Kent Sinclair

  • Professor Emeritus

Kent Sinclair joined the law faculty in 1983 after seven years as U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of New York. He retired in 2018 after a career teaching civil procedure, Virginia procedure, evidence, pretrial litigation, motions practice and appellate practice. Sinclair directed the trial advocacy and clinical programs at the Law School, and was the founding director of the Virginia Judicial Institute, an educational program for state trial judges. Since 1984, he has been the reporter of decisions for the Virginia Supreme Court and, from 1986-94, a consultant to the Virginia attorney general on ethics, evidence and trial skills.

As a law student, Sinclair was chief notes and comments editor for the California Law Review, moot court champion, and first-place winner in the national copyright article competition sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He clerked for Chief Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before joining the New York firm of Shearman & Sterling. He has also had adjunct teaching posts at Fordham University Law School and Practising Law Institute in New York, the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., and the American Law Institute in Philadelphia.

Sinclair has been president of the National Council of U.S. Magistrates, chair of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Revision Project for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and president of the National Conference of Special Jurisdiction Judges. He is a member of the American Law Institute and, from 1986 to 1992, was a member of the Virginia State Bar/Virginia Bar Association task force on alternative dispute resolution. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Boyd-Graves Conference on Virginia Procedure and on the Supreme Court of Virginia's advisory committee on rules of practice and procedure. He has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association Litigation Section and a reporter for the VBA's Appellate Court Structure Project since 1993.

Education

  • J.D.
    University of California at Berkeley School of Law
    1971
  • A.B.
    University of California at Santa Barbara
    1968

Books

Virginia Evidentiary Foundations (with Edward J. Imwinkelried, Joesph C. Kearfott & Paul F. Sheridan), Lexis Law Publishing (1998).
The Virginia Essay Exam: Analysis of the Practice Questions, Harcourt Brace Legal & Professional Publications (1996).
Trial Advocacy Materials, Practising Law Institute (2 ed. 1985).

Textbooks

The Law of Evidence in Virginia (with Charles E. Friend), LexisNexis (8 ed. 2018).
Friend’s Virginia Pleading and Practice (with Charles E. Friend), LexisNexis (3 ed. 2017).
Sinclair on Virginia Remedies, LexisNexis (5 ed. 2016).
Virginia Civil Procedure (with Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr.), Michie (6 ed. 2014).
The Law of Evidence in Virginia (with Charles E. Friend), LexisNexis (7 ed. 2012).
Trial Handbook, Practising Law Institute (3 ed. 2012).
Sinclair on Federal Civil Practice, Practising Law Institute (5 ed. 2008).
Virginia Civil Procedure (with Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr.), Michie (5 ed. 2008).
Friend’s Virginia Pleading and Practice, LexisNexis (2 ed. 2006).
Sinclair on Federal Civil Practice, Practising Law Institute (4 ed. 2004).
Virginia Civil Procedure (with Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr.), Michie (4 ed. 2003).
Virginia Civil Procedure (with Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr.), Michie (3 ed. 1998).
Sinclair on Federal Civil Practice, Practising Law Institute (3 ed. 1992).
Virginia Civil Procedure (with Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr.), Michie (2 ed. 1992).
Trial Handbook, Practising Law Institute (2 ed. 1990).
Federal Civil Practice, Practising Law Institute (2 ed. 1986).
Trial Handbook, Practising Law Institute (1 ed. 1985).

Book Chapters

Article V Privileges, in Weinstein’s Federal Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts, Matthew Bender, 501-1 to 514App. (1997).
Rule 902—Self-Authentication, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 902-1 to 902 (1992).
Rule 901—Requirement of Authentication or Identification, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 901-1 to 901 (1991).
Article II: Judicial Notice: Introductory Commentary, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 200-1 to 200 (1990).
Rule 201—Judicial Notice of Adjudicative Facts, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 201-1 to 201 (1990).
Rule 801—Definitions, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 801-1 to 801 (1990).
Rule 802—Hearsay Rule, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 802-1 to 802 (1990).
Rule 501—General Rule, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 501-1 to 501 (1989).
Supreme Court Standard 502—Required Reports Privileged by Statute, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 502-1 to 502 (1989).
Supreme Court Standard 503—Lawyer-Client Privilege, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 503-1 to 503 (1989).
Supreme Court Standard 504—Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege, in Weinstein’s Evidence: Commentary on Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, Bender, 504-1 to 504 (1989).
Procedure Before United States Magistrates, in Federal Court Civil Practice and Procedure, Virginia Law Foundation, IV-1 to IV (1988).
Chapter 72: Magistrates; Pretrial Matters, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 72-1 to 72 (2 ed. 1984).
Chapter 73: Consensual Trials Before Magistrates, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 73-1 to 73 (2 ed. 1984).
Chapter 74: Optional Appeal Method, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 74-1 to 74 (2 ed. 1984).
Chapter 75: Optional Appeal Mechanics, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 75-1 to 75 (2 ed. 1984).
Chapter 75: Optional Appeal Mechanics, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 75-1 to 75 (2 ed. 1984).
Chapter 76: Judgments after Optional Appeal Proceeding, in Moore’s Federal Practice, Bender, 76-1 to 76 (2 ed. 1984).
Canon 4: Confidences and Secrets, in Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Virginia, Virginia Law Foundation, III-1 to III (1983).

Articles & Reviews

Summary Judgment: A Proposal for Procedural Reform in the Core Motion Context (with Patrick Hanes), 36 William & Mary Law Review 1633-1735 (1995).
Limitations of Action under the FTCA: A Synthesis and Proposal (with Charles A. Szypszak), 28 Harvard Journal on Legislation 1-61 (1991).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Appealable Issues in Virginia: “Preserving Error” and Determining “Finality”, Virginia Bar Association News Journal 6-15 (October, 2002).
Clinical and Practical Education, Virginia Law School Report 53 (1987).
The Law School and Continuing Legal Education, Virginia Law School Report 15-16, 41 (1983).

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

All Courses

Evidence
Practical Trial Evidence: Principles and Practice (seminar)
Pre-Trial Litigation: Principles and Practice (seminar)
Virginia Practice and Procedure

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