About Rick Marcus

UC San Francisco

Professor Richard Marcus was born and raised in San Francisco. He attended Pomona College, where he lettered for four years on the track team, engaged in a variety of 1960s-era political activities and spent a year as president of the student body. He then attended the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he was research editor of the California Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif when he graduated in 1972. Both before and after graduation from law school, Professor Marcus served as law clerk to Justice Raymond Peters of the California Supreme Court.

After an around-the-world expedition went awry in a bus accident in Afghanistan, he spent a summer working on the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Committee in Rapid City, South Dakota. Then, during 1973 to 1974, he served as an associate-in-law at Boalt Hall and, in 1974 to 1975, as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli in San Francisco. In 1976 he got a real job, as a litigation associate at Dinkelspiel, Pelavin, Steefel & Levitt (since disbanded) in San Francisco, where he became a partner in 1980.

In 1981, Professor Marcus left practice and entered teaching as an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, becoming a full professor in 1984. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School in 1986 to 1987. He joined the UC Law SF faculty in 1988, became a Distinguished Professor in 1997, and was awarded the Horace O. Coil (‘57) Chair in Litigation in 1999. His teaching has focused on litigation-related areas such as civil procedure, complex litigation, conflicts of law, and evidence, and he has also taught contracts, corporations and remedies.Professor Marcus’ writing has focused on litigation-related topics. He is a lead author of the West casebooks Complex Litigation (7th ed. 2021) and Civil Procedure: A Modern Approach (7th ed. 2018). He is also the author of several volumes of the Federal Practice & Procedure treatise (known as Wright & Miller) and serves on a variety of committees dealing with practice issues. Since 1996, he has served as Associate Reporter to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the U.S., and has since then had a principal role in drafting amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including particularly amendments to the class action rule and the rules of discovery and, more recently, possible rules for use in multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings.

Professor Marcus has also been involved in international academic activities.  He was elected a member of the International Association on Procedural Law (IAPL) in 1998, and now serves as the Vice President of the IAPL for North America.  He has also served as an adviser to the European Law Institute project on drafting procedural rules for the EU.  In addition, he has received honors such as election to Honorary Membership of the Japan Association of the Law of Civil Procedure (the first American so honored), and selection as Onorari Corrispondenti of the Associazione Itiliana fra gli Sutdiosi del Processo Civile.  He regularly presents and participates in academic conferences in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.