Professor Vern Walker holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, with specialization in knowledge theory, artificial intelligence, deductive and inductive logic, and the conceptual foundations and methodologies of the sciences. His doctoral dissertation was on the perception of objects by biological and mechanical systems. He taught philosophy for four years at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, including courses in logic, philosophy of science, ethics and bioethics.
He earned the J.D. at Yale Law School, where he was also an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Prior to joining the Hofstra Law School faculty, Professor Walker was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Swidler & Berlin. His practice included representation before state and federal administrative agencies and before courts on judicial review of agency actions. His administrative practice focused primarily on issues concerning public health, safety, and the environment. He also represented clients in civil litigation alleging products liability and toxic torts. While in law practice, he worked extensively with expert witnesses and scientific evidence, and he co-authored the book Product Risk Reduction in the Chemical Industry.
At Hofstra, Professor Walker teaches courses in scientific evidence, torts, administrative law, administrative health law, and European Union law, and he is director of the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology. He is on the editorial board of the journal Law, Probability and Risk, as well as the editorial review board for the International Journal of Agent Technologies and Systems. He is a past president of the Risk Assessment and Policy Association. He has been a consultant to both private and governmental institutions in both the United States and Europe.
Professor Walker has published extensively on the logic of legal reasoning and fact-finding, the design of fact-finding processes, and the use of scientific evidence in legal proceedings. His writings also explore the substantive topics of risk assessment, risk management, and scientific uncertainty. In addition, he designs computer software for capturing legal knowledge and modeling legal reasoning, and he explores ways to use logical analysis and artificial intelligence in his teaching.