Christopher Robertson

Associate Dean for Graduate & International Programs

Professor of Law

BA, Southeast Missouri State University, summa cum laude
PhD & MA, Washington University in St. Louis
JD, Harvard Law School, magna cum laude

Areas of Interest
Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law, Diversity & Inclusion, Evidence Law, Health Law, Law & Technology, Legal Ethics, Torts
Contact
Biography

Christopher Robertson joined the BU Law faculty in 2020 as a tenured professor and N. Neal Pike Scholar in Health & Disability Law. Robertson previously served as associate dean for research and innovation and professor of law at the University of Arizona.

Professor Robertson is an expert in health law, institutional design, and decision making. His wide-ranging work includes torts, bioethics, professional responsibility, conflicts of interests, criminal justice, evidence, the First Amendment, racial disparities, and corruption.

In 2019, Harvard University Press published Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What Can be Done About It. Robertson has co-edited three books, Nudging Health: Behavioral Economics and Health Law (2016), Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (2016), and Innovation and Protection: The Future of Medical Device Regulation (forthcoming 2021).

Acting in legal reform movements, in 2020 Robertson undertook a yearlong project to help the board of trustees of the California State Bar reduce racial disparities in the attorney discipline system. He previously served as reporter for the Health Law Monitoring Committee of the Uniform Law Commission. For over a decade, he has served on the clinical ethics committee of an academic medical center.

Working to reform legal education, Robertson is leading the development of JD-Next, a national program designed to reduce disparities in preparation for law school and to provide a more reliable predictor of student success. In its second year, the program enrolled over 1100 students nationwide. With ETS, Robertson also conducted the first major study of the validity of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an admissions test for JD programs, which led to 60+ schools, including Harvard, Yale, and BU now relying on the exam. Robertson has also pioneered legal education for undergraduates and non-lawyer professionals.

Professor Robertson has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, NYU Law, and the London School of Economics, and as a visiting scholar at the Brown University Policy Lab. He is affiliated with the Petrie Flom Center for Health Care Policy, Bioethics and Biotechnology at Harvard, the NYU Langone Health Working Group on Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access (CUPA), and the University of Arizona’s Innovation for Justice program. Robertson’s legal practice has focused on complex litigation involving medical and scientific disputes, and he continues to work with litigators through his firm, Hugo Analytics.

Publications
  1. Christopher Robertson, "The Ethics of Research that May Disadvantage Others," 43 Ethics & Human Research 2 (2021).
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  2. Christopher Robertson & Michael Shammas, "The Jury Trial Reinvented," Texas A&M Law Review (forthcoming).
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  3. Christopher Robertson, Daniel Scheitrum, K Aleks Schaefer, Trey Malone, Brandon McFadden, Paul Ferraro & Kent Messer, "Paying Americans to Take the Vaccine - Would it Help or Backfire?" Journal of Law and the Biosciences (forthcoming).
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  4. Christopher Robertson, Andy Yuan, Wendan Zhang & Keith Joiner, "Distinguishing Moral Hazard from Access for High-Cost Healthcare under Insurance," 15 PLOS ONE e0231768 (2020).
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  5. Christopher Robertson, K Aleks Schaefer, Daniel Scheitrum, Sergio Puig & Keith Joiner, "Indemnifying Precaution: Economic Insights for Regulation of a Highly Infectious Disease," 7 Journal of Law and the Biosciences lsaa032 (2020).
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  6. Christopher Robertson, Kelly McBride Folkers & Alison Bateman-House, "Paying for Unapproved Medical Products," 11 Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy 85 (2020).
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  7. Christopher Robertson & Tara Sklar, "Telehealth for an Aging Population: How Can Law Influence Adoption Among Providers, Payors, and Patients?" 46 American Journal of Law and Medicine 311 (2020).
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  8. Christopher Robertson & Tara Sklar, "Affordability Boards: The States’ New Fix for Drug Pricing," 381 New England Journal of Medicine 1301 (2019).
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  9. Christopher Robertson, Tara Sklar, Richard Carmona & Kathie Insel, "Digital Health Privacy in Active-Aging Settings: Will the Law Let You Age Well?" 18 Journal on Active Aging 34 (2019).
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  10. Christopher Robertson, Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance Is Incomplete and What Can Be Done about It, Harvard University Press (2019).
  11. David Yokum, Christopher Robertson & Matt Palmer, "The Inability to Self-Diagnose Bias," 96 Denver Law Review 869 (2019). Excerpt reprinted: The Civil Jury Project at NYU School of Law Newsletter (December 2019) (source). Excerpt reprinted: Voir Dire Magazine, American Board of Trial Advocates (January 2020).
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  12. Christopher Robertson, Shima Baradaran Baughman & Megan Wright, "Race and Class: A Randomized Experiment with Prosecutors," 16 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 807 (2019).
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  13. Victor Laurion & Christopher Robertson, "Why the Duty to Research Falls on Institutions Rather than Individuals," 19 The American Journal of Bioethics 44 (2019).
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  14. Christopher Robertson, Nir Eyal & Paul Romain, "Can Rationing Through Inconvenience Be Ethical?" 48 Hastings Center Report 10 (2018).
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  15. Bernard Chao, Christopher Robertson & David Yokum, "Crowdsourcing & Data Analytics: The New Settlement Tools," 102 Judicature 63 (2018).
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  16. Christopher Robertson & Alison Bateman-House, "The Federal Right to Try Act of 2017—A Wrong Turn for Access to Investigational Drugs and the Path Forward," 178 JAMA Internal Medicine 321 (2018).
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  17. Victor Laurion & Christopher Robertson, "Ideology Meets Reality: What Works and What Doesn't in Patient Exposure to Health Care Costs," 15 Indiana Health Law Review 43 (2018).
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  18. Elizabeth Hall-Lipsy, Leila Barraza & Christopher Robertson, "Practice-Based Research Networks and the Mandate for Real-World Evidence," 44 American Journal of Law and Medicine 219 (2018).
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  19. Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell, Christopher Robertson & Catherine Durso, "Why Courts Fail to Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, and Technology," 106 California Law Review 263 (2018).
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  20. Christopher Robertson, "Will Courts Allow States to Regulate Drug Prices?" 379 New England Journal of Medicine 1000 (2018).
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  21. Christopher Robertson & D. Alex Winkelman, "Incentives, Lies, and Disclosure," 20 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 33 (2017).
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  22. John Campbell, Bernard Chao & Christopher Robertson, "Time Is Money: An Empirical Assessment of Non-Economic Damages Arguments," 95 Washington University School of Law Review 1 (2017).
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  23. Christopher Robertson & Victor Laurion, "Tip of the Iceberg II: How the Intended-Uses Principle Produces Medical Knowledge and Protects Liberty," 11 New York University Journal of Law & Liberty 770 (2017).
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  24. Christopher Robertson, "The Tip of the Iceberg: A First Amendment Right to Promote Drugs Off-Label," 78 Ohio State Law Journal 1019 (2017).
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  25. Christopher Robertson, D. Alex Winkelman, Kelly Bergstrand & Darren Modzelewski, "The Appearance and the Reality of Quid Pro Quo Corruption: An Empirical Investigation," 8 Journal of Legal Analysis 375 (2016).
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  26. Christopher Robertson, Jonathan Loe & D. Alex Winkelman, "An Assessment of the Human Subjects Protection Review Process for Exempt Research," 44 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 481 (2016).
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  27. Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law, Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, eds., Elsevier (2016).
  28. John Campbell, Bernard Chao, Christopher Robertson & David Yokum, "Countering the Plaintiff’s Anchor: Jury Simulations to Evaluate Damages Arguments," 101 Iowa Law Review 543 (2016).
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  29. Christopher Robertson & Jonathan Loe, "Federal Government's Proposed Expansion of Regulation of Biospecimen Research Should Be Reconsidered," 14 Biopreservation and Biobanking 447 (2016).
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  30. Christopher Robertson, Christina Cutshaw, Steffie Woolhandler & David Himmelstein, "Medical Causes and Consequences of Home Foreclosures," 46 International Journal of Health Services 36 (2016).
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  31. Christopher Robertson, Megan Wright & David Yokum, "Mock Juror and Jury Assessments of Blinded Expert Witnesses," in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law , Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, eds., Elsevier (2016).
  32. Christopher Robertson & Marc A. Rodwin, "Money Blinding as a Solution to Industry Influence in Biomedical Science," in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law , Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, eds., Elsevier (2016).
  33. Christopher Robertson & Jamie Cox Robertson, "Reducing Wasteful Incarcerations," 39 Regulation 20 (2016).
  34. Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, "Regulating Off-Label Promotion — A Critical Test," 375 New England Journal of Medicine 2313 (2016).
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  35. Christopher Robertson, "Selection Bias and Disclosure Discretion for Blinded Experts," in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law , Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, eds., Elsevier (2016).
  36. Christopher Robertson, "Vaccines and Airline Travel: A Federal Role to Protect the Public Health," 42 American Journal of Law & Medicine 543 (2016).
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  37. Christopher Robertson, "Why Blinding? And How? A Theory of Blinding Applied to Institutional Corruption," in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law , Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, eds., Elsevier (2016).
  38. Christopher Robertson, Sunita Sah & Shima Baradaran Baughman, "Blinding Prosecutors to Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal to Reduce Unconscious Bias in the Criminal Justice System," 2 Behavioral Science & Policy 83 (2015). Reprinted in: Lee E. Ross, Ed., Readings in Cultural Diversity and Criminal Justice, (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2020)
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  39. Jonathan Loe, Christopher Robertson & D. Alex Winkelman, "Cascading Consent for Research on Biobank Specimens," 15 The American Journal of Bioethics 68 (2015).
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  40. Roger Koppl, David Charlton, Irving Kornfield, Dan Krane, Michael Risinger, Christopher Robertson, Michael Saks & William Thompson, "Do Observer Effects Matter? A Comment on Langenburg, Bochet, and Ford," 6 Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal 1 (2015).
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  41. Christopher Robertson, "The FDCA as the Test for Truth of Promotional Claims," in FDA in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenges of Regulating Drugs and New Technologies , Holly Fernandez Lynch & I. Glenn Cohen, eds., Columbia University Press (2015).
  42. Christopher Robertson, "New DTCA Guidance — Enough to Empower Consumers?" 373 New England Journal of Medicine 1085 (2015).
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  43. Christopher Robertson, Athan Papailiou & David Yokum, "The Novel New Jersey Eyewitness Instruction Induces Skepticism but Not Sensitivity," 10 PLOS ONE e0142695 (2015).
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  44. Christopher Robertson, "Preserving Public Trust and Demanding Accountability (Introduction to Part II)," in FDA in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenges of Regulating Drugs and New Technologies , Holly Fernandez Lynch & I. Glenn Cohen, eds., Columbia University Press (2015).
  45. Sarah Malanga, Ryan Sprissler, Christopher Robertson & Keith Joiner, "A Problem Not Yet Manifest: Gaps in Insurance Coverage of Medical Interventions After Genetic Testing," 2 Journal of Law and the Biosciences 729 (2015).
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  46. Christopher Robertson & Keith Joiner, "Scaling and Splitting, New Approaches to Health Insurance," 38 Regulation 40 (2015).
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  47. Christopher Robertson, "Scaling Cost-Sharing to Wages: How Employers CanReduce Health Spending and Provide Greater Economic Security," 14 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics 239 (2015).
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  48. Christopher Robertson, "Should Patient Responsibility for Costs Change the Doctor-Patient Relationship?" 50 Wake Forest Law Review 363 (2015).
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  49. D. Alex Winkelman, Lisette Cole, Shelby Thompson, David Yokum & Christopher Robertson, "An Empirical Method for Harmless Error," 46 Arizona Law Review 1405 (2014).
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  50. Christopher Robertson & David Yokum, "The Burden of Deciding for Yourself: The Disutility Caused by Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending," 11 Indiana Health Law Review 609 (2014).
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  51. Roy Spece, David Yokum, Andrea-Gale Okoro & Christopher Robertson, "An Empirical Method for Materiality: Would Conflict of Interest Disclosures Change Patient Decisions?" 40 American Journal of Law and Medicine 253 (2014).
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  52. Christopher Robertson, Jonathan Lewin, Daniel Durand, Gautam Agarwal, Richard Duszak Jr, Elizabeth Krupinski, Jason Itri, Anthony Fotenos, Brent Savoie & Alexander Ding, "Expert Witness Blinding Strategies to Mitigate Bias in Radiology Malpractice Cases: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature," 11 Journal of the American College of Radiology 868 (2014).
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  53. Christopher Robertson & Megan Wright, "Heterogeneity in IRB Policies with Regard to Disclosures About Payment for Participation in Recruitment Materials," 42 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 375 (2014).
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  54. Christopher Robertson, David Yokum & Megan Wright, "Perceptions of Efficacy, Morality, and Politics of Potential Cadaveric Organ-Transplantation Reforms," 77 Law & Contemporary Problems 101 (2014).
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  55. Christopher Robertson, "The Presumption Against Expensive Health Care Consumption," 49 Tulsa Law Review 627 (2014).
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  56. Christopher Robertson, David Yokum, Nimish Sheth & Keith Joiner, "A Randomized Experiment of the Split Benefit Health Insurance Reform To Reduce High-Cost, Low-Value Consumption," 1 Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Health 5 (2014).
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  57. Christopher Robertson, "When Truth Cannot Be Presumed: The Regulation of Drug Promotion Under an Expanding First Amendment," 94 Boston University Law Review 545 (2014).
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  58. Aaron S. Kesselheim, Christopher Robertson, Kent Siri, Puneet Batra & Jessica Franklin, "Distributions of Industry Payments to Massachusetts Physicians," 368 New England Journal of Medicine 2049 (2013).
  59. Christopher Robertson, "The Split Benefit: The Painless Way to Put Skin Back in the Health Care Game," 98 Cornell Law Review 921 (2013).
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  60. Christopher Robertson, "Contingent Compensation of Post-Conviction Counsel: A Modest Proposal to Identify Meritorious Claims and Reduce Wasteful Government Spending," 64 Maine Law Review 513 (2012).
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  61. Christopher Robertson & David Yokum, "The Effect of Blinded Experts on Jurors’ Verdicts," 9 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 765 (2012).
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  62. Christopher Robertson, Susannah Rose & Aaron S. Kesselheim, "Effect of Financial Relationships on the Behavior of Healthcare Professionals," 40 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 452 (2012).
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  63. Aaron S. Kesselheim, Christopher Robertson, Jessica Myers, Susannah Rose, Victoria Gillet, Kathryn Ross, Robert Glynn, Steven Joffe & Jerry Avorn, "A Randomized Study of How Physicians Interpret Research Funding Disclosures," 369 New England Journal of Medicine 1119 (2012).
  64. Christopher Robertson, "Biased Advice," 60 Emory Law Journal 653 (2011). (accepted by peer review, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies)
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  65. Christopher Robertson, "The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment," 37 American Journal of Law and Medicine 358 (2011).
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  66. Christopher Robertson, "Blind Expertise," 85 New York University Law Review 174 (2010).
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  67. Christopher Robertson, Richard Egelhof & Michael Hoke, "Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures," 18 Health Matrix 65 (2008).
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  68. Christopher Robertson, "From Free Riders to Fairness: A Cooperative System for Organ Transplantation," 48 Jurimetrics Journal 1 (2007).
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  69. Christopher Robertson, Susannah Rose, Sunita Sah, Raed Dweik, Cory Schmidt, MaryBeth Mercer, Ariane Mitchum, Michael Kattan & Matthew Karafa, "Patient Responses to Physician Disclosures of Industry Conflicts of Interest: A Randomized Field Experiment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (forthcoming).
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  70. Christopher Robertson & Kelly Bergstrand, "Threat and Emotions: Mobilizing and Attitudinal Outcomes of a Ballistic Missile Scare," Social Problems (forthcoming).
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