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David M. Siegel
Contact Information

Areas of Expertise
  • Public Interest
  • Pro Bono Legal Services
  • Minority Rights
  • Lawyering Skills
  • Juveniles and the Criminal Justice System
  • Insanity Defense
  • Innocence Project
  • Evidence
  • Equal Protection
  • DNA Testing, Post-conviction
  • Diminished Capacity Defense
  • Developmental Disability and Mental Illness
  • Death Penalty
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Competence to Stand Trial
  • Comparative Law
  • Attorney-Client Privilege

David M. Siegel

Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility


JD, University of Chicago Law School
BA, University of Chicago

Professional Background

In addition to directing the law school’s Center for Law and Social Responsibility, Professor Siegel teaches Comparative Criminal Procedure, Criminal Advocacy, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Clinical Evidence, Evidence, and Mental Health Issues in the Criminal Process.

He has written articles on the history of mental health defenses in criminal law, the ethical obligations of criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors, and involuntary medication of criminal defendants. He is a founding member of the New England Innocence Project and serves on its Case Review Committee. He also directs the Criminal Justice Project.

He received a Fulbright senior specialist grant to teach at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, for six weeks in 2009. While there, he taught an advanced seminar on comparative criminal procedure and lectured on “Task Setting in Police Management for Performance” at Southwest Jaiotong University in Chengdu. He also lectured on “Eyewitness Misidentification: Social Science Informing Law Enforcement Reform” at Southwest University of Finance and Economics at Chengdu and on “The American Death Penalty in the 21st Century” at the US Consulate in Chengdu. He conducted a workshop on sentencing, which was presented for judges from the Sichuan High Court. Before joining the New England Law faculty in 1996, he was a senior assistant public defender for the Office of the Metropolitan Public Defender in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as a clerk for the Honorable E. Grady Jolly, Jr., of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Since 2015 he has also served as co-chair for the Boston Bar Association Amicus Committee.

Professor Siegel also shares his insights via The Continuing Duty blog (with Professor Tigran Eldred), which is devoted to “...ensuring that lawyers constitutionally and ethically act as the very best lawyers they can be, before, during, and after their representation has ended.”

Selected Publications

A ‘slap in the face’ to federal prosecutors? Specialists weigh in on Boston Calling decision, (2020)

Does your district attorney have access to your medical records?, The Hill (2019)

In indigent defense case, precedent for strong SJC action, CommonWealth Magazine (2019) (with Lawrence Friedman)

Prosecutors increasing pressure on ‘Varsity Blues’ defendants with new charges, experts say, (2019)

Summer Jobs Seen As A Way to Reduce Violence, (2018)

4 questions — and answers — about Michelle Carter’s appeal in the texting suicide case, (2018)

Judge orders new trial for Lowell man convicted of murdering young mother 33 years ago, (2018)

Massachusetts man who confessed to murder granted new trial after 33 years, (2018)

The Established Continuing Duty, The Professional Lawyer (2017) (with Tigran Eldred)

Her texts pushed him to suicide, prosecutors say. But does that mean she killed him?, (2017)

Internalizing Private Prison Externalities: Let's Start with the GED, (No. 1):1  Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy (2016)

The Continuing Duty in Reality, American Criminal Law Review Online (2015) (with Tigran Eldred)

Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations with Chines Characteristics: Tool for Transparency or Torture?, Hong Kong Law Journal (2015)

The Continuing Duty Then and Now, 2 Hofstra Law Journal (2013)

What Hath Miller Wrought: Effective Representation of Juveniles in Capital-Equivalent Proceedings, Spring New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement (2013)

Preserving Evidence To Convict the Guilty and Protect the Innocent: Massachusetts’ Post-Conviction Access to Forensic and Scientific Analysis Act, 56 Boston Bar Journal (2012) (with Gregory I. Massing)

A New Tool for Determining Factual Innocence: Massachusetts’ Post-Conviction Access to Forensic and Scientific Analysis, 56 Boston Bar Journal (2012) (with Gregory I. Massing)

Emphasizing Privacy of the Home and Limiting Third Party Consent Under the State Constitution: Commonwealth v. Porter P., 93 Massachusetts Law Review 357 (2011) (with Lawrence Friedman)

The Sentencing of Juveniles in the United States Supreme Court: Reaffirming the Distinctiveness of Youth, 20 Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 431 (2011)

The Role of Trial Counsel in Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims: Three Questions to Keep in Mind, 33-FEB Champion 14 (2009) (Cover Story)

Involuntary Psychotropic Medication to Competence: No Longer an Easy Sell, 12 Michigan State University Journal of Medicine and Law 1 (2008)

The Growing Admissibility of Expert Testimony by Clinical Social Workers on Competence to Stand Trial, 53 Social Work 153 (2008)

Training the Hybrid Lawyer and Implementing the Hybrid System: Two Tasks for Italian Legal Education, 33 Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce 445 (2006)

A New Regime of Electronic Recording of Police Interrogations: Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 422 Mass. 423 (2004), 89 Massachusetts Law Review 171 (2006)

Commonwealth v. Patterson, 42 Criminal Law Bulletin 21 (2006) publication of amicus curiae brief filed in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, co-principal author

Law Enforcement Interviews of Hospital Patients: A Conundrum for Clinicians, 295 Journal of the American Medical Association 822 (2006) with co-authors Paul M. Jones and Paul S. Appelbaum

Justice on the Cheap, 49 Boston Bar Journal 10 (2005)

Canadian Fundamental Justice and U.S. Due Process: Two Models for Guarantee of Basic Adjudicative Fairness, 37 George Washington International Law Review 1 (2005)

Psychoactive Medication and Your Client: Better Living and (Maybe) Better Law Through Chemistry, 27-DEC Champion 22 (2003)

The Ethical Obligations of Prosecutors in Postconviction Claims of Innocence: A New Ethical Framework for a New Legal Regime, 38 California Western Law Review 389 (2002) co-author with Judith Goldberg

Old Law Meets New Medicine: Revisiting Involuntary Psychotropic Medication of the Criminal Defendant, 2001 Wisconsin Law Review 307 (2001) co-author with Albert J. Grudzinsks, Jr., and Debra A. Pinals, MD,

Confidentiality & Privilege in the Juvenile Court Setting, Ch. 4, Improving the Professional Response to Children in the Legal System (2000) co-author with Albert J. Grudzinskus

My Reputation or Your Liberty (or Your Life): The Ethical Obligations of Trial Counsel in Post Conviction Proceedings, 23 Journal of the Legal Profession 85 (1999)

Development and Presentation of Psychological Evidence in Criminal Defense Proceedings, Criminal Defense Techniques (1999)

Felix Frankfurter, Charles Hamilton Houston, and the ‘N-Word’: A Case Study in Evolution of Judicial Attitudes Toward Race, 7 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 317 (1998)

Transfer to Criminal Court, A Practical Guide for Juvenile Defense (1997) co-author with J. Michael Engle


Magill's Legal Directory (1999)