Texas Tech University

John L. Watts

Charles B. “Tex” Thornton Professor of Law, 2015

Email: john.watts@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-7950

Admitted to Practice in Virginia and Washington, DC

Upon graduation from law school, Professor Watts worked as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Following his clerkship, he practiced law for eight years in Norfolk, Virginia, as a civil litigator in the areas of personal injury, product liability and False Claims Act, qui tam, "Whistleblower" litigation. Prior to joining the faculty of Texas Tech School of Law, Professor Watts was on the faculty of Barry University's Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in Orlando, Florida.

Professor Watts teaches Torts, Evidence, Products Liability, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and The Laws and Ethics of War.

Prior to attending college, Professor Watts served four years in the United States Marine Corps and had the honor of guarding President Ronald Reagan at Camp David.

Professor Watts was the Student Bar Associations Professor of the Year for 2009-2010, 2011-2012 & 2012-2013. He was also named the 1L Professor of the Year by the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity of Texas Tech University School of Law for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

Photo Description


  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1996
  • B.A., University of Maryland, 1992


  • Torts
  • Evidence
  • Products Liability
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Procedure

Selected Publications and Presentations

Tyranny by Proxy: State Action and the Private Use of Deadly Force, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. (Forthcoming 2014)

Fairness and Utility in Products Liability: Balancing Individual Rights and Social Welfare, 39 Flo. St. U. L. Rev. 579 (2011)

"Fairness and Utility in Products Liability," Southern Methodist University School of Law, Faculty Forum, September 9, 2009, Dallas, TX.

Differences Without Distinctions: Boyle's Government Contractor Defense Fails to Recognize the Critical Differences Between Civilian and Military Plaintiffs and Between Military and Non-Military Procurement, 60 Okla. L. Rev. 647 (Winter 2007).

To Tell the Truth: A Qui Tam Action for Perjury in a Civil Proceeding is Necessary to Protect the Integrity of the Civil Judicial System, 79 Temple L. Rev. 773 (2006).