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Room 221, College of Law
(859) 218-1493

Mary J. Davis was named Dean of the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law effective Jan. 1, 2021, after serving as interim dean.

Dean Davis has been on the UK Rosenberg 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.

She 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. Dean 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.


  • Products Liability
  • Complex Litigation


  • Law 805 Torts
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).
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