John V. Orth

Print This Page (PDF) William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of Law


  • Ph.D., Harvard University (1977)
  • M.A., Harvard University (1975)
  • J.D., Harvard University (1974)
  • A.B., Oberlin College (1969)

After completing law school and graduate school, Orth clerked for Judge John J. Gibbons of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is the author of The Judicial Power of the United States: The Eleventh Amendment in American History (1987), Combination and Conspiracy: The Legal History of Trade Unionism, 1721-1906 (1991), The North Carolina State Constitution: A Reference Guide (1993), Due Process of Law: A Brief History (2003), How Many Judges Does it Take to Make a Supreme Court? and Other Essays on Law and the Constitution (2006), and Reappraisals in the Law of Property (2010),  as well as of numerous scholarly articles and book reviews. He contributes the chapters on concurrent estates to Thompson on Real Property. He was an associate editor (for law) of the American National Biography and contributed to that series, as well as to the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Oxford Companion to American Law, the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, the Yale Dictionary of Legal Biography, as well as many others.  He reviews books for numerous scholarly publications, including the American Historical Review, and the Journal of American History. His publications have been cited by federal and state courts, including the United States Supreme Court and the North Carolina Supreme Court, which referred to him as "a highly respected state constitutional scholar." He joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 1978 and teaches basic and advanced property and legal history.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

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  • Allowing Perpetuities In North Carolina, 31 CAMPBELL L. REV. 399 (2009). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • Blackstone's Rules Concerning the Construction of Statutues, in BLACKSTONE AND HIS COMMENTARIES: BIOGRAPHY, LAW, HISTORY (Wilfrid Prest, ed.) (Hart Pub. 2009). [KD621.B58 B57 2009 ]
  • Escheat: Is the State the Last Heir, 13 GREEN BAG 2d 73 (2009). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, BEPress]
  • In Re Tenancy By the Entirety-Married Couples, Common Law Marriages, And Same-Sex Partners: Orth V. Orth, 85 N.D. L. REV. 287 (2009). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • The Golden Metwand': The Measure of Justice in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, 31 ADEL. L. REV. 127 (2010). [SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • The Perils of Joint Tenancies, 44 REAL PROP. PROB. & TR. J. 427 (2009), reprinted in 27:6 GP SOLO 22 (2010). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
  • When Analogy Fails: The Common Law & State v. Mann, 87 N.C. L. REV. 979 (2009). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • DUE PROCESS OF LAW: A BRIEF HISTORY (University Press of Kansas 2003). [KF4765 .O78 2003]
  • THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE CONSTITUTION, WITH HISTORY AND COMMENTARY (University of North Carolina Press, 1995). [KFN7801 1971.A6 O77 ]
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