James Duane (professor)

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James Joseph Duane (born July 30, 1959[1]) is an American law professor at the Regent University School of Law, former criminal defense attorney, and Fifth Amendment expert.[2] He received some viral online attention for his "Don't Talk To Police" video of a lecture he gave to a group of law students with Virginia Beach Police Department Officer George Bruch. They explain in practical terms why citizens should never talk to police under any circumstances. The lecture continues to be popular on YouTube and received support from security expert Bruce Schneier.[3] By November 2014 the official release of the video had received over 37,000 views, but this copy of it has gone viral over the years, with over six million views (as of July 2016).

Using former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson as support of his "Don't Talk to Police" advice, Duane says, inter alia, that: 1) Even perfectly innocent citizens may get themselves into trouble even when the police are trying to do their jobs properly, because police malfeasance is entirely unnecessary for the innocent to convict themselves by mistake; 2) talking to police may bring up erroneous but believable evidence against even innocent witnesses; and 3) individuals convinced of their own innocence may have unknowingly committed a crime which they inadvertently confess to during questioning.[4] This follows the reasoning of Justice Robert Jackson in Watts v. Indiana.[citation needed]

He has also written about his views that there are bizarre legislative drafting errors in the Virginia Statute on Privileged Marital Communications[5] as well as issues involving the introduction of hearsay evidence at trial (known as "bootstrapping").[6] Duane, a member of the advisory board of the Fully Informed Jury Association,[7] has also written in defense of jury nullification.[8]

Professor Duane is a descendant of Revolutionary-era leader Judge James Duane.[9]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Title ISBN Publisher Release Edition Notes
Weissenberger's Federal Evidence 978-1593458140 LexisNexis November 17, 2011 Seventh with Glen Weissenberger
Federal Rules of Evidence: Rules, Legislative History, Commentary and Authority 978-1422495636 LexisNexis December 5, 2011 Seventh with Glen Weissenberger
You Have the Right to Remain Innocent 978-1503933392 Little A September 20, 2016 First


  1. ^ "Regent University School of Law". martindale. JAMES JOSEPH DUANE, (Professor), born Buffalo, New York, July 30, 1959; admitted to bar, 1985, New York.
  2. ^ James Duane, Regent University
  3. ^ Schneier, Bruce. "Why you should never talk to Police". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  4. ^ Professor speaks to Federalist Society on Genius of the Fifth Amendment, March 25, 2009
  5. ^ Duane, James Joseph (1999–2000), Bizarre Drafting Errors in the Virginia Statute on Privileged Marital Communications, The, 12 (91), Regent U. L. Rev.
  6. ^ Duane, James Joseph (1996–1997), Trouble with United States v. Tellier: The Dangers of Hunting for Bootstrappers and other Mythical Monsters, The, 24 (215), Am. J. Crim. L.
  7. ^ "Who We Are | Fully Informed Jury Association". fija.org. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  8. ^ Duane, James (1996). "Jury Nullification: The Top Secret Constitutional Right" (PDF). Litigation. 22 (4): 6–60.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com: James Duane". Amazon. He was born near Buffalo, New York, and is a descendant of Judge James Duane of New York, the first judge appointed to the newly-created federal judiciary by President George Washington in 1789.