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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Saturday, May 7, 2005

CrimProf Spotlight: Alabama's New Hire Michael Pardo

This week, CrimProf Blog highlights Michael Pardo.  He writes:

After spending the past two years as a visiting assistant professor, first at Northwestern and now at Chicago-Kent, this upcoming fall I’m heading south to join the faculty at the University of Alabama.

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.  I went to college at Illinois Wesleyan University, where I double majored in philosophy and business, drifting more and more toward the former. I considered pursuing a PhD in philosophy. Instead—after checking the help-wanted ads for philosophers and being disappointed—I went to law school at Northwestern. While there, I continued to pursue the philosophical issues that interested me, primarily those involving epistemology (knowledge) and language. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to do so and attribute it to the following factors:  the strong (in my opinion) initial training I received, the opportunity to take graduate-school classes, and, most important, the influence and support of Professors Ron Allen and Robert Burns.   

After law school I spent two years as a Staff Attorney at the Seventh Circuit. The position varies among circuits, but in the Seventh Circuit it involves an extremely rewarding (if lesser known) two-year clerkship that allowed me to work with each of the judges of the court. After that, I obtained a visiting teaching position last year at Northwestern, and then a similar position this year at Chicago-Kent. These positions have provided a wonderful introduction to legal academia. I’ve taught classes primarily in the areas of criminal procedure and evidence, and I will teach civil procedure next fall. This spring I also co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of a defendant in a criminal appeal before the Seventh Circuit. 

My current research explores the ways philosophical theory can illuminate our evidentiary and procedural practices, both criminal and civil. I think that any critique (whether moral, ethical, legal, or whatever) of a practice, will always be dependent upon our best understanding of that practice. Much of my focus at this point is on this latter project. My publications include: Disentangling the Fourth Amendment and the Self-Incrimination Clause, 90 Iowa L. Rev. (forthcoming 2005); The Field of Evidence and the Field of Knowledge, 24 Law and Philosophy (forthcoming 2005) (presented at the 2004 Stanford/ Yale Junior Faculty Forum in the Jurisprudence and Philosophy category); The Myth of the Law-Fact Distinction, 97 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1769-1807 (2003) (with R. Allen); Facts in Law and Facts of Law, 7 Int’l J. of Evid. & Proof 153-171 (2003) (with R. Allen); Juridical Proof, Evidence, and Pragmatic Meaning: Toward Evidentiary Holism, 95 Nw. U. L. Rev. 399-442 (2000) (student comment).

One of my primary personal interests is literature. Some favorites include James Joyce (I read Ulysses once a year), William Gass, John Barth, and David Foster Wallace. I also very much enjoy music and film: lately, the jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, the Chicago-based band Wilco, and the films of Jim Jarmusch. And finally—despite my otherwise unflinching commitment to evidence—I’m an optimistic fan of the Cubs. 

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