Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
twitter   facebook   linkedin   Instagram   webmail
Give Now Apply Now

Christopher C. French

Christopher C. French

Director of Trial Advocacy Program
Professor of Practice

Curriculum Vitae

(814) 867-0395

J.D., Harvard Law School
B.A., Columbia University

Professor Christopher C. French currently teaches Torts, Trial Advocacy, Evidence, Contracts, and Insurance Law. He has written and published extensively in the area where insurance law intersects with contract and tort law. He is the author of an insurance law casebook, Insurance Law and Practice: Cases, Materials, and Exercises, and a co-author of an insurance law reference book, Insurance Law in a Nutshell. He also is the General Editor of New Appleman Pennsylvania Insurance Law Practice Guide, an insurance law treatise, and he wrote numerous chapters of another insurance law treatise entitled Policyholder's Guide to the Law of Insurance Coverage. His scholarly work has been published in law review journals at, among other law schools, Duke Law School, Georgia State University, University of Connecticut, University of Nevada, University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Villanova University, and University of Virginia.

He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his bachelor degree from Columbia University. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State Law, he taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Villanova Law School. He also formerly was a partner at K&L Gates LLP where, as a commercial litigator, he handled all aspects of litigation matters for Fortune 500 companies and other businesses in federal and state courts across the United States, trying cases in seven different states. In addition to his advocacy work, he also has served as an expert witness and as both a party-appointed and a neutral arbitrator.


Insuring Natural Catastrophes in America, in THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF DISASTER LAW: RISK, RECOVERY, and REDEVELOPMENT (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming)


INSURANCE LAW AND PRACTICE: Cases, Materials & Exercises (West 1st and 2nd eds.)

INSURANCE LAW IN A NUTSHELL (West 5th and 6th eds.) (co-author w/ John H. Dobbyn)

POLICYHOLDER’S GUIDE TO THE LAW OF INSURANCE COVERAGE, Chapters §3.03 (Limits of Liability (Including Number of Occurrences)), §5.01 (Standard Policy Language), §5.02 (Legally Obligated to Pay), §5.03 (As Damages), §5.04 (Punitive Damages), §6.03 (Issues Pertaining to Intentional Injury Exclusions), §6.04 (The Known Loss and Loss in Progress Doctrines) and §24.06 (Bad Faith Issues) (Wolters Kluwer 1997, annually updated)


Insuring Intentional Torts, 83 Ohio St. L. J. __ (forthcoming) 

Federal Courts’ Recalcitrance in Refusing to Certify State Law Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Issues, 100 Tex. L. Rev. Online 152 (2022)

Five Approaches to Insuring Cyber Risks, 81 Md. L. Rev. 103 (2021)

America on Fire: Wildfires, Climate Change & Insuring Natural Catastrophes, 54 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 817 (2020)

Forum Shopping COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims, 2020 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 187 (2020)

COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Losses: The Cases For And Against Coverage, 27 Conn. Ins. L. J. 1 (2020)

The Butterfly Effect in Interpreting Insurance Policies, 82 Law & Contemp. Probs. 47 (2019)

The Big Data Revolution and Its Impact on the Law, 123 Penn St. L. Rev. 585 (2019) (Symposium Introduction)

Dual Regulation of Insurance, 64 Vill. L. Rev. 25 (2019)

English Justice for an American Company?, 97 Tex. L. Rev. Online 1 (2018)

Insuring Against Cyber Risk: The Evolution of an Industry, 122 Penn St. L. Rev. 607 (2018) (Symposium Introduction)

Insurance Policies: The Grandparents of Contractual Black Holes, 67 Duke L.J. Online 40 (2017)

Understanding Insurance Policies as NonContracts: An Alternative Approach to Drafting and Construing These Unique Financial Instruments, 89 Temp. L. Rev. 535 (2017)

Hurricanes, Fraud And Insurance: The Supreme Court Weighs In But Does Not Wade Into The Concurrent Causation Conundrum In State Farm Fire And Casualty Company v. Rigsby, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 99 (2017)

A Battlefield Map for NFL v. Insurance Industry Re: Concussion Liabilities, 53 San Diego L. Rev. 901 (2016)

Insuring Landslides: America’s Uninsured Natural Catastrophes, 17 Nev. L. J. 63 (2016)

Revisiting Construction Defects as Occurrences under CGL Insurance Policies, 19 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 101 (2016)

Sex, Videos, and Insurance: How Gawker Could Have Avoided Financial Responsibility for $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. Postscript 101 (2016)

The Insurability of Claims for Restitution, 18 U.Pa. J. Bus. L. 599 (2016)

The Role of the Profit Imperative in Risk Management, 17 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 1081 (2015)

Insuring Floods: The Most Common and Devastating Natural Catastrophes in America, 60 Vill. L. Rev. 53 (2015)

The Aftermath of Catastrophes: Valuing Business Interruption Insurance Losses, 30 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 461 (2014)

Segmented Settlements Are Not the Answer: A Response to Professor Squire’s Article, How Collective Settlements Camouflage the Costs of Shareholder Lawsuits, 7 Va. L. & Bus. Rev. 589 (2013)

The “Non-Cumulation Clause”: an “Other Insurance Clause” by Another Name, 60 U. Kan. L. Rev. 375 (2012)

The “Ensuing Loss” Clause in Insurance Policies: The Forgotten and Misunderstood Antidote to Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions, 13 Nev. L. J. 215 (2012)​

Debunking The Myth that Insurance Coverage is Not Available or Allowed for Intentional Torts or Damages, 8 Hastings Bus. L. J. 65 (2012)

Construction Defects: Are They "Occurrences"?, 47 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2011)