Professor McFarland earned a J.D. from New York University as a Root-Tilden Scholar and later earned a Ph.D. in speech-communication from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his retirement from Hamline at the end of 2013, he was Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Teaching & Scholarship. He practiced litigation for three years with a large Minneapolis firm, and taught at Hamline University School of Law [now Mitchell|Hamline] from 1974-2012. His subjects were civil procedure, evidence, torts, federal courts, and persuasion in the law. While on leave in 1984-86, he served as Administrative Assistant [now Counselor] to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger at the Supreme Court of the United States. During 1993-94, he was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, and later for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. He has served as an arbitrator, a small claims court judge, and as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He lives with his wife Mary in Minnesota summers and Arizona winters. His four children are grown and on their own. Since retiring, McFarland has authored a memoir of his political campaign and a fiction book set in the Supreme Court. Please visit his website for more information.
As co-author with Roger Park, McFarland wrote Computer-Aided Exercises on Civil Procedure (5th ed.) plus the nine accompanying civil procedure exercises distributed by CALI. CALI also distributes his seven torts lessons. He has also published Minnesota Civil Practice (3d ed.), a three volume treatise plus semi-annual supplement. His articles on subjects in the areas of civil procedure, evidence, federal courts, and legal education have appeared in a variety of journals, including Harvard Law Review, Boston University Law Review, and the Journal of Legal Education.