News - Capital University Law School

Incoming 1Ls, Meet Your Professors: Jeff Ferriell

6/5/2017  - 

Professor Jeff Ferriell joined the Faculty at Capital in 1987 after teaching for eight years at other law schools in Ohio and elsewhere. In 2016 he was designated as the Geraldine W. Howell Professor of Law. He is an author of two law school hornbooks: “Understanding Contracts” (3d ed., 2014) and “Understanding Bankruptcy” (3d ed., 2013, with co-author Edward J. Janger). He is currently working, with Research Assistant Steve Tabatowski, L'19, on the next edition of “Understanding Contracts.” He serves as the legislative liaison for Ohio’s delegation to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), and in that role works with Ohio Uniform Law Commissioners and members of the Ohio legislature toward enactment of uniform laws, drafted by the ULC. This year, he is working on Ohio’s enactment of the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act and several other uniform laws. An amateur radio buff (K8ZDA) and avid cyclist, he has participated in the annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley for over 30 years, served as the Emergency Communications Director and in other volunteer positions with the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, and in addition to cycling thousands of miles on country roads throughout Ohio, has gone on numerous cycling vacations in England, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, and New Zealand.

In the Classroom…

What courses do you teach?
Contracts, Secured Transactions, Bankruptcy, & sometimes Payment Systems.

What legal issue fascinates you?
It’s a pretty arcane topic, but I’ve always been interested in issues concerning bankruptcy court jurisdiction, and the constitutional authority of bankruptcy judges. These issues deal with fundamental separation of powers questions in Articles I and III of the U.S. Constitution. Lately I’ve been taking a look at the viability of the Supreme Court’s 19th century “Barton Doctrine” in lawsuits against Bankruptcy Trustees and other appointed officials involved in Bankruptcy cases.

When you were in Law School…

Where did you go to law school?
After finishing college at The Ohio State University, I earned my J.D. at Santa Clara University and my LL.M. at the University of Illinois.

What was your fondest memory of being a 1L?
The lifelong friendships I made with my classmates and with some Professors, including Gary Neustadter and retired Capital University Professor Stan Darling, who was at Santa Clara in 1975 and who was my Professor for Torts and Legal Research & Writing.

What was your scariest 1L memory?
Anticipating being called on by Prof. Alan Scheflin in Contracts. Actually being called on was not that bad. Sorry Stan, you weren’t so scary!

Your advice to incoming law students…

What should students do to prepare the summer before law school?
Read lots – and it probably doesn’t matter what you read.

Your best piece of advice to prepare for first year?
Time will be your most valuable asset and you’ll need to use it to your best advantage. Anticipate having a highly structured schedule, without much slack, but with time built in for your family & friends, including the new lifelong friends you’ll make during your first year.

Your Favorites…

What’s your favorite book?
It’s hard to pick between “Darkness at Noon” by Arthur Koestler, and “Bicycle Road Racing” by Eddie Borysewicz, the father of American bicycle racing.

What’s your favorite movie?
To Kill a Mockingbird (also on the favorite books list).

What’s your favorite local restaurant?
This is an easy one: Barcelona in German Village, with “Caspers Hot Dogs” in Hayward, California, where I went to high school, as a close second.


Meet Other 1L Professors: