Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law


Erik S. Knutsen’s areas of academic interest include insurance law, tort, accident law, civil procedure and the civil litigation system. He is a co-author of Stempel & Knutsen on Insurance Coverage, one of the leading American insurance law treatises. His articles have appeared in top ranked Canadian, American and international journals. He is also co-author of the leading casebook on Canadian civil litigation and one of the core casebooks on American insurance law. His work has been cited by Canadian, American and European appellate and trial courts.

Professor Knutsen is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School. He has taught law in the Queen’s School of Medicine and as a core faculty member in Queens’ interdisciplinary Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality program offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

He has presented his work at academic and professional venues in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China. He has given the keynote address at the Advocates Society’s annual conference, presented his work on costs at Oxford University, and has given the Canadian Studies Visiting Lecture at Fudan University School of Law in Shanghai, China. He has also been involved with judicial education at programs provided by the National Judicial Institute. He is frequently contacted by national and international media.

Professor Knutsen has three times earned the faculty teaching award at Queens Faculty of Law. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University College of Law, where he also earned a teaching award. He has practiced tort and insurance litigation in Thunder Bay at Carrel + Partners LLP, in Toronto at Fasken Martineau LLP, and in New York at Paul, Weiss LLP where he assisted with 9/11 World Trade Center cases. Professor Knutsen regularly consults with lawyers on cases heading to trial or appeal, including cases at the Supreme Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.


  • Insurance law
  • Torts
  • Accident law
  • Civil litigation and civil procedure
  • Medical malpractice

Recent Professional Achievements:

  • Awarded federal SSHRC Insight Grant for project “Floods, Fires, Crashes: Resolving Post-Disaster Insurance Coverage Conflicts in Canada,” 2015-2019
  • Awarded Queen’s Law Teaching Award in 2014, 2010, and 2007

Recent Publications:

For a complete list of publications, please consult Professor Knutsen's CV.


  • Jeffrey W. Stempel and Erik S. Knutsen, Stempel & Knutsen on Insurance Coverage, 4th ed. (WoltersKluewer: 2015) (2 volume, 3,006 page treatise on American insurance law)
  • “The Economics of Litigation,” “Trials, Juries and Appeals,” “Limitation of Actions,” “Settlement,” and “Court-connected Mediation” in Janet Walker et al, The Civil Litigation Process: Cases and Materials, 8th ed. (Emond Montgomery: 2015) (Canadian civil procedure casebook).
  • Co-author with Jeffrey Stempel and Peter N. Swisher, Principles of Insurance Law, 4th ed. (LexisNexis: 2011) (American casebook).


  • Patchwork Contextualism in the Anglo-Canadian Law of Insurance Policy Interpretation: Implications for the Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance,” (2015) 68 Rutgers U L Rev 415-453. [SSRN]
  • “Fortuity Victims and the Compensation Gap: Re-envisioning Liability Insurance Coverage for Intentional and Criminal Conduct,” (2014) 21 Connecticut Insurance Law LJ 209-253.[SSRN]
  • “Causation in Canadian Insurance Law,” (2013) 50 Alberta L Rev 631-658. (28 pages) [SSRN]
  • “Auto Insurance as Social Contract: Solving Automobile Insurance Coverage Disputes Through a Public Regulatory Framework,” (2011) 48 Alberta Law Rev 715. [SSRN]
  • “Confusion About Causation in Insurance: Solutions for Catastrophic Losses,” (2010) 61 Alabama L Rev 957. [SSRN]