Affiliated Faculty

Rob Leflar

Rob Leflar

Professor of Law

(LAWD)-Dean of Law


Phone: 479-575-2709

Download vcard


Professor Rob Leflar's teaching and research focus on torts, health law, and related fields. He teaches first-year torts and upper-level courses and seminars in products liability, health law and policy, comparative law, and defamation and privacy. He writes on the topics of health law and comparative law, particularly regarding Japan.

A native of Fayetteville, Leflar earned his bachelor's, J.D., and master's in public health from Harvard University. Prior to teaching law, he clerked for Judge George Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, and was a staff attorney for Public Citizen Health Research Group in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. A devoted baseball fan, he is active in various public interest organizations, such as the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club.

Professor Leflar has been awarded several fellowships for study in Japan, including a Fulbright grant, Japan Foundation fellowship, and grants from the Center for Global Partnership and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. His current research project compares medical quality control and injury compensation in Japan and the United States.

He has lectured, often in Japanese, at Tokyo University and other universities in Japan and at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and several international conferences. He has published articles about Japan in American, Japanese, and European journals. His book (in Japanese) on the development of informed consent in Japanese medicine and law was published in 2002.

A native of Fayetteville, Leflar earned his bachelor's, J.D., and master's in public health from Harvard University.

Book Chapters

  • "Iryo jiko chosa to hoteki sekinin: Beikoku to Nihon no hikaku no shiten kara [Medical Accident Review and Legal Liability: A U.S.-Japan Comparative Perspective]," in IRYO ANZEN KOTO HAJIME [FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH CARE SAFETY] 257-281 (Nakajima & Kodama eds. 2010).
  • "Medical Error, Deception, Self-Critical Analysis, and Law's Impact: A Comparative Examination," in LAW IN JAPAN: A TURNING POINT 404-432 (Daniel H. Foote ed., 2008).
  • "Law and Health Care in Japan: The Renaissance of Informed Consent," in TIMOTHY S. JOST, READINGS IN COMPARATIVE HEALTH LAW AND BIOETHICS 154-160 (2d ed. 2007).

Law Review & Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Medical Malpractice Reform Measures and Their Effects, 144 CHEST 306-318 (2013).
  • "Reform of the United States Health Care System: An Overview," 10 U. TOKYO J. LAW & POLITICS 44-59 (2013), reprinted in 2013 ARK. LAW NOTES 1171, available at
  • "Human Flotsam, Legal Fallout: Japan's Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown," 27 J. Environmental Law & Litigation 107-124 (2012) (with A. Hirata, M. Murayama & S. Ota).
  • "The Law of Medical Misadventure in Japan," 87 Chicago-Kent L. Rev. 79-110 (2012).
  • "Public and Private Justice: Redressing Health Care Harm in Japan," 4 Drexel L. Rev. 243-264 (2011).
  • "'Unnatural Deaths,' Criminal Sanctions, and Medical Quality Improvement in Japan," 9 Yale J. Health Policy, Law & Ethics 1-51 (2009)
  • "The Regulation of Medical Malpractice in Japan," 467 Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 443-449 (2009)
  • "The Civil Justice Reform Act and the Empty Chair," 2003 Ark. Law Notes 67-77.
  • "The Preemption Pentad: Federal Preemption of Products Liability Claims After Medtronic" [v. Lohr], 64 Tenn. L. Rev. 691-748 (1997) (with Robert S. Adler).
  • "Informed Consent and Patients' Rights in Japan," 33 Houston L. Rev. 1-112 (1996).
  • "Public Accountability and Medical Device Regulation,"" 2 Harvard J. L. & Technology 1-84 (1989).

Noteworthy Presentations, 2010-2013

  • "Obamacare and Arkansas," 1st United Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, Oct. 9, 2013
  • "Medical Error in Japan: A Subsurface Tangle of Law and Politics," Temple U. Japan, Tokyo, July 12, 2013
  • "Medical Injury Compensation Reform: Japan, Taiwan, the United States," Health Law Professors Conference, Seton Hall Law School, Newark NJ, June 8, 2013
  • "Medical Malpractice Reform: Perspectives from Japan, Taiwan, and the United States," Law & Society Assn annual conference, Boston, June 1, 2013
  • "Medical Quality Improvement and the Law," Nagoya U. Faculty of Medicine Young Leaders Program, April 26, 2013
  • "Iryiko ni kansuru dai-san-sha kikan no arikata: Gaikoku no kenkysha kara mite "[Impartial Entities for Review of Medical Accidents: A Foreign Researcher=s Perspective], 45th University of Tokyo Symposium on Comparative Law and Politics, Tokyo, April 20, 2013 (in Japanese)
  • "Discerning Why Patients Die: Legal and Political Controversies in Japan, the United States, and Taiwan," 3rd East Asian Law & Society Conference, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, March 23, 2013
  • "Research on Human Tissues: Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues," Keio Law School Symposium on Regenerative Medicine, Tokyo, Feb. 15, 2013 (keynote lecture)
  • "Medical Injury and the Law: International Comparisons," National Kaohsiung University College of Law, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Dec. 27, 2012 (keynote lecture at Forum on Medical Injury and the Law)
  • "Medical Liability and Compensation Mechanisms in the U.S. and Japan," Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 26, 2012
  • "Patients, Privacy, Progress, and Problems: Medical Records in the Computer Age," National Chiaotung U., Hsinchu, Taiwan, Nov. 17, 2012
  • "Social Constraints on Health Law Developments: Illustrations from the U.S. and Japan," Tunghai U. Intl Conference on Medical Law and Social Change, Taichung, Taiwan, Nov. 16, 2012 (keynote address)
  • "Reform of the American Health Care System (Part IV): The Supreme Court Decision and the Presidential Election," Univ. of Tokyo Faculty of Law, Medicine & Law Research Group, Nov. 6, 2012
  • "Reform of the American Health Care System," Tokyo Fulbright Association, Tokyo, Oct. 10, 2012
  • "Provider-Protective American Med Mal Rules: Comparing the U.S., Japan, and France," Health Law Professors Conference, Arizona St. U. School of Law, Tempe AZ, June 8, 2012.
  • "Medical Misadventure Law: Japan, Comparatively," St. Louis U. School of Law, Feb. 29, 2012.
  • "Legal and Institutional Responses to Manmade Public Health Disasters: Medical and Nuclear Accidents Compared," East Asian Law & Society Conference, Seoul, Korea, Oct. 1, 2011.
  • "Reform of the American Health Care System (Part III)," Univ. of Tokyo Faculty of Law, Medicine & Law Research Group, July 19, 2011.
  • "Error, Crime, Tort, Apology: Medical Malpractice Disputes in Japan," Conference on Medical Malpractice and Compensation in Global Perspective, Vienna, Austria, Dec. 3, 2010.
  • "Medical Device Product Liability Litigation in the United States," Univ. of Tokyo Policy Alternatives Research Institute, July 22, 2010.
  • "Health Care Reform in the United States: Medical Malpractice Proposals," National Taiwan University College of Law, Taipei, July 6, 2010.
  • "'Unnatural Deaths' Inquest System, the 'Model Project,' and the Proposed National Peer Review System in Japan," National Taiwan University Medical Faculty, Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Taipei, July 7, 2010.
  • "Ramseyer on Quality (and Litigation) in Japanese Health Care," Cohen Conference on Chinese History and Japanese Law, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., June 18, 2010.
  • "Reform of the American Health Care System," Arkansas Bar Association, Hot Springs, June 12, 2009
  • "The Story of Akika's Heart: System Error and Institutional Response through Exemplary Narrative," Health Law Professors Conference, Cleveland OH, June 6, 2009
  • "Law and Patient Safety in the United States and Japan," Univ. of Arkansas School of Law Visiting Committee, March 6, 2009


In the News