John F. Coyle

Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law

(919) 843-9634
5093 Van Hecke-Wettach Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Organizations Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Contracts
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Law
  • Entrepreneurship and the Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Law
  • International Trade Law
  • Organizations Law


John Coyle joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2010 and serves as the Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law. His teaching and research interests include contracts, corporate law, and conflict of laws. Coyle is the author of more than thirty articles on topics ranging from contract boilerplate to venture capital to private international law. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Duke Law Journal, the Iowa Law Review, and the Notre Dame Law Review, among others. The graduating class at Carolina Law has twice voted to award him the Frederick B. McCall Award for Teaching Excellence.

Coyle attended Yale Law School where he was a symposium editor on the Yale Law Journal, an articles editor on the Yale Journal of International Law, and the recipient of the William K.S. Wang Prize and the Jewell Prize. Prior to joining Carolina Law, Coyle clerked for Judge Reena Raggi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, practiced law in the corporate group at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC, and taught legal writing at Harvard Law School.


  • J.D., Yale University (2005)
  • M.Phil., European Studies, University of Cambridge (2001)
  • B.A., History and Literature, Harvard University (2000)

Selected Publications

Forum Selection Clauses, Non-Signatories, and Personal Jurisdiction (with R. Effron), 97 NOTRE DAME L. REV. (forthcoming 2022).

Enforcing Inbound Forum Selection Clauses in State Court (with K. Richardson), 53 ARIZ. ST. L.J. 65 (2021) .
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Enforcing Outbound Forum Selection Clauses in State Court (with K. Richardson), 96 INDIANA L.J. 1089 (2021).
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A Short History of the Choice-of-Law Clause, 91 U. COLO. L. REV. 1147 (2020).
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Interpreting Forum Selection Clauses, 104 IOWA L. REV. 1791 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

The Canons of Construction for Choice-of-Law Clauses, 92 WASH. L. REV. 631 (2017).
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The Role of the CISG in U.S. Contract Practice: An Empirical Study, 38 U. PA. J. INT’L L. 195 (2016).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Contractual Innovation in Venture Capital (with J. Green), 66 HASTINGS L. J. 133 (2014).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Acqui-hiring (J. Coyle & G. Polsky), 63 DUKE L.J. 281 (2013).
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The Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in the Modern Era, 51 COLUM. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 302 (2013).
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