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. Duane received his AB magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1984. Duane was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society while at Harvard.[2][3]

He received 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, in which they explain in practical terms why citizens should never talk to police under any circumstances.[4] The lecture continues to be popular on YouTube and received support from security expert Bruce Schneier.[5] By April 2021, the official release of the video had received over twelve million views. A copy of the video received over six million views before it was taken down for copyright infringement.

Using former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson as support of his "Don't Talk to Police" advice, Duane says (among other things) that:

  • 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;
  • talking to police may bring up erroneous but believable evidence against even innocent witnesses; and,
  • individuals convinced of their own innocence may have unknowingly committed a crime which they inadvertently confess to during questioning.[6] This follows the reasoning of Justice Robert Jackson in Watts v. Indiana.[7]

Duane has also written about his views that there are bizarre legislative drafting errors in the Virginia Statute on Privileged Marital Communications[8] as well as issues involving the introduction of hearsay evidence at trial (known as "bootstrapping").[9] Duane, a member of the advisory board of the Fully Informed Jury Association,[10] has also written in defense of jury nullification.[11]

Professor Duane is a descendant of Revolutionary-era leader Judge James Duane.[12]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Duane, James (2010). "The Right to Remain Silent: A New Answer to an Old Question". Criminal Justice. 25 (2).
  • Duane, James (September 20, 2016). You Have the Right to Remain Innocent. Little A. ISBN 978-1503933392.
  • Duane, James & Weissenberger, Glen (With) (November 17, 2011). Weissenberger's Federal Evidence (Seventh ed.). LexisNexis. ISBN 978-1593458140.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  • Duane, James & Weissenberger, Glen (With) (December 5, 2011). Federal Rules of Evidence: Rules, Legislative History, Commentary and Authority (Seventh ed.). LexisNexis. ISBN 978-1422495636.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)


  1. ^ "Regent University School of Law". Martindale. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017. JAMES JOSEPH DUANE, (Professor), born Buffalo, New York, July 30, 1959; admitted to bar, 1985, New York.
  2. ^ "J.D. James J. Duane | School of Law". Regent University. Accessed December 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "James Duane". Regent University School of Law.
  4. ^ Duane, James & Bruch, George. Don't Talk to the Police. YouTube.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ Schneier, Bruce. "Why you should never talk to Police". Schneier.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Duane, James (March 25, 2009). "Professor speaks to Federalist Society on Genius of the Fifth Amendment". Campbell.edu.
  7. ^ https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/338/49/
  8. ^ Duane, James Joseph (1999–2000). "Bizarre Drafting Errors in the Virginia Statute on Privileged Marital Communications, The". Regent U. L. Rev. 12 (91).
  9. ^ Duane, James Joseph (1996–1997). "Trouble with United States v. Tellier: The Dangers of Hunting for Bootstrappers and other Mythical Monsters, The". Am. J. Crim. L. 24 (215).
  10. ^ "Who We Are | Fully Informed Jury Association". fija.org. Archived from the original on 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2015-10-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Duane, James (1996). "Jury Nullification: The Top Secret Constitutional Right" (PDF). Litigation. 22 (4): 6–60.
  12. ^ "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.

External links[edit]