John Harrison headshot

John C. Harrison

Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
J.D. Yale Law School 1980
B.A. University of Virginia 1977

John C. Harrison joined the faculty in 1993 as an associate professor of law after a distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Justice. His teaching subjects include constitutional history, federal courts, remedies, corporations, civil procedure, legislation and property. In 2008 he was on leave from the Law School to serve as counselor on international law in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State.

A 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia, Harrison earned his law degree in 1980 at Yale, where he served as editor of the Yale Law Journal and editor and articles editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order. He was an associate at Patton Boggs & Blow in Washington, D.C., and clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He worked with the Department of Justice from 1983-93, serving in numerous capacities, including deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (1990-93).

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 6006: Property
Credits: 4
The course is a general introduction to property concepts and different types of property interests, particularly real property. The course surveys present and future estates in land, ownership and concurrent ownership. Leasehold interests, gifts and bequests, covenants and servitudes, conveyancing, various land use restrictions, eminent domain, and intellectual and personal property issues are also considered.
LAW 6102: Administrative Law
Credits: 3–4
This course covers the role of agencies in the constitutional structure and their operations. Topics include the nondelegation doctrine, executive appointment and removal power, the legislative veto as well as the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and other sources of law that regulate and structure the authority of agencies to determine the rights and responsibilities of the public. Prerequisite: LAW 6001-Constitutional Law
LAW 6103: Corporations
Credits: 4
This course considers the formation and operation of corporations and compares corporations to other business forms. It examines the roles and duties of those who control businesses and the power of investors to influence and litigate against those in control. The course also addresses the special problems of closely held corporations and issues arising out of mergers and attempts to acquire firms. The course uses both new tools derived from the corporate finance and related literature and traditional tools to explore a wide range of phenomena and transactions associated with the modern business enterprise.
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 6107: International Law
Credits: 3–4
This is the introductory course in public (government-to-government) international law.  Topics include the International Court of Justice, the United Nations, recognition and statehood, diplomatic immunity, sovereign immunity, the law of the sea, torture, the Geneva and Hague Conventions, treaties, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. 
LAW 7014: Conflict of Laws
Credits: 2–3
This course examines the rules and principles that govern the resolution of multi-jurisdictional conflicts of laws in the United States. The central issue throughout the course is, simply, what law governs a multi-jurisdictional dispute? It considers various theoretical bases for choice of law principles, as well as the principal constitutional limitations on choice of law.
LAW 7035: Foreign Relations Law
Credits: 3
This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines regulating the conduct of American foreign relations.
LAW 7067: National Security Law
Credits: 3
Following the 9/11 attack, one of the fastest growing areas of legal inquiry has been national security law. This course is a comprehensive introduction, blending relevant international and national law.
LAW 7078: Remedies
Credits: 3
Remedies is a transubstantive course crossing the boundaries both within private law and between private and public law. This course will examine the relationship between liability and remedy across diverse areas of law. While emphasis will be placed on private law remedies, public law remedies will be considered at some depth for purposes of comparison.
LAW 8811: Independent Research
Credits: 1
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 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 9039: Supreme Court: October Term
Credits: 2–3
This seminar will examine the Supreme Court by intensive study of the Court's most recent Term, October Term 2008, which concludes in June 2009. After a brief introduction to the workings of the Court, the seminar will closely examine the most significant decisions from last Term.