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Mary J. Davis

university of kentucky college of law professor mary davis

University Research Professor and Stites & Harbison Professor of Law

128 Law Building

mjdavis@uky.edu

(859) 257-3198

Department

Mary J. Davis has been on the UK Law faculty since 1991. She joined the faculty after six years of a products liability litigation defense practice for the law firms of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and McGuire, Woods, Battle, & Boothe in Richmond, Virginia. Her experience, which involved management of nationwide litigation, has informed her scholarship in the field of products liability.

Professor Davis was selected in 2016 as University Research Professor from the College of Law. She is co-author of the widely adopted law school textbook Products Liability and Safety: Cases and Materials (7th ed. 2015) (including the annual case supplement and Teacher's Manual). She is also a co-author of the leading multi-volume products liability treatise, Owen and Davis, Products Liability Law (4th ed. 2014) (West Publishing). Her articles have appeared in such journals as the Hasting Law JournalBoston College Law Review, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, the Wake Forest Law Review, and the Tennessee Law Review. Her recent work on federal preemption of state products liability laws has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.

She has been a visiting professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, Boston College Law School, William and Mary College of Law and Wake Forest University School of Law. Professor Davis is quoted in the national press on subjects of products liability and mass tort litigation. She is a 1985 magna cum laude graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law, where she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review, and a 1979 cum laude graduate of the University of Virginia. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute where she has served on the Members Consultative Groups for the Restatement (Third) of Torts and Aggregate Litigation Project..

Education

  • B.A., cum laude, University of Virginia (1979)
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Wake Forest University School of Law (1985)

Specialties:

  • Products Liability
  • Complex Litigation

Books & Book Chapters

  • David G. Owen & Mary J. Davis, Owen & Davis on Products Liability (4th ed. 2014).
  • David G. Owen & Mary J. Davis, Products Liability and Safety: Cases and Materials (7th ed. 2015).
  • David G. Owen & Mary J. Davis, Statutory Supplement (annual update) for use in conjunction with Products Liability and Safety: Cases and Materials (7th ed. 2015).
  • David G. Owen, M. Stuart Madden & Mary J. Davis, Madden & Owen on Products Liability (3d ed. 2000).
  • Paul A. LeBel, David G. Owen & Mary J. Davis, Products Liability Problems (2d ed. 1996). 
  • Mary J. Davis, Chapters on Regulating Product Defectiveness and Toxic Substance Litigation, in David G. Owen, John E. Montgomery & W. Page Keeton, Products Liability and Safety: Cases and Materials (3d ed. 1996).

Scholarly Articles

Mary Davis's scholarship can be downloaded from her SelectedWorks page.

  • Mary J. Davis, The Case Against Preemption: Vaccines & Uncertainty, 8 Ind. Health L. Rev. 293 (2011).
  • Mary J. Davis, The “New” Presumption Against Preemption, 61 Hastings L.J. 1217 (2010).
  • Mary J. Davis, On Restating Products Liability Preemption, 74 Brook. L. Rev. 759 (2009).
  • Mary J. Davis, The Battle Over Implied Preemption: Products Liability and the FDA, 48 B.C. L. Rev. 1089 (2007).
  • Mary J. Davis, On Preemption, Congressional Intent, and Conflict of Laws, 66 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 181 (2004).
  • Mary J. Davis, Unmasking the Presumption in Favor of Preemption, 53 S. C. L. Rev. 963 (2002).
  • Mary J. Davis, Summary Adjudication in United States Civil Procedure, 46 Am. J. Comp. L. Supp. 229 (1998).
  • Mary J. Davis, Toward the Proper Role for Mass Tort Class Actions, 77 Or. L. Rev. 157 (1998).
  • Mary J. Davis, Mass Tort Litigation: Congress's Silent, But Deadly, Reform Effort, 64 Tenn. L. Rev. 913 (1997).
  • Mary J. Davis, The Supreme Court and Our Culture of Irresponsibility, 31 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1075 (1996).
  • Mary J. Davis, Individual and Institutional Responsibility: A Vision for Comparative Fault in Products Liability, 39 Vill. L. Rev. 281 (1994).
  • Mary J. Davis, Design Defect Liability: In Search of A Standard of Responsibility, 39 Wayne L. Rev. 1217 (1993).

August 19, 2016
By: Research

Mary Davis is the Stites & Harbison Professor of Law and was named a 2016-2017 University Research Professor. She has been on the UK College of Law faculty for 25 years. Her work on federal preemption of state products liability laws has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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July 1, 2016

Eighteen diverse high school students, representing all of Lexington’s public high schools and Sayre, came to the University of Kentucky College of Law on June 12-18 for the third annual Summer Law Institute (SLI) – a seven-day residential Law Camp for rising juniors and seniors interested in law and the legal profession.

Kenleigh Joseph, a student at Tates Creek High School, participated in the camp this year.

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May 17, 2016

The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research, with approval by the Board of Trustees, selected Mary Davis, Stites & Harbison Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law, as the college’s University Research Professor for the 2016-17 year.

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May 17, 2016

On April 28, the University of Kentucky College of Law hosted a reception at the Hilary J. Boone Center to acknowledge the strength of UK Law faculty through scholarship.

Initiated in 2014, the Faculty Scholarship Reception recognizes articles from the previous two years and books from the last five years. The importance of the biennial event is to acknowledge the impact UK Law faculty are making both internally across campus and externally across the commonwealth and the nation.

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Upon recommendation of Dean David A. Brennen, eight third-year UK Law students were selected as Pupils of the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court (CKAIC) for 2015-2016.

Upon recommendation of Dean David A. Brennen, eight third-year UK Law students were selected as Pupils of the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court (CKAIC) for 2015-2016.

This year’s list of pupils include Ian Archibald, Alissa Bocook, Rachel Hepburn, Zachary Mattioni, Charles Otten, Andrea Reed, W. Austin Smith II, and Misty Stone.

The Inn of Court is an educational and mentoring organization for judges, lawyers and law students dedicated to perpetuating high quality, ethical lawyers and enhancing professionalism and collegiality among the bench and bar. 

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Professor Mary Davis

Mary J. Davis, University of Kentucky Stites & Harbison Professor of Law, recently published the fourth edition of her products liability treatise with co-author Professor David Owen from the University of South Carolina School of Law. The Law of Products Liability was published by Thomson Reuters Publishing in August 2014.

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