Three UVA Law Professors Elected to American Law Institute

Brandon Garrett, Rachel Harmon and Richard Bonnie

UVA Law professors Brandon Garrett, Rachel Harmon and Richard Bonnie join an elite group of judges, lawyers and professors interested in improving the law..

April 16, 2015

University of Virginia School of Law professors Richard Bonnie , Brandon Garrett and Rachel Harmon were elected to the American Law Institute this month.

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. The organization includes judges, lawyers and law professors from the United States and abroad, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law. The Law School now has 21 faculty members in the American Law Institute, including emeritus faculty. Professor Kimberly Ferzan was elected to the institute in January.

Bonnie, the Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law and director of UVA's Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy , teaches and writes about criminal law, bioethics and public policies relating to mental health, substance abuse, aging and public health. He is also a professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and a professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at UVA.

Bonnie has been actively involved in public service throughout his career. Among many other positions, he has been associate director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (1971-73); secretary of the first National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-80); chair of Virginia's State Human Rights Committee responsible for protecting rights of persons with mental disabilities (1979-85), chief adviser for the ABA Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards Project (1981-88) and chair of the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform established by the chief justice of Virginia (2006-11).

Bonnie is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and has chaired numerous academy studies on subjects ranging from elder mistreatment to underage drinking. He has served as an adviser to the American Psychiatric Association Council on Psychiatry and Law since 1979, received the APA's Isaac Ray Award in 1998 for contributions to the field of forensic psychiatry, and was awarded a special presidential commendation in 2003 for his contributions to American psychiatry. Bonnie, a UVA Law graduate, earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Garrett, an expert on wrongful convictions and DNA exonerations, is the author of " Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong ," and " Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations," both published by Harvard University Press. His teaching and research interests include criminal procedure, wrongful convictions, habeas corpus, corporate crime, scientific evidence, civil rights, civil procedure and constitutional law. Garrett served as a member of a National Academy of Sciences National Research Council committee that in 2014 produced the report " Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification. "

Garrett's work has been widely cited by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court , lower federal courts, state supreme courts , and courts in other countries, such as the Supreme Courts of Canada and Israel. He also frequently speaks about criminal justice matters before legislative and policymaking bodies, groups of practicing lawyers, law enforcement, and to local and national media. Garrett attended Columbia Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Kent Scholar, and earned his B.A. at Yale University. After law school, he clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then worked as an associate at Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin in New York City. Garrett is currently a visiting fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford.

Harmon, the Sullivan & Cromwell Professor of Law, is an expert in law and policing who teaches in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure and civil rights. From 1998 until she joined the faculty in 2006, she served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. After a brief stint at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, Harmon worked in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, prosecuting hate crimes and official misconduct cases, many of which involved excessive force or sexual abuse by police officers.

Harmon received her law degree at Yale, where she was articles editor for theYale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, and her B.S. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before law school, as a British Marshall Scholar, she earned an M.Sc. in political theory and an M.Sc. in political sociology, both with distinction, from the London School of Economics. After law school, Harmon clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Garrett and Harmon are also participating in an American Law Institute project on police investigations. Bonnie, who recently chaired major studies for the National Academies on juvenile justice and the health, safety and well-being of young adults, will be participating in an ALI restatement of the law on children and youth.

Professor Kimberly Ferzan was elected to the American Law Institute in January. Ferzan, the Caddell & Chapman Professor of Law, joined UVA in 2014 after serving on the law faculty of Rutgers University at Camden. She teaches criminal law, evidence, advanced criminal law, and advanced law and philosophy seminars. She is also affiliated with the UVA 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 Theoryand Criminal Law and Philosophy. She is the author of numerous articles, and the co-author of Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law, with Larry Alexander and Stephen Morse.

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 is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

UVA Law Faculty Members of the American Law Institute

Elected Members:

Life Members:

Ex-Officio Members:


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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