Caleb Nelson headshot
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Caleb E. Nelson

Professor
Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
WB378
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
J.D. Yale Law School 1993
A.B. Harvard University 1988
Biography

Caleb Nelson teaches civil procedure, federal courts and statutory interpretation. He is a past winner of UVA’s All-University Teaching Award as well as the national Federalist Society’s Paul M. Bator Award (which recognizes excellence in both teaching and scholarship).  His articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Virginia Law Review and other leading journals. He is also the author of a casebook on statutory interpretation, published by Foundation Press. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Nelson earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard, where he majored in mathematics, won the Wendell Prize and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior.  Before attending Yale Law School, he was managing editor of The Public Interest, a domestic-policy quarterly.  After earning his law degree, Nelson clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.  From 1995 to 1998, he practiced law with the Cincinnati firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, where he focused on appellate litigation. He joined the Virginia faculty as an associate professor in 1998 and became a full professor in 2003.

LAW 6000: Civil Procedure
Credits: 4
This course covers the procedures courts use in deciding lawsuits that do not involve criminal misconduct. Much of it is concerned with the process of litigation in trial courts, from the initial documents called pleadings, through the pre-trial process, especially the process of discovery in which parties obtain information from one another, to trial itself.
LAW 6105: Federal Courts
Credits: 3–4
This course is about the federal judicial system and its relationship to various other decision-makers, including Congress and the state courts. We will examine the jurisdiction of the federal courts; the elements of a justiciable case or controversy; the role of state law and so-called "federal common law" in federal courts; implied causes of action; and state sovereign immunity.
LAW 7062: Legislation
Credits: 3–4
This course will examine both the theory and the practice of statutory interpretation. We will become familiar with the canons of construction frequently invoked by courts. Finally, we will consider some specialized but important topics in statutory interpretation, such as doctrines of severability and pre-emption.
LAW 8812: Independent Research
Credits: 2
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member
LAW 8814: Independent Research (YR)
This course is the first semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8815: Independent Research (YR)
Credits: 2
This course is the second semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.