Kenneth S. Klein
Louis and Hermione Brown Professor of Law
Professor Klein was born and raised in Texas. After graduating from college and rejecting his initial plans either of being a mathematician or working as a furniture factory representative with his father, he attended law school where—much to his and his family's surprise—he finished in the top ten in his class, serving both on the law review and the board of advocates.
Professor Klein then began a more than 20-year career as a civil litigator, practicing in both the federal and state courts of Texas and California, with focus on business litigation and civil appeals. In the course of his career, Professor Klein has litigated and/or arbitrated scores of matters at both the trial and appellate level, for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Before joining the California Western faculty, he was a partner in the litigation department of the San Diego office of Foley & Lardner LLP, heading the office's appellate practice, as well as serving as the office's pro bono partner and professional responsibility partner. From 1994 through 1997, he interrupted his legal practice to be an Assistant Professor at New England School of Law (NESL) in Boston. Professor Klein left NESL and returned to private practice as a means to return to his adopted hometown of San Diego.
Throughout Professor Klein's professional career he has been active in his community, and has devoted substantial time to pro bono legal matters. He currently is serving as the President of the Advisory Council of the Community Law Project, on the advisory board of the UC San Diego School of Medicine Student-Run Free Medical Clinic, as a Senior Advisor to Team UP (an initiative of United Policyholders), as a Master in the Wallace Inn of Court, and as a Consumer Representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The first many years of Professor Klein’s scholarly work focused on the the tension inherent in judicial decision making in democracies. The more recent focus of Professor Klein’s research, however, has been on how issues of available, adequate, and affordable homeowner insurance are exposed and exacerbated by natural disasters, and what can be done about it. This work has led to his invitation to speak on these matters to insurers, mortgage lenders, regulators, legislators, and the federal government. It also has been the focus of his pro bono work.
Professor Klein is twice the recipient of the Wiley E. Manuel Award for delivery of pro bono services, and is the recipient of the State Bar of California's 2008 President's Pro Bono Services Award. The latter award primarily was predicated on Professor Klein's counseling of survivors of the 2007 wildfires in San Diego. Professor Klein's complete CV may be viewed here.
Much to embarrassment of Professor Klein's family, he has been a frequent commentator on legal issues on local television (and once on CNN). Professor Klein believes that as the title of a recent book suggests, soccer does indeed explain the world, and he has played (poorly) and coached (adequately) for over 40 years. He is also active in his congregation, but contrary to what this might suggest, he does not consider himself an "all-around good guy."
Professor Klein was named California Western’s Associate Dean for Assessment and Teaching in fall 2019.
- JD, University of Texas School of Law [with highest honors]
- BA, Rice University [cum laude, Political Science, Philosophy, and Legal Studies]
- Civil Procedure I, Civil Procedure II,
- Clinical Internship Program
- What to Do When Things Go Boom
- The Law of Natural Disasters,
- Torts I & II (at NESL),
- Administrative Law (at NESL)
Visit Professor Klein's SSRN Author Page.
- Kenneth S. Klein, “Is fire insurable? Insights from bushfires in Australia and wildfires in the United States”, in Climate, Society and Elemental Insurance, Kate Booth, Chloe Lucas and Shaun French, editors (Routledge 2022).
- Kenneth S. Klein, The Male Lawyer Spouse as Smoke Damaged House, in Sharing the Pants: Essays About Work-Life Balance by Men Married to Lawyers 43 (Jacqueline Hersh Slotkin & Samantha Slotkin Goodman eds., 2009).
Law Review Articles
- Kenneth S. Klein, Ashes to Ashes: A Way Home for Climate Change Survivors 67 Ariz. L. Rev. 679 (2021).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Minding the Protection Gap: Resolving Pervasive, Profound, Unintended Homeowner Underinsurance, 25 Conn. Ins. L.J. 34 (2019).
- Kenneth S. Klein. Weighing Democracy and Judicial Legitimacy in Judicial Selection, 23 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 269 (2018).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Truth and Legitimacy (in Courts), 48 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 1 (2016).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Comparative Jury Procedures: What A Small Island Nation Teaches The United States About Jury Reform, 76 La. L. Rev. 447 (2015).
- Kenneth S. Klein, The Enduring Quality of an Alluring Mistake: Why One Person’s Intentions Cannot – And Never Could – Be Evidence of Another Peron’s Conduct, 37 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 339 (2013).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Why Federal Rule of Evidence 403 is Unconstitutional, and Why That Matters 47 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1077 (2013).
- Kenneth S. Klein, When Enough Is Not Enough: Correcting Market Inefficiencies In The Purchase And Sale Of Residential Property Insurance,18 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 345 (2011).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Removing the Blindfold and Tipping the Scales: The Unintended Lesson of Ashcroft v. Iqbal is that Frivolous Lawsuits may be Important to Our Nation, 41 Rutgers L.J.593 (2010).
- Kenneth S. Klein, In Discretion: The Consequences of Twombly and Iqbal, 19 Pretrial Prac. & Discovery 1 (2010),
- Kenneth S. Klein, Following the Money – the Chaotic Kerfuffle Over Residential Insurance Proceeds that Simultaneously are the Only Rebuild Funds and the Only Mortgage Collateral, 46 Cal. W. L. Rev. 305 (2010).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Is Ashcroft v. Iqbal the Death (Finally) of the “Historical Test” for Interpreting the Seventh Amendment?, 88 Neb. L. Rev. 467 (2010).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Ashcroft v. Iqbal Crashes Rule 8 Pleading Standards on to Unconstitutional Shores, 88 Neb. L. Rev. 261 (2009).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Another Lesson from Montecito—Even in Semi-Arid Southern California, We Need Flood Insurance, L.A. Times (Jan. 15, 2018).
- Kenneth S. Klein, Sure as The Sun Rises, One Day Your California Town Will Be on Fire. Get Insurance—Lots of It, L.A. Times (Oct. 20, 2017)
- Kenneth Klein, Reducing Frivolous Litigation Is Not Worth the Cost, Daily J. (Feb. 26, 2010).
- Kenneth Klein, The Supreme Court Just Changed Everything You Think You Know About How To Plead Or Attack A Civil Complaint (2010),