Erik S. Knutsen's areas of academic interest include insurance law, tort, health law and medical liability, civil procedure and the civil litigation system. He earned an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a B.A. (Hons.) from Lakehead University.

Professor Knutsen is the author of Halsburys Laws of Canada – Insurance. He is a co-author of the treatise  Canadian Tort Law (with Linden, Feldthusen, Hall & Young), one of the leading Canadian tort treatises, and also co-author of Stempel and Knutsen on Insurance Coverage, one of the leading American insurance law treatises. He has also co-authored the leading casebook on Canadian civil litigation, The Civil Litigation Process (with Walker, Kennedy & Piché), and one of the core casebooks on American insurance law, Principles of Insurance Law (with Stempel). He is also the author or co-author of more than 60 scholarly articles, book chapters and other publications in the areas of insurance, tort, and civil litigation. His articles have appeared in top-ranked Canadian, American, and international journals. His work has been cited by Canadian, American, and European appellate and trial courts. 

He has presented his work at academic and professional venues in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China. He has 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 also has been involved with judicial education at programs provided by the National Judicial Institute. He is frequently contacted by national and international media.

Professor Knutsen was awarded the Queen’s University Chancellor Charles H. Baillie university-wide teaching award in 2018. He had also 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 served as Associate Dean (Academic) at the Faculty of Law from 2018 to 2020.

Professor Knutsen is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the European Law Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel. 

He has practiced tort and insurance litigation in New York at Paul, Weiss LLP where he assisted with 9/11 World Trade Center cases, in Toronto at Fasken Martineau LLP and in Thunder Bay at Carrel + Partners LLP. He is a member of the bar of Ontario, Canada. Professor Knutsen regularly consults with lawyers on cases heading to trial or appeal, including cases at the Supreme Court of Canada, American courts, and other courts and tribunals around the world.


  • Insurance law
  • Torts
  • Health law and medical liability
  • Civil litigation and civil procedure

Recent Professional Achievements:

  • Elected member of the American Law Institute, Fellow of the European Law Institute and Honorary Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel
  • Awarded Queen’s University Chancellor Charles H. Baillie university-wide teaching award in 2018
  • 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.


  • Halsbury's Laws of Canada – Insurance (LexisNexis: 2023).
  • Co-author with the late Allen Linden, Bruce Feldthusen, Margaret Hall and Hilary Young, Canadian Tort Law, 12th ed. (LexisNexis: 2022).
  • Jeffrey W. Stempel and Erik S. Knutsen, Stempel & Knutsen on Insurance Coverage, 4th ed. (WoltersKluewer: looseleaf) (2 volume, 3,006 page treatise on American insurance law).
  • Co-author with Jeffrey Stempel and the late Peter N. Swisher, Principles of Insurance Law, 5th ed. (Carolina Academic Press: 2020) (American casebook).
  • Co-author of Janet Walker et al, The Civil Litigation Process: Cases and Materials, 8th ed. (Emond Montgomery: 2015) (Canadian civil procedure casebook).

Book Chapters

  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "American Exceptionalism: The COVID-19 Insurance Experience" in Maria Luisa Munos Parades, ed., COVID-19 and Insurance (Springer: 2022).
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Textual Literalism, Formalism and Canon-Centric Construction as De Facto – and Defective – Artificial Intelligence" in III International Congress on Insurance Law (2022).
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, Bringing Rigor to Textualism Through Artificial Intelligence" in III International Congress on Insurance Law (2022).


  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Insuring Fortuity – and Intent: A Comment on Professor French's Insuring Intentional Torts" (2022) 83 Ohio St L J Online 218. [SSRN]
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Technologically Improving Textualism" (2022) 6 Nevada LJ Forum 10. [SSRN]
  • "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Insurance Coverage for Business Interruption in Canada" (2021) 46 Queen's LJ 431. [SSRN]
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Rejecting Word Worship: An Integrative Approach to Judicial Construction of Insurance Policies" (2021) 90 U Cincinnati L Rev 561. [SSRN]
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Infected Judgment: Problematic Rush to Conventional Wisdom and Insurance Coverage Denial in a Pandemic" (2021) 27 Connecticut Insurance LJ 247. [SSRN]
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Protecting Auto Accident Victims from the Insurer Identity Crisis" (2019) 26 Connecticut Insurance LJ 1. [SSRN]
  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "The Techno-Neutrality Solution to Navigating Insurance Coverage for Cyber Losses" (2018) 122 Penn State L Rev 645. [SSRN]
  • "The Medical Malpractice Landscape in Ontario: Facts, Trends and Analysis of Trials and Appeals,” (2017) 47 Advocates Q 131-164. [SSRN]
  • "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]
  • "Fortuity Clauses in Liability Insurance: Solving Coverage Dilemmas for Intentional and Criminal Conduct" (2011) 36 Queen's LJ 73. [SSRN]
  • “Confusion About Causation in Insurance: Solutions for Catastrophic Losses,” (2010) 61 Alabama L Rev 957. [SSRN]
  • "Keeping Settlements Secret" (2010) 37 Florida State U L Rev 945. [SSRN]
  • "The Cost of Costs: The Unfortunate Deterrence of Everyday Civil Litigation in Canada" (2010) 36 Queen's LJ 113. [SSRN]
  • "Clarifying Causation in Tort" (2010) 33 Dalhousie LJ 153. [SSRN]


  • “Ex-Nurse Convicted in Fatal Medication Error Gets Probation” New York Times (May 15, 2022).
  • “Fears of Losing Insurance Prompt Some Truckers to Leave Weeks-Long Protest” Newsweek (Feb.18, 2022).
  • "B.C. man addicted to painkillers sues his doctor in a lawsuit that asks: who's responsible for patients' opioid addictions?" (Toronto Star, Jan. 19, 2022).
  • "Insult to Injury" CTV National News Television (May 1, 2021).
  • "Flood Insurance: What You Need To Know" CBC Ontario Morning (May 9, 2017).
  • "Provincial Legislation Brings Down Auto Insurance Costs for Consumers" CBC News Radio (April 11, 2017).