Gregory Sisk

Prof. Gregory Sisk

Orestes A. Brownson Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law - Minnesota

Topics: Free Speech & Election Law • Litigation • Federalism & Separation of Powers • Professional Responsibility & Legal Education • Religious Liberties

Professor Gregory Sisk is the Pio Cardinal Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He received his B.A. from Montana State University and his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law, where he graduated first in his class, was an editor on the law review, and president of the moot court board. Prior to joining the legal academy, he served as a legal advisor in all three branches of the federal government: as a legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, as a law clerk to a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, and as an appellate attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice representing the United States in the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. Subsequent to his government service, he was in private practice as the head of the appellate department of a Seattle law firm.

Professor Sisk joined the University of St. Thomas law faculty in 2003, after teaching for twelve years at the Drake University Law School, where he had also been named as the Richard M. & Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor. He teaches Professional Responsibility and Civil Procedure, as well as a new course with original materials on Litigation with the Federal Government. His casebook, "Litigation With the Federal Government:  Cases and Materials," was published by Foundation Press in 2000 and has been adopted at several law schools, including Georgetown University, George Washington University, Catholic University, New York University, the University of Pittsburgh, and McGeorge School of Law.

Professor Sisk also is author of the leading treatise on the subject, "Litigation With the Federal Government," published as the fourth edition by ALI-ABA in 2006.  He has published nearly three dozen articles on litigation with the federal government, judicial decisionmaking, awards of attorney's fees, professional responsibility, constitutional interpretation, law and religion, and tort reform. His articles have been cited by the United States Supreme Court, several federal courts of appeals, and the supreme courts of several states. His empirical study of judicial decisionmaking and the influence of judicial background, co-authored with Professors Michael Heise and Andrew Morriss, was published in the New York University Law Review and received the 1999 Article Prize from the Law and Society Association.

Professor Sisk has remained active as a member of the legal profession. He served as reporter for the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct Drafting Committee appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court to draft the new set of ethics rules to govern lawyers in Iowa. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the nation's premier law reform organization. He maintains a limited practice, primarily as an appellate attorney and as an expert witness on professional ethics and conduct. For example, he briefed a leading environmental/federal-common-law case as counsel for amicus curiae and then was invited to argue the central issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. More important than success on the merits, however, was the testament that the court gave to the attorneys in the case: "Litigation often produces criticism for its participants. This case, however, was extraordinarily well briefed and argued by consummate professionals on both sides and we are grateful for that." Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. Brown & Bryant, Inc., 132 F.3d 1295, 1303 n.5 (9th Cir. 1997), amended, 159 F.3d 358, 365 n.6 (9th Cir. 1998).

Professor Sisk is also active with the Conference on Catholic Legal Thought, writing and speaking about religion and public life and the role of faith in professional life.  He occasionally participates as a member of the Mirror of Justice blog, which present a diverse array of Catholic perspectives on the law, public life, and social justice.

J.D., University of Washington Law School
B.A., Montana State University


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