Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He is a prominent scholar on United States constitutional law and criminal law. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. He has held the Felix Frankfurter professorship there since 1993.
Dershowitz is known for his involvement in several high-profile legal cases and as a commentator on the Arab–Israeli conflict. As a criminal appellate lawyer, he has won 13 of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases he has handled, and has represented a series of celebrity clients, including Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Bakker. His most notable cases include his role in 1984 in overturning the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, and as the appellate adviser for the defense in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995.
A political liberal, he is the author of a number of books about politics and law, including Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case (1985), the basis of the 1990 film; Chutzpah (1991); Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case (1996); the best-selling The Case for Israel (2003); Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (2004) and The Case for Peace (2005).
Dershowitz was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Harry and Claire Dershowitz, an Orthodox Jewish couple, and was raised in Borough Park. His father was a founder and president of the Young Israel Synagogue in the 1960s, served on the board of directors of the Etz Chaim School in Borough Park, and in retirement was co-owner of the Manhattan-based Merit Sales Company. According to Dershowitz, Harry had a strong sense of justice and talked about how it was “the Jew’s job to defend the underdog.” (…)
After graduating from high school, he attended Brooklyn College and received his A.B. in 1959. Next he attended Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and graduated first in his class with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1962. He has been a member of a Conservative minyan at Harvard Hillel, but is now a secular Jew. He is married to Carolyn Cohen and has three children.
After being admitted to the bar, Dershowitz served as a clerk for David Bazelon, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (…)
During the 1963–1964 term, he served as law clerk for the Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg. (…)
He joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as an assistant professor in 1964, and was made a full professor in 1967 at the age of 28, at that time the youngest full professor of law in the school’s history. He was appointed Felix Frankfurter professor of law in 1993.
Much of his legal career has focused on criminal law, and his clients have included high-profile figures such as Patty Hearst, Harry Reems, Leona Helmsley, Jim Bakker, Mike Tyson, Michael Milken, O.J. Simpson and Kirtanananda Swami. (…)
Dershowitz has been described by Newsweek as America’s “most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights.” He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1979, and in 1983 received the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award from the Anti-Defamation League for his work on civil rights. In November 2007, he was awarded the Soviet Jewry Freedom Award by the Russian Jewish Community Foundation. In December 2011, he was awarded the Menachem Begin Award of Honor by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center at an event co-sponsored by NGO Monitor. He has been awarded honorary doctorates in law from Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, Monmouth University, University of Haifa, Syracuse University, Fitchburg State College, Bar-Ilan University, and Brooklyn College. In addition, he is a member of the International Advisory Board of NGO Monitor.
Dershowitz has also appeared as himself in a number of fictional television series, including Picket Fences, Spin City, and First Monday.
Cases (see Wikipedia)
Criticism (see Wikipedia)
Views (see Wikipedia)
1982: The Best Defense. ISBN 978-0-394-50736-1., 1985: Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case. ISBN 978-0-394-53903-4., 1988: Taking Liberties: A Decade of Hard Cases, Bad Laws, and Bum Raps. ISBN 978-0-8092-4616-8., 1991: Chutzpah. ISBN 978-0-316-18137-2., 1992: Contrary to Popular Opinion. ISBN 978-0-88687-701-9., 1994: The Advocate’s Devil (fiction). ISBN 978-0-446-51759-1., 1994: The Abuse Excuse: And Other Cop-Outs, Sob Stories, and Evasions of Responsibility. ISBN 978-0-316-18135-8., 1996: Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case. ISBN 978-0-684-83021-6., 1997: The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century. ISBN 978-0-316-18133-4., 1998: Sexual McCarthyism: Clinton, Starr, and the Emerging Constitutional Crisis. ISBN 978-0-465-01628-0., 1999: Just Revenge (fiction). ISBN 978-0-446-60871-8., 2000: The Genesis of Justice: Ten Stories of Biblical Injustice that Led to the Ten Commandments and Modern Law. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-67677-9., 2001: Letters to a Young Lawyer. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01631-0., 2001: Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514827-5., 2002: Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09766-5., 2002: Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. Little Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-18141-9., 2003: The Case for Israel. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-46502-7, 2003: America Declares Independence. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-26482-8., 2004: America on Trial: Inside the Legal Battles That Transformed Our Nation. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-52058-4., 2004: Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights. ISBN 978-0-465-01713-3., 2005: The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can be Resolved. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-74317-0); Chapter 16 PDF (111 KB)., 2006: Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06012-6., 2007: Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence. ISBN 978-0-470-08455-7., 2007: Finding Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and the First Amendment in an Age of Terrorism. ISBN 978-0-470-16711-3., 2008: Is There a Right to Remain Silent?: Coercive Interrogation and the Fifth Amendment After 9/11. ISBN 978-0-19-530779-5., 2008: The Case Against Israel’s Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand in the Way of Peace. ISBN 978-0-470-37992-9., 2009: Mouth of Webster, Head of Clay essay in The Face in the Mirror: Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age. ISBN 978-1-59102-752-2., 2009: The Case For Moral Clarity: Israel, Hamas and Gaza. ISBN 978-0-9661548-5-6., 2010: The Trials of Zion. ISBN 978-0-446-57673-4., 2013: Taking the Stand, My Life in the Law, 2013
For notes, further reading and external links see wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, partially shortened by editor