Joseph H. King

King Joseph
  • Professor of Law Emeritus, Walter W. Bussart Distinguished Professor of Law

  • B.A., 1965, Pennsylvania State University
    J.D., 1970, University of Pennsylvania


Publications of Joseph H. King

Professor King has been widely published on torts and medical issues. His research interests include torts, especially relating to the standard of care and causation; medical malpractice; worker's compensation; and social security disability.

He is the author of The Law of Medical Malpractice in a Nutshell and his writings have been published in the American University, Washington and Lee, SMU, Cincinnati, William & Mary, Hofstra, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Memphis, Baylor, Houston, Tennessee, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, and University of Pennsylvania law reviews, and in the Yale and Duke Law Journals. His articles have been cited in more than one hundred cases, including decisions by the British House of Lords and the Canadian Supreme Court.

Professor King has lectured frequently to health care providers and to veterinarians on professional liability. His lectures have included a presentation at a conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School.

A member of the UT faculty since 1973, he has twice received the Harold C. Warner Outstanding Teacher Award, has received the W. Allen Separk Outstanding Teacher Award, and has also been honored with the Carden Award for Outstanding Service and the Carden Award for Outstanding Scholarship.


Biography of Joseph H. King


The Law of Medical Malpractice in a Nutshell (West, 2nd ed., 1986).


The Torts Restatement’s Inchoate Definition of Intent for Battery, and Reflections on the Province of Restatements, 38 Pepperdine L. Rev. 623-74 (2011).

Defamation Claims Based on Parody and Other Fanciful Communications Not Intended to Be Understood as Fact, 2008 Utah L. Rev. 875-945 (2008).

The Common Knowledge Exception to the Expert Testimony Requirement for Establishing the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice, 59 Ala.  L.  Rev. 51 (2007).

Deus ex Machina and the Unfulfilled Promise of New York Times v. Sullivan: Applying the Times for All Seasons, 95 Ky L. J. 649 (2007).

The Standard of Care for Residents and Other Medical School Graduates in Training, 55 Amer. U. L. Rev. 683 (2006).

Limiting the Liability of Franchisors for the Torts of Their Franchisees, 62 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 417 (2005).

Pain and Suffering, Noneconomic Damages, and the Goals of Tort Law, 57 SMU L. Rev. 163(2004).

Counting Angels and Weighing Anchors: Per Diem Arguments for Noneconomic Personal Injury Tort Damages, 71 Tenn. L. Rev. 1(2003).

Defining the Internal Context for Communications Containing Allegedly Defamatory Headline Language, 71 Cinn. L. Rev. 863 (2003).

Outlaws and Outlier Doctrines: The Serious Misconduct Bar in Tort Law, 43 William and Mary L. Rev. 1011 (2002).

The Misbegotten Libel-Proof Plaintiff Doctrine and the ‘Gordian Knot' Syndrome, 29 Hofstra L. Rev. 343 (2000).

Reference to the Plaintiff Requirement in Defamatory Statements Directed at Groups, 35 Wake Forest L. Rev. 343 (2000).

Reconciling the Exercise of Judgment and the Objective Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice, 52 Okla. L. Rev. 49 (1999).

“Reduction of Likelihood" Reformulation and Other Retrofitting of the Loss-of-a-Chance Doctrine, 28 U. Mem. L. Rev. 491 (1998).

*A Goals-Oriented Approach to Strict Tort Liability for Abnormally Dangerous Activities, 48 Baylor L. Rev. 343 (1996).

Exculpatory Agreements for Volunteers in Youth Activities -- The Alternative to ‘Nerf’ Tiddlywinks, 53 Ohio St. L. J. 683 (1992).

The Standard of Care for Veterinarians in Medical Malpractice Claims, 58 Tenn. L. Rev. 1 (1990).

The Exclusiveness of An Employee’s Workers’ Compensation Remedy Against His Employer, 55 Tenn. L. Rev. 405 (1988).

Social Security Benefits for Disability Related to Alcohol Consumption, 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 425 (1983).

The Duty and Standard of Care for Team Physicians, 18 Hous. L. Rev. 657 (1981).

*Causation, Valuation, and Chance in Personal Injury Torts Involving Preexisting Conditions and Future Consequences, 90 Yale L. J. 1353 (1980).

The Standard of Care and Informed Consent Under the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Review Board and Claims Act, 44 Tenn. L. Rev. 225 (1977).

*In Search of a Standard of Care for the Medical Profession: The ‘Accepted Practice’ Formula, 28 Vand. L. Rev. 1213 (1975).

Medical Malpractice, 1974 Duke L.J. 1000 (reviewing David M. Harney, Medical Malpractice (1973).

Compensation of Persons Erroneously Confined by the State, 118 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1091 (1970).

The three preceding articles marked with asterisks were chosen by a Torts Anthology as being among the 57 best law review articles for understanding tort law published in the last hundred years or so. My writings have been cited by more than one hundred judicial opinions, including decisions by the British House of Lords and the Canadian Supreme Court.

Contribute to a big idea. Give to UT Law.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System