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David Rudovsky

Senior Fellow

David Rudovsky

David Rudovsky, one of the nation’s leading civil rights and criminal defense attorneys, practices public interest law with the firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg. He became a Senior Fellow at Penn Law in 1988 and teaches courses in Criminal Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence. Continue reading…


THE LAW OF ARREST, SEARCH AND SEIZURE IN PENNSYLVANIA (Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 8th ed. 2014; 9th ed. 2016; 10th ed. 2018).

POLICE MISCONDUCT: LAW AND LITIGATION (3rd ed., Thomson Reuters 2002- ) (with Michael Avery and Karen Blum).
[Available Here]

CRIMINAL LAW IN PENNSYLVANIA (West Publ. Co. 2007) (with Leonard Sosnov).

HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND (Helsinki Watch, 1991, with Norman Dorsen and Lois Whitman).

THE RIGHTS OF PRISONERS (1990) (with Alan Bronstein and Ed Koren).
[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

Terry Stops and Frisks: The Troubling Use of Common Sense in a World of Empirical Data, 79 OHIO ST. L. J. 501 (2018) (with David A. Harris).

Gideon and the Effective Assistance of Counsel: The Rhetoric and the Reality, 32 LAW & INEQ. 371 (2014).

Debate: The Constitutionality of Stop-and-Frisk in New York City, 162 U. PA. L. REV. ONLINE 117 (2013) (with Lawrence Rosenthal).

Remembering Ed Baker, 12 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 961 (2010).

Saucier v. Katz: Qualified Immunity as a Doctrine of Dilution of Constitutional Rights, in WE DISSENT: TALKING BACK TO THE REHNQUIST COURT: EIGHT CASES THAT SUBVERTED CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS (Michael Avery, ed., NYU 2009).

A Closing Keynote: A Comment on Mass Incarceration in the United States, 11 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 207 (2008).

Litigating Civil Rights Cases to Reform Racially Biased Criminal Justice Practice, 39 COLUM. HUM. RTS. L. REV. 97 (2007).

Habeas Corpus, The Suspension Clause, and the Field Theory, A Response to Professor Vladeck, 80 TEMPLE L. REV. 441 (2007)

Running in Place: The Paradox of Expanding Rights and Restricted Remedies, 2005 U. ILL. L. REV. 1199.

Double Helix, Double Bind; Factual Innocence and Post Conviction DNA Testing, 151 U. PA. L. REV. 547 (with Seth Kreimer) (2002).

Law Enforcement by Stereotypes and Serenditpity, 3 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 296 (2001).

More publications can be found here.

Research Areas

  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Liberties Issues


Penn Law - Senior Fellow (1988- ); Visiting Associate Professor of Law (1987); Instructor (1972-86)

Staff Attorney and Chief, Motions Division, Defender Association of Philadelphia (1967-71)

Kairys, Rudovsky, Epstein & Messing - Founding Partner, practice focused on civil rights and civil liberties litigation (1971- )

Defender Association of Philadelphia - First Assistant Defender (1983-86)

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Association, Cesare Beccaria Award for Criminal Justice Accomplishments (2005).

Member, Board of Directors, Defender Association of Philadelphia (1979-83, 1996-present)

National Vice-President, National Lawyers Guild (1979-80)

President, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (1994-2006)

Member, Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union; General Counsel to Pennsylvania ACLU (1991-1993)

Judge Gerald F. Flood Memorial Award (For Public Interest Accomplishments), Philadelphia Bar Foundation (1985)

MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and Award for Accomplishments in Civil Rights Law and Criminal Justice (1986)

ACLU Civil Liberties Award (1990)


  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure

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