E. Gary Spitko

Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good and Professor of Law

Professor E. Gary Spitko teaches courses in Arbitration Law and Practice, Mediation: Theory and Practice, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, and Wills and Trusts.  He has published extensively in the areas of arbitration, donative transfers, employment law, and law & sexuality.  His recent book, ‘Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations’ (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) explores how employment discrimination has been used to reinforce social understandings about the inferior nature of gay people by disassociating gay people from certain positive qualities and values while strengthening the association between these qualities and values and the heterosexual majority and its institutions.  His scholarship has appeared in numerous leading law reviews including the Washington University Law Quarterly, the U.C. Davis Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Georgia Law Review, the Arizona Law Review, the Florida Law Review, and the University of Colorado Law Review as well as top specialty and peer-reviewed journals in his areas of scholarly interest such as the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, and the Harvard Negotiation Law Review.  His scholarship has been cited in several hundred law review articles as well as various casebooks, treatises, and federal and state court opinions.  The Supreme Court of New Jersey approvingly quoted Professor Spitko’s scholarship arguing in favor of a “likelihood of harm to the child” standard for reviewing arbitration awards respecting child custody and visitation rights in becoming the first state high court in the nation to adopt such a standard.

Professor Spitko is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  Since 2011, he has served as an arbitrator in employment arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association.

Professor Spitko earned his A.B., with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University and his J.D., with high honors, from the Duke University School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif.  While a law student at Duke, he served as an editor of the Duke Law Journal and as the executive editor of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum.  Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat, who was then Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  He practiced law for several years as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Atlanta, Georgia where his practice focused exclusively on employment law.  Prior to joining the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2002, Professor Spitko was an assistant professor and then an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Law.  He also has taught as a visiting professor at the Ohio State University College of Law.


J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, Duke University School of Law, 1991

A.B., with distinction in all subjects, Cornell University, 1987

Areas of Specialization

Arbitration, Donative Transfers, Employment Law, Law & Sexuality


Affiliations and Honors

Faculty Scholar, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Faculty Director, Conflict Resolution Programming, Santa Clara University School of Law

Academic Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

Executive Committee, Section on Dispute Resolution, Association of American Law Schools, 2015-present

Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association (Roster of Neutrals for employment law cases), 2011-present

Director, Santa Clara Law Study Abroad Program in Oxford, U.K., 2016; Sydney, Australia, 2006-07

Chair (2006), Program Chair (2005), Executive Committee (2003-08), Section on Donative Transfers, Association of American Law Schools