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Richard D. Friedman

About Richard D. Friedman

Richard D. Friedman, the Alene and Allen F. Smith Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, is an expert on evidence and Supreme Court history. He is the general editor of The New Wigmore, a multi-volume treatise on evidence. His textbook, The Elements of Evidence, is now in its third edition, and he is co-author of Waltz, Park & Friedman's Evidence: Cases and Materials, now in its eleventh edition. He has also written many law review articles and essays. In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the Supreme Court radically transformed the law governing the right of an accused to "be confronted with the witnesses against him" by adopting a "testimonial" approach, which Professor Friedman had long advocated; he now maintains the Confrontation Blog (see link below) to comment on related issues and developments, and he successfully argued a follow-up case, Hammon v. Indiana, in the Supreme Court. Professor Friedman earned a B.A. and a J.D. from Harvard, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a D.Phil. in modern history from Oxford University. He clerked for Chief Judge Irving R. Kaufman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then practiced law in New York City. He joined the Law School faculty in 1988 from Cardozo Law School. In 2010, he received the Patriot Award from the Washtenaw County Bar Association.
25 Jan, 2011

Rahm Emanuel and the combination of statutory and constitutional arguments

Author |Constitutional Law|0 Comments

The litigation over Rahm Emanuel’s eligibility to be on the ballot for Mayor of Chicago illustrates a type of argument that can often be very effective.

The statute at issue can plausibly be construed in Emanuel’s favor – but, as the decision of the appellate court indicates, this construction is not inevitable.

Emanuel has plausible […]

4 Nov, 2010

How the Iowa vote may improve the long-term chances for same-sex marriage

Author |Supreme Court|5 Comments

Three justices of the Iowa Supreme Court were defeated for election to new terms on Tuesday. It is as clear as could be that they lost because they had joined in Varnum v. Brien, 763 N.W.2d 862 (Iowa 2009), the court’s unanimous decision holding that the state constitution gives same-sex couples a right to marry. Especially given that Iowa is a relatively moderate state – it has a Democratic Governor but just elected a Republican one; it has two long-standing Senators, one Republican and one a liberal Democrat; and Obama thumped McCain there in 2008 – one might well expect that high court judges in other states will take note and be more hesitant than they might have been to follow in the same path as Varnum.
31 Oct, 2010

Halloween and Racial Sensitivity

Author |Opinions|0 Comments

My son Danny will turn 13 this Wednesday – he had his Bar Mitzvah yesterday, in fact – and last week I took him shopping to try tor figure out a Halloween costume. When I spotted a dreadlock wig, I hit instantly on an idea that I was surprised hadn’t occurred to us earlier: Danny, an avid Michigan football fan, could be Denard Robinson, the quarterback who has had some electrifying experiences this season. I showed the dreaddies to Danny, without explanation, and had the same immediate thought., Even better from my perspective, he had already wheedled a No. 16 Michigan jersey from me just a week or so before, so we already had the otehr key component of the costume. He could also borrow a pair of maize-colored football pants, we had socks that at least faintly resembled Michigan socks, and of course he knew to leave his shoelaces untied; Denard Robinson, sometimes called Shoelace (now also the name of our new kitten) is well known not to tie his laces. So we were all set – except for one thing.