David M. Engel

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus

Research Focus: Torts, Law and Society, Rights Consciousness, Asian Legal Cultures, Legal Ethnography

Links: Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

bio pubs

David M. Engel studies law and society in the United States and in other countries, particularly Thailand, where he has lived, worked and taught for many years.  His latest book,The Myth of the Litigious Society: Why We Don’t Sue (University of Chicago Press 2016), explains why, contrary to conventional wisdom, most American injury victims never lodge a claim against their injurers. He has published numerous books and articles about Asian and American legal cultures as well as the effects of American civil rights legislation on men and women with disabilities.

Engel teaches courses on torts and products liability and seminars on the tort law system and on law, culture and society. He also teaches the Thailand bridge course, which takes students to Chiang Mai, Thailand, for intensive study of Thai law and culture. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Chiang Mai University, presented by Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

A former President of the Law & Society Association, Engel received the LSA’s 2017 Harry S. Kalven Prize for “Outstanding Scholarship in Law and Society." He has served as Chair of UB’s Council on International Studies and Programs, Director of the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, Vice Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies, and as Director of International Programs at the School of Law. He is a founding co-editor of the Asian Journal of Law and Society (Cambridge University Press).