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Richard C. Henke

Richard Henke


B.A. University of Notre Dame, 1983 
J.D., cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law, 1986

[email protected]

"As Justice Cooley famously said, we must recall that we are teaching students to be ministers of justice. They must not only know and apply the law, but they must bring a deep sense of fairness and equity to bear on their legal studies and eventual practice of law."

I started at Cooley Law School in 1996. I have expertise in Torts and Remedies, with a special emphasis on Products Liability and Environmental and Toxic Torts, and issues dealing with aggregate litigation and its resolution.

I began my legal career as a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey. In 1987, I was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Special Master for the asbestos litigation in New Jersey. Subsequently, I was appointed as Special Master in other mass tort litigation, including major landfill cases and the silicone gel breast implant litigation.

In 1991, I became an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School. I taught Products Liability and Toxic Torts, an elective I developed for upper-term students. I have published several articles in the field of Products Liability, co-authored a chapter of a Products Liability casebook, and written an article in the area of family law. In 2005, I was elected to the American Law Institute.

I am a 20-time winner of the Stanley E. Beattie Award for excellence in teaching and a member of the Cooley Legal Author Society. I teach Torts I and II, Environmental Torts, Equities & Remedies, and Products Liability.

Articles (Law Reviews and Law Journals)

  • Richard C. Henke, Workers' Compensation in New Jersey: Toward a Removal of Workers from the Sacrificial Altar of Production Quotas, 56 Rutgers L. Rev. 789 (2004). Reprinted in 26 Workers' Comp. L. Rev. 143 (2004).
  • Richard C. Henke, Comparative Fault in Products Liability: Comparing California and New Jersey, 19 T.M. Cooley L. Rev. 301 (2002).
  • Richard C. Henke, The Heeding Presumption in Failure to Warn Cases: Opening Pandora's Box?, 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 174 (1999).
  • Hon. John E. Keefe & Richard C. Henke, Presumed Knowledge of Danger: Legal Fiction Gone Awry?, 19 Seton Hall L. Rev. 174 (1989).

Books and Chapters in Books

  • Frederick T. Smith & Richard C. Henke, "Damages and the Problems of Apportionment", in New Jersey Product Liability Law, (New Jersey Law Journal Books Supp. 1998).
  • Frederick T. Smith & Richard C. Henke, "Contribution and Indemnification in Products Liability Litigation" in New Jersey Product Liability Law, (New Jersey Law Journal Books Supp. 1997).
  • Richard C. Henke, "Contribution and Indemnification in Products Liability Litigation" in New Jersey Product Liability Law, by John L. McGoldrick & Frederick T. Smith. (New Jersey Law Journal Books 1994).

Short Works

  • Philip A. Tortoreti & Richard C. Henke, The Continuing Viability of Santor v. Karagheusian: Does Strict Liability Apply to Direct Economic Loss Cases Involving Consumers and Commercial Entities?, N.J. LAW., June 1998, at 16.
  • Philip Witt & Richard C. Henke, Child Custody Evaluations: Legal Standards, Trial Law., Oct. 1989, at 12.


  • Richard C. Henke, panelist, "Products Liability: Update 1996," presented to Recent Case Law Development in Products Liability Seminar, ICLE, New Brunswick, NJ (April 27, 1996).
  • Richard C. Henke, panelist, "Mass Torts Update," presented to Recent Case Law Development in Mass Torts Seminar, ICLE, New Brunswick, NJ (April 23, 1994).
  • Richard C. Henke, panelist, "The New Jersey Product Liability Act: Plaintiff and Defense Viewpoints," presented to Aspects of Common Law Products Liability in New Jersey and its Codification and Modification of the Products Liability Act Seminar. ICLE, New Brunswick, NJ (June 20, 1992).
  • Richard C. Henke, guest speaker, "The Special Master's Role in Toxic Tort Litigation," presented to Resolution Program for Visiting Justices from India and Sri Lanka Concerning Mass Tort Litigation, Center for Negotiation and Conflict. Newark, NJ (October 10, 1990).
  • Richard C. Henke, panelist, "Symposium on Critical Issues in Alternate Dispute Resolution," presented to Use of Court-Appointed Mediators and Special Masters Program. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (December 7, 1987).