Erik S. Knutsen is a full Professor at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He previously served as the Associate Dean (Academic) for the Faculty. He has also taught in the Queen’s School of Medicine and as a core faculty member in Queens’ interdisciplinary Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality program. His areas of academic interest include insurance law, tort, accident law, medical malpractice, civil procedure and the civil litigation system.

He is a co-author of Canadian Tort Law, 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, and one of the core casebooks on American insurance law, Principles of Insurance Law. 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. 

Professor Knutsen earned a Masters of Law (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and a B.A.(Hons). from Lakehead University. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel.

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, has given the Canadian Studies Visiting Lecture at Fudan University School of Law in Shanghai, China, and has given the keynote address at the Advocates Society’s annual conference. 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 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 and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.


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

Recent Professional Achievements:

  • 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.


  • Co-author with the late Allen Linden, Bruce Feldthusen, Margaret Hall and Hilary Houng, Canadian Tort Law, 11th ed. (LexisNexis: 2018).
  • 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).
  • “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).


  • with Jeffrey W. Stempel, "Protecting Auto Accident Victims from the Insurer Identity Crisis" (forthcoming 2020) ___ Connecticut Insurance LJ. [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]