Harrison Robertson Professor of Law
Caddell & Chapman Professor of Law
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1995
B.A., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 1991
Kimberly Kessler Ferzan joined the Law School in 2014 after serving on the faculty of Rutgers University, School of Law Camden since 2000, most recently as Distinguished Professor of Law. At Rutgers, Ferzan received the campus-wide Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010, and she was selected as Professor of the Year by the Classes of 2004 and 2010. Ferzan teaches criminal law, evidence, advanced criminal law, and advanced law and philosophy seminars. She is also affiliated faculty with the University's Philosophy Department.
Ferzan's work focuses on criminal law theory. She is the co-editor in chief of Law and Philosophy, and is also on the editorial boards of Legal Theory and Criminal Law and Philosophy. She is the author of numerous articles, and the co-author of Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (Cambridge University Press), with Larry Alexander and Stephen Morse. Her paper, "Beyond Crime and Commitment," was selected for the 2013 American Philosophical Association's Berger Memorial Prize, for the best paper written in law and philosophy for the prior two years, and her paper, "Beyond Intention," was selected for the 2006 Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in the category of criminal law.
Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 2000, Ferzan clerked for Judge Marvin Katz in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and then worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section, investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses committed by federal, state and local officials. She also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools. For the academic year 2012-13, Ferzan was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at Princeton's University Center for Human Values.
Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (with Larry Alexander and Stephen Morse) (Cambridge University Press 2009).
Criminal Law Conversations (co-edited with Stephen Garvey and Paul Robinson) (Oxford University Press 2009).
“Confused Culpability, Contrived Causation, and the Collapse of Tort Theory” (with Larry Alexander), in John Oberdiek, ed., Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts 406 (Oxford University Press, 2014).
“Prevention, Wrongdoing, and the Harm Principle’s Breaking Point,” 10 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 685 (2013) (reviewing A P Simester and Andreas von Hirsch, Crimes, Harms, and Wrongs: On the Principles of Criminalisation (Hart, 2011).
"Risk and Inchoate Crimes: Retribution or Prevention," in Sullivan ed., Seeking Security: Pre-empting the Commission of Criminal Harms (forthcoming Hart Publishing) (with Larry Alexander).
"Fletcher on the Fault of Not Knowing," in Russell Christopher, ed., Essays on Criminal Law (forthcoming OUP) (with Larry Alexander).
"Justification and Excuse," in Deigh & Dolinko, eds., Oxford Handbook on the Philosophy of Criminal Law (OUP 2011).
"Beyond the Special Part," in Duff & Green, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law (OUP 2010) (with Larry Alexander).
"Intention," in Patterson ed., A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, 2d ed. (Blackwell 2010).
"Is There a Method to the Madness? Why Creative and Counterintuitive Proposals are Counterproductive," in Mark D. White, ed., Theoretical Foundations of Law & Economics (Cambridge Univ. Press 2008) (with Michael Dorff).
Articles and Essays
“Preventive Justice and the Presumption of Innocence,” 8 Crim. L. & Phil. 505 (2014).
“Provocateurs,” 7 Crim. L. & Phil. 597 (2013).
“Rethinking The Ends of Harm,” 32 Law & Phil. 177 (2013).
"Beyond Crime and Commitment: Justifying Liberty Deprivations of the Dangerous and Responsible" (forthcoming Minnesota Law Review).
"Inchoate Crimes at the Prevention/Punishment Divide" (forthcoming San Diego Law Review) (symposium).
"Plotting Premeditation's Demise" (forthcoming Law and Contemporary Problems) (symposium).
"Danger: The Ethics of Preemptive Action" (forthcoming Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law) (symposium) (with Larry Alexander).
"Culpable Aggression: The Basis for Moral Liability to Defensive Killing" (forthcoming Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law) (symposium).
"The Unsolved Mysteries of Causation and Responsibility" (forthcoming Rutgers Law Journal) (symposium).
"A Planet by Any Other Name," 109 Mich. L. Rev. 1011 (2010) (book review essay).
"The Structure of Criminal Law," 28 Criminal Justice Ethics 223 (2009) (solicited review essay of Antony Duff's Answering for Crime).
"The Perils of Forgetting Fairness," 59 Case Western Reserve Law Review 597 (2009) (with Michael Dorff).
"Justifying Killing in Self-Defence," 99 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology (with Arlette Grabczynska) (forthcoming 2009) (review essay of Fiona Leverick's Killing in Self-Defence).
"Self-Defense and the State," 5 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 449 (2008) (symposium).
"Culpable Acts of Risk Creation," 5 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 375 (2008) (with Larry Alexander)(symposium).
"Beyond Intention," 29 Cardozo Law Review 1147 (2008) (selected for presentation at the 2006 Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in the category of Criminal Law).
"Act, Agency, and Indifference: The Foundations of Criminal Responsibility," 10 New Crim. L. Rev. 441 (2007) (solicited review essay of Victor Tadros' Criminal Responsibility).
"Holistic Culpability," 28 Cardozo Law Review 2523 (2007) (symposium).
"Clarifying Consent," 25 Law and Philosophy 193 (2006) (solicited review of Peter Westen's The Logic of Consent: The Diversity and Deceptiveness of Consent as a Defense to Criminal Conduct).
"A Reckless Response to Rape: A Reply to Ayres and Baker," 39 U.C. Davis Law Review 637 (2006).
"Justifying Self-Defense, 24 Law and Philosophy 711 (2005) (symposium issue).
"Defending Imminence: From Battered Women to Iraq," 46 Ariz. L. Rev. 213 (2004) reprinted in Moriarty ed., Women and the Law (2006).
"Some Sound and Fury from Kaplow and Shavell," 23 Law & Philosophy 73 (2004) (review article of Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, "Fairness versus Welfare" (2002)).
"Don't Abandon the Model Penal Code Yet! Thinking Through Simons's Rethinking," 6 Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 185 (2002) (symposium issue).
"Opaque Recklessness," 91 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 597 (2001).
"Mens Rea and Inchoate Crimes," 87 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1138 (1997) (with Larry Alexander).
"The Role of Luck in the Criminal Law," 142 U. Pa. L. Rev. 2183 (1994).
“Moving Beyond Crime and Commitment,” APA Newsl. on Phil. & L., Spring 2014, at 1.
“Thinking Through the ‘Third Way’: The Normative and Conceptual Space Beyond Crime and Commitment,” APA Newsl. on Phil. & L., Spring 2014, at 16.
"'Moore or Less' Causation and Responsibility," 6 Crim. L. & Phil. 81 (2012)(solicited review of Moore's Causation and Responsibility) (with Larry Alexander).
"Contributions to Criminal Law Conversations" (edited with Garvey and Robinson, OUP 2009): "Results Don't Matter" (core text with Larry Alexander); "Against Negligence Liability" (core text with Larry Alexander); "Sex as Contract" (comment on Michelle Anderson); "The Values and Costs of Imminence" (comment on Whitley Kaufman); "Can't Sue, Can Kill" (comment on Jeff McMahan).
"Arson and the Special Part," 2 Crim. L. & Phil. 97 (2009).
"Living on the Edge: The Margins of Legal Personhood," 39 Rutgers Law Journal 237 (2008) (symposium introduction).
"Murder After the Merger: A Commentary on Finkelstein," 9 Buffalo Criminal Law Review 561 (2006).
"Justifications and Excuses: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives," Symposium Foreword, 24 Law and Philosophy 547 (2005).
"Torture, Necessity, and the Union of Law and Philosophy," 36 Rutgers L.J. 183 (2004) (symposium).