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Timothy D. Lytton

Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development; Distinguished University Professor & Professor of Law    

J.D. Yale University
B.A. Yale University


Administrative Law
Products Liability
Legislation & Statutory Interpretation


Timothy D. Lytton’s research examines health and safety regulations, with a particular focus on food policy. His most recent book, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Harvard University Press 2013), examines kosher food certification as a model of private regulation in the food industry, and the book explores the implications of this model for food safety and food labeling.

He is writing a book, Outbreak: Foodborne Illness and the Evolving Food Safety System (under contract with The University of Chicago Press) about the complex interaction of government regulation, industry supply-chain management, and tort liability in the U.S. food safety system. His research also explores food policy in the areas of obesity, nutrition labeling, and school food. He recently conducted research in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health to assess the effectiveness of New York State laws and regulations aimed at promoting breastfeeding as part of the state’s infant nutrition and obesity prevention policies. The research was funded by a multi-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Law Research Program.

Lytton has a longstanding interest in the public policy implications of tort litigation. He has explored this subject through case studies of contemporary issues such as clergy sexual abuse and gun violence. His book Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse (Harvard University Press 2008) explores how private lawsuits shape public policy. An earlier edited volume, Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (University of Michigan Press 2005), analyzes tort litigation aimed at reducing gun violence.

Lytton has published several articles and book chapters on rabbinic law and jurisprudence, and is co-author of Jurisprudence, Cases and Materials: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law and Its Applications (Lexis Publishing 3d ed. 2015).

His work has appeared in the Texas, Virginia, Cornell, Northwestern, and Wisconsin law reviews; the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the American Journal of Law & Medicine, and Public Health Nutrition; popular magazines such as The American Interest, Regulation, and the Jewish Review of Books; and blogs including the Huffington Post and RegBlog.

He teaches Administrative Law, Torts, Products Liability, and Legislation & Statutory Interpretation.

Lytton joined Georgia State University College of Law in 2015. He taught previously for 15 years at Albany Law School, where he was the Albert & Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law. He has been a fellow in the Harvard Program on Ethics and the Professions as well as the Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He has done conflict resolution work in Central America and the Middle East.

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Kosher: Private Regulation In The Age Of Industrial Food
(Harvard University Press, 2013)

Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse

(Harvard University Press, 2008)

Suing The Gun Industry: A Battle at The Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts

(University of Michigan Press, 2005) (contributing editor)

Introduction, An Overview of Lawsuits Against the Gun Industry

Chapter 6, The NRA, the Brady Campaign, and the Politics of Gun Litigation

Chapter 10, The Complementary Role of Tort Litigation in Regulating the Gun Industry

Afterword, Federal Gun Industry Immunity Legislation

Law Review & Journal Articles

There is More to Transparency than Meets the Eye: The Impact of Mandatory Disclosure Laws Aimed at Promoting Breastfeeding, 40 American Journal of Law & Medicine (2014) (with Barbara Dennison, Trang Nguyen, and Janine Jurkowski)

Oversight in Private Food Safety Auditing: Addressing Auditor Conflict of Interest, Wisconsin Law Review 289 (2014) (with Lesley McAllister)

Competitive Third Party Regulation: How Private Certification Can Overcome Constraints that Frustrate Government Regulation, 15 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 539 (2014)

Jewish Foodways and Religious Self-Governance in America: The Failure of Communal Kashrut Regulation and the Rise of Private Kosher Certification, 104 Jewish Quarterly Review 38 (2014)

Kosher Certification as a Model of Private Regulation: Third-Party Certification has Benefits Over Both Government Regulation and Unregulated Markets, 36 Regulation 24 (2013)

Tort as a Litigation Lottery: A Misconceived Metaphor, 52 Boston College Law Review 267 (2011) (with Robert Rabin and Peter Schuck)

An Educational Approach to School Food: Using Nutrition Standards to Promote Healthy Dietary Habits, 2010 Utah Law Review 1189 (2010)

Banning Front-of-Package Food Labels: First Amendment Constraints on Public Health Policy, 14(6) Public Health Nutrition 1123 (2010)

Signs of Change or Clash of Symbols? FDA Regulation of Nutrient Profile Labeling, 20 Health Matrix 93 (2010)

Using Tort Litigation to Enhance Regulatory Policymaking: Evaluating Climate Change Litigation in Light of Lessons from Gun Industry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, 86 Texas Law Review 1837 (2008)

Clergy Sexual Abuse Litigation: The Policymaking Role of Tort Law, 39 Connecticut Law Review 809 (2007)

Due Process and Legal Authority in the Garden of Eden: Jurisprudence in Aggadic Midrash, 16 Jewish Law Annual 185 (2006)

Using Litigation to Make Public Health Policy: Theoretical and Empirical Challenges in Assessing Product Liability, Tobacco, and Gun Litigation, 32 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 556 (Winter 2004)

“Shall Not the Judge of the World Do Justice?”: Accountability, Compassion, and Judicial Authority in the Biblical Story of Sodom and Gomorrah, 17 Journal of Law and Religion 31 (2002)

Other Publications

There is More to Mandatory Disclosure than Meets the Eye, RegBlog (online) (October 27, 2014)

The Advantages of Private Certification over Government Regulation, RegBlog (online) (October 6, 2014)

Shaking Up Israel’s Kosher Certification System, Jewish Review of Books (Fall 2014), 42 (with Motti Talias)

Markets and Morality: Kosher Certification as a Model for Eco-labeling, Looking Forward (January 2014), 3

Is That Kosher? Private Sector Food Safety Auditors Can Use the Success of Kosher Certification as a Model, The American Interest (September/October 2013), 64

Chopped Herring and the Making of the American Kosher Certification System, Jewish Review of Books (Spring 2013), 5

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