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 two dozen articles on topics ranging from contract boilerplate to venture capital to private international law. His work has appeared in the Duke Law Journal, the Iowa Law Review, and the William & Mary Law Review, among others. In 2015, he received the Frederick B. McCall Award for teaching excellence from the graduating class at Carolina Law.

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. After graduating from law school, Coyle clerked for Judge Reena Raggi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He also practiced law in the corporate group at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, DC, and taught legal writing at Harvard Law School prior to joining Carolina Law.


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

Selected Publications

Enforcing Inbound Forum Selection Clauses in State Court (with K. Richardson), 52 ARIZ. ST. L.J. (forthcoming 2021) .

Enforcing Outbound Forum Selection Clauses in State Court (with K. Richardson), 96 INDIANA L.J. (forthcoming 2021).

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). 
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Startup Lawyering 2.0 (with J. Green), 95 N.C. L. REV. 1403 (2017).
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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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