Professor James Duane



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Academic and practice experience in Evidence, Civil Procedure, Trial Practice, and Appellate Advocacy.

J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School.

A.B., magna cum laude, Harvard College, Phi Beta Kappa


James Duane is a Professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he received the Faculty Excellence Award in the fall of 2002. He has twice taught as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, most recently in the fall of 2011. During the 2013-14 academic year, he is serving as a faculty associate at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2002.  He received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1981, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D.cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1984.  He clerked for the Hon. Michael A. Telesca of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, and the Hon. Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He was senior associate at the law firm of Connors & Vilardo in Buffalo, New York, where he practiced civil litigation and criminal defense, and was trial counsel for all of the defendants in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 519 U.S. 357 (1997). 

Professor Duane has taught at Regent Law School since 1991 in the areas of Evidence, Civil Procedure, Trial Practice, and Appellate Advocacy, and has published more than thirty articles in those fields. He is the co-author of Weissenberger’s Federal Evidence, and is a contributing editor of Black’s Law Dictionary.  Since 1995, he has been a member of the faculty at the National Trial Advocacy College conducted annually at the University of Virginia School of Law, and has also taught constitutional law at the National Litigation Academy.  He has been interviewed about legal matters on television and radio, including National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and has testified before the Advisory Committee of the United States Judicial Conference on the Federal Rules of Evidence.  He has lectured before lawyers and law professors at conferences and training sessions conducted by Hastings Law School, the College of William and Mary, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, among others.  He is a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference of the Virginia Bar Association, and is admitted to practice before the courts of New York and Virginia, as well as numerous federal courts.  In the spring of 2008, Professor Duane gave a talk at Regent Law School about some of the reasons why even innocent criminal suspects should never agree to answer questions from the police, and that video has now been viewed more than 5,000,000 times on YouTube.

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Governmental Testimony

Testimony before the United States Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence on proposed rules amendments. Washington, D.C. (Oct. 22, 1998).

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Scholarly Publications: Books and Chapters

Black's Law Dictionary (contributing editor; 8th ed. 2004).

Weissenberger's Federal Evidence (with Dean Glen Weissenberger) (LexisNexis 5th edition 2006).

Local Rules in Ambush, in American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, The Litigation Manual (3rd ed. 1999).

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Scholarly Publications: Articles

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Pointless Remand, 18 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 154 (Fall 2013).

The Strange Glitch in the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence, 14 Green Bag 2d 143 (Winter 2011).

The Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that Was Changed by Accident: A Lesson in the Perils of Stylistic Revision, 62 South Carolina Law Review 41 (2010).

The Right to Remain Silent: A New Answer to an Old Question, 25 Criminal Justice 57 (Summer 2010).

What Every Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Needs to Know About Model Jury Instruction 2.600The Champion 4 (June 2009).

“She Told Me She Was Scared of Him”:  The Admissibility of Hearsay Evidence that a Murder Victim Feared the Accused, The Virginia Bar Association News Journal 14 (Spring 2009).

Virginia’s Unconstitutional Inference of Larceny from the Unexplained Possession of Stolen Property: The Dissenting Opinion in Patrick v. Commonwealth, The Virginia Bar Association News Journal 10 (June/July 2008).

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Scholarly Presentations

The Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that Cannot Mean What It Says.  Continuing legal education seminar for members of the Virginia bar.  Virginia Beach, Virginia.  September 23, 2011.

Advanced Aspects of Cross-Examination. Presentation at the annual Public Defender Training Conference sponsored by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission.  Richmond, Virginia.  June 29, 2011.

Say What, Say Where: Contours of the Public Forum Doctrine. National Litigation Academy.  Laguna Niguel, California.  July 11-16, 2011.

The Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that Cannot Mean What It Says.  Continuing legal education seminar for members of the Virginia bar.  Norfolk, Virginia.  June 29, 2011.

Say What, Say Where: Contours of the Public Forum Doctrine.  Blackstone Legal Academy.  Phoenix, Arizona.  June 14, 2011.

Courtroom Do’s and Don’ts: Practical Tips for Success.  Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association 13th Annual Bench/Bar Conference.  Norfolk, Virginia.  April 6, 2011.


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Professor James Duane’s now famous 5th Amendment lecture - popularly known as “Don’t talk to the police!” - has amassed a considerable internet following.