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Faculty Profiles: James Diehm
A Former United States Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands, Professor James Diehm uses his practical experience to prepare students to be lawyers.
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Shaping the future of law
With recent tragedies such as 9/11 and ever-pressing health issues such as the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, the field of Toxic Torts is on the rise and in need of an identity. Widener Law Professor Jean M. Eggen is determined to help shape it.

When Professor Eggen joined the faculty 20 years ago, her Toxic Torts course was one of the first electives of its kind in any American law school. Today, with the field's growing importance, Eggen's course is still in the forefront of national legal curricula.

“Students often tell me that prospective employers are impressed that Widener Law offers a full elective course in toxic torts,” says Eggen. "My course provides them with the specialized knowledge they need to succeed in the areas of product and environmental litigation."

Professor Eggen is shaping the field of toxic torts and public health through her thought-provoking ideas and scholarly output. Her book Toxic Torts in a Nutshell, now in its third edition, is used by law schools across the country. She’s also written numerous articles on aspects of toxic tort law, including the recent “Toxic Torts at Ground Zero,” published in the Arizona State Law Journal.

“I make an effort to address the difficult issues raised by current events and new court decisions,” Eggen says. “My articles offer provocative ideas in a field of law that is still trying to find its identity.”

Eggen’s research has been cited by the highest courts of several states. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer cited her work in a strong dissent on a major federalism case. Even more impressive: Widener Law students past, present, and future have the privilege of citing Professor Eggen as a primary source of knowledge and as a mentor.