John G. Culhane
Professor of Law

B.A., The College of William and Mary
J.D., Fordham University School of Law

Phone: 302.477.2107

John G. Culhane received his B.A. in Philosophy from The College of William and Mary, and his J.D. from Fordham Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Fordham Law Review. After clerking for the Hon. Joseph M. McLaughlin in federal district court, Professor Culhane was an associate with the firm of Cahill, Gordon and Reindel in New York City. He then spent one year at the University of Chicago, as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law before joining the Widener faculty in 1987. He is Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law and Director of the nationally ranked Health Law Institute. He also holds the title of Lecturer at the Yale University School of Public Health, and is a Senior Fellow at the Jefferson School of Population Health in Philadelphia.

Professor Culhane has written more than two dozen articles for legal journals on a wide range of topics: the rights of same-sex couples, including articles on marriage equality and on the tort law's treatment of relational interests between such couples; public health issues, including gun policy (with colleague Jean Eggen) domestic and international HIV issues and vaccine policy; and tort law, including product liability, educational malpractice, and compensation for victims of mass disasters. He is the editor of, and contributor to, Reconsidering Law and Policy Debates: A Public Health Perspective, published earlier this year by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Culhane has also been regularly featured in national and local broadcast and print media, including National Public Radio, ABC News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dissent, and WHYY television and radio. He is also a contributor to Slate Magazine, where he writes about tort and compensation issues, and writes "Law, Unwrapped" for The New Civil Rights Movement, where he discusses legal aspects of the struggles for LGBT rights. He is featured in a 2008 documentary, "America Betrayed," about Hurricane Katrina and the broader questions of compensation it raises.

He is the winner of three Outstanding Faculty awards (two from graduating students and one from alumni), and has twice won the Douglas E. Ray Award for excellence in faculty scholarship (2005 and 2011). He lives in the Powelton Village section of Philadelphia with his partner David Girasole and their twin daughters.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Reconsidering Law and Policy Debates: A Public Health Perspective (editor and contributor) (forthcoming Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Book Chapters:
  • Public Health and Marriage (Equality), in Reconsidering Law and Policy Debates (above).
  • Introduction, in Reconsidering Law and Policy Debates (above).
Law Journal Articles
  • Marriage Equality? First, Justify Marriage (If You Can), 1 Drexel L. Rev. 485 (2009).
  • Marriage, Tort, and Private Ordering: Rhetoric and Reality in LGBT Rights, 84 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 437 (2009).
  • The Short, Puzzling(?) Life of the Civil Union, 19 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 1 (2009).
  • Beyond Rights and Morality: The Overlooked Public Health Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, 17 J. L. & Sexuality 7 (2008).
  • What Does Justice Require for the Victims of Katrina and September 11?, 10 DePaul J. Health Care Law 179 (2007).
  • The Gay Marriage Backlash and its Spillover Effects: Lessons from a (Slightly) “Blue State,” (with Stacey L. Sobel), 40 Tulsa L. Rev. 443 (2005), in SYMPOSIUM: THE LEGISLATIVE BACKLASH TO ADVANCES IN RIGHTS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES.
  • “Lawrence-ium”: The Densest Known Substance?, 11 Widener L. Rev. 259 (2005), in SYMPOSIUM: READINGS OF LAWRENCE V. TEXAS.
  • Bad Science, Worse Policy: The Exclusion of Gay Males from Donor Pools, 24 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 129 (2005), in

    The Wizardry of Ken Feinberg, Slate, July 22, 2010, at
  • Sandbags Full of Money: Victim Compensation After 9/11, Dissent, Fall 2003, at 40.
  • & Jean Macchiaroli Eggen, Gun Makers Seek to Bar Justice, Sun. News J. (Wilmington, DE), June 22, 2003, at A15.