Profile picture of Tom Lininger

Tom Lininger

Orlando John and Marian H. Hollis Professor

Law, Law-JD, Criminal Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center
Phone: 541-346-3662
Office: 359 Knight Law Center


Professor Lininger grew up in Southern Oregon. He earned his undergraduate degree at Yale, and his law degree at Harvard. He has worked as a federal prosecutor, as counsel to a subcommittee in the U.S. Senate, and as a litigation attorney with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom in San Francisco. Lininger joined the UO faculty in 2003.

One of Lininger’s research’s interests is the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, particularly the application of the clause to prosecutions of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Bonnie Campbell, the former director of the U.S. Violence Against Women Office, commended Lininger as a "national leader in the prosecution of domestic violence." He has authored legislation that addresses the unique challenges faced by complainants in prosecutions of domestic violence and rape. In 2006, Senator Joseph Biden's staff invited Lininger to participate in a work group advising the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on legislative strategies to meet the Supreme Court's new confrontation requirements for hearsay in criminal prosecutions. Lininger’s research on domestic violence and sexual assault has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Lininger’s research has also focused on the intersection of environmental law, ethics, and criminal procedure. As a former prosecutor of environmental crime and a plaintiff’s attorney who sued polluters, Lininger is interested in customizing ethical and procedural rules for the unique context of environmental advocacy. Lininger has served on the state board of directors for the Oregon Natural Resources Council. He has been an ethics advisor for the Sustainable Future Section of the Oregon Bar, and a member of the Ethics Committee for the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources. Lininger has received invitations to present his environmental scholarship at Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Texas, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Washington, Utah, and SMU, as well as at conferences sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Bar Association. In 2018, a panel of judges at Vanderbilt Law School and the Environmental Law Institute selected Lininger’s article “Green Ethics for Judges” as one of the top five articles among more than 300 environmental law articles published over the prior year.

Lininger’s latest scholarship has advocated revisions to ethical and evidentiary codes in order to promote access to justice and ensure fair treatment of indigent parties.  Lininger has received invitations to present on this subject at conferences, symposia and colloquia hosted by Berkeley, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Fordham, Indiana, Northeastern, and Rutgers.  In 2021, Lininger received a Consumer Protection Research Grant for a project exploring whether revisions to evidentiary rules would improve the protection of low-income and minority consumers.

Lininger’s scholarship has appeared or will soon appear in the Duke Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Georgia Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, and the Hastings Law Journal, among other journals. 

The University of Oregon has given Lininger awards for teaching, scholarship and service.  In 2006, Lininger received the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2008, he received the Lokey Award for Faculty Excellence. In 2010, he won the Hollis Teaching Award.  In 2017, he received “Pillar of the Community” Award. In 2023, he received the Madison Award for promoting civil, inclusive discourse at the UO School of Law.  The graduating class has selected Lininger as commencement marshal in eight years, most recently in 2021.

Like many colleagues at the University of Oregon School of Law, Lininger has sought out opportunities to assist public agencies at the state and local levels.  Oregon’s governor appointed Lininger to chair the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, which plans criminal justice policy for the state.  The president of the Oregon Senate and the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court recently appointed Lininger to serve on the Oregon Public Defense Commission, which oversees the allocation of $600 million per biennium for the legal representation of indigent defendants in criminal cases.  Lininger has also chaired the Oregon Tobacco Settlement Task Force.  Lininger has been elected to serve on two local school boards and on the Lane County Board of Commissioners.  He welcomes opportunities to speak with students who are interested in public service.



(Last updated in October 2023)


THE NEW WIGMORE:  VOLUME ON IMPEACHMENT AND REHABILITATION (with Roger Park) -- published by Aspen/Wolters in 2012; supplements published every year since 2013

  •   “[T]he principal modern treatise on evidence . . .”

           -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan

  •   “Wigmore’s treatise was the dominant work of evidence scholarship in the 20th century.  The new volume by Park and Lininger concerns the impeachment and rehabilitation of witnesses, one of the central, and most perplexing, areas of evidentiary law.  The volume will certainly be widely used, as other volumes have been, by judges, practitioners, and academics . . . . Lininger is one of the outstanding scholars of evidence of the younger generation.”

          -- Richard Friedman, University of Michigan Law School         

  •  “The New Wigmore is a justly prestigious series, and I am sure that the volume by Park and Lininger will be influential and highly valuable -- particularly given the exceptional Expertise and strong professional reputation that each author brings to this project.  This will be a significant contribution to evidence law scholarship, and the bench, bar, and academy owe the authors a debt of gratitude.”

          -- David Sklansky, Stanford Law School


Empowering Rural Landowners to Reduce Wildfire Risk, 58 GEORGIA LAW REVIEW ___ (2024)

Abortion, the Underground Railroad, and Evidentiary Privilege, 80 WASHINGTON AND LEE LAW REVIEW 663 (2023)

Judges’ Ethical Duties to Ensure Fair Treatment of Indigent Parties, 89 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 1237 (2021) 

No Privilege to Pollute:  Expanding the Crime-Fraud Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege, 105 MINNESOTA LAW REVIEW 113 (2020)

Green Ethics for Judges, 86 GEORGE WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW 711 (2018)

Green Ethics for Lawyers, 57 BOSTON COLLEGE LAW REVIEW 61 (2016)

Deregulating Public Interest Law, 88 TULANE LAW REVIEW 727 (2014)

Should Oregon Adopt the New Federal Rules of Evidence?, 89 OREGON LAW REVIEW 101 (2011)

The Sound of Silence:  Holding Batterers Accountable for Silencing Their Victims, 87 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 857 (2009)

Is It Wrong to Sue for Rape?, 57 DUKE LAW JOURNAL 1557 (2008)
The Promise and Limitations of Forensic Linguistics, 92 CORNELL LAW REVIEW 833 (2007)

From Park Place to Community Chest:  Rethinking Lawyers’ Monopoly, 101 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1343 (2007)

On Dworkin and Borkin’, 105 MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW 1315 (2007)

Kids Say the Darndest Things:  The Prosecutorial Use of Hearsay Statements by Children, 82 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 999 (2007)

Reconceptualizing Confrontation After Davis, 85 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 272 (2006)

Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 747 (2005)

Bearing the Cross, 74 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 101 (2005)

Sects, Lies and Videotape:  The Surveillance and Infiltration of Religious Groups, 89 IOWA LAW REVIEW 1201 (2004)

A Better Way to Disarm Batterers, 54 HASTINGS LAW JOURNAL 525 (2003)