2014) (on Google Books) (on Oxford Handbooks Online)

"The Third-Party Doctrine and the Third Person" (2013) 16 New Crim. L. Rev. 364-412

"Speech and Property in David Simple," ELH: English Lit. Hist. 79 (2012): 623-54

"'Room for One More': The Metaphorics of Physical Space in the Eighteenth-Century Copyright Debate," Law and Literature 24 (2012): 113-54

"From Author's Right to Property Right," U. Toronto L.J. 62 (2012): 29-91

"Detecting Doctrines: The Case Method and the Detective Story," Yale J.L. & Human. 23 (2011): 339-87

"Legal Remedies for Medical Ghostwriting: Imposing Fraud Liability for Ghostwritten Articles" (with Trudo Lemmens), PLoS Med. 8(8) (2011): 1-5

"Literary Evidence and Legal Aesthetics" in Austin Sarat, Cathrine Frank, & Matthew Anderson, eds., Teaching Law and Literature (MLA Options for Teaching series) (New York: Modern Language Association, 2011), 244-52

"Sentimental Frauds," Law & Soc. Inquiry 36 (2011): 83-113

"Picturing Same-Sex Marriage in the Antebellum United States: The Union of 'Two Most Excellent Men' in Longstreet's 'A Sage Conversation'" (2010) (co-authored with Timothy Stewart-Winter), J. Hist. Sexuality 19 (2010): 197-222

"The Case and the Exceptions: Creating Instrumental Texts in Law and Literature" in Pat Rogers & Laura Runge, eds., Producing the Eighteenth-Century Book: Writers and Publishers in England, 1650-1800 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2009), 95-116

"Copyright, Originality, and the Public Domain in Eighteenth-Century England" in Reginald McGinnis, ed. Originality and Intellectual Property in the French and English Enlightenment (New York: Routledge, 2008), 69-101

"Between Local Knowledge and National Politics: Debating Rationales for Jury Nullification after Bushell's Case," Yale L.J. 111 (2002); 1815-1859

"Tom Jones and the Economies of Copyright," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 9 (1997): 429-444


JD, Yale University
PhD, University of California, Berkeley