Mark Stavsky

Mark Stavsky

Mark Stavsky
Professor of Law

Professor of Law

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man [or woman]. There will still be business enough."

~Abraham Lincoln


Professor Stavsky received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors in English Literature, from Northwestern University, a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from DePaul University School of Law and a Master of Laws in Criminal Justice degree from New York University. While at New York University, he was a Robert Marshall Fellow in Civil Liberties.

Immediately after receiving his Juris Doctor, Stavsky was law clerk to Justice Mark McCormick of the Iowa Supreme Court. Later, he went on to practice with the firm of Lissner, Rothenberg, Reif & Barth in Chicago, Illinois.

Professor Stavsky teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, White Collar Crime, Trial Advocacy, and Comparative Law. He has taught classes on the American legal system at the Chulalongkorn University (the national university of Thailand) and has lectured extensively in Japanese law schools on various topics including capital punishment in the United States, the history of the Supreme Court and American criminal procedure. He has taught courses at Kagawa University, pplocated on Shikoku Island, and Ryukoku University in Kyoto. He has lectured at Hitotsubashi, Senshu, and Kanagawa Universities in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama.He has served as both speaker and advisor to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. Professor Stavsky is interested in several diverse areas, including Asian legal systems and their development, Talmudic Law, and victim's rights.

During the 2002-2003 academic year, Professor Stavsky was appointed Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problem at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). There, among his various responsibilities, he developed and taught a joint course entitled 'Criminality and Civil Disability' to a class comprised of both law students from the University of Cincinnati and rabbinical students from HUC-JIR.

Professor Stavsky has published in the areas of comparative constitutional law, jurisprudence, criminal law and procedure, and prisoners' rights. His articles have been translated into Chinese and Japanese. He has been cited by the Canadian Supreme Court in the landmark Manitoba Language Rights Case as well as by the New Jersey and Wyoming Supreme Courts. In addition his articles have been cited in a number of journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, and most recently, in 2005, the Stanford Law Review.

For the past six years, he has been a member of the Kentucky Public Advocacy Commission. He is also a founding member of the board of directors of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Currently, Professor Stavsky serves as faculty supervisor of the Kentucky Innocence Project, the Constitutional Litigation Clinic, and, beginning this Fall, the Indigent Defense Clinic.


  • Office: NH520
  • Email:
  • Phone: 859.572.5392
  • Fax: 859.572.5342


  • BA Literature, Northwestern University
  • JD, DePaul University College of Law
  • LLM Criminal Justice, New York University

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Kentucky Innocence Project
  • Second Chance Litigation
  • White Collar Crime


No Guns or Butter for Thomas Bean: Firearms Disabilities and their Occupational Consequences, 30 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1 (2003) Hein Online  

Manufacturers' Criminal Liability, in FRUMER AND FRIEDMAN'S PRODUCTS LIABILITY Chapter 35, (2002)

One Down and One to Go: Supreme Court Clarifies PLRA's Exhaustion Requirements, 8 Corr. L. Rep. 76 (2002) (co-authored with Adam C. Todd)

The Journey to Miranda and Beyond: The Development of the Constitutional Right to Counsel During Interrogation, Senshu U. L. Rev.  (1998)

Some Issues Regarding the Right to Counsel in the United States, 26 Hitotsubashi J. of L. and Pol. 19 (1998)

Ronald Dworkin and The Fourth Amendment: A Rights-Based Rationale, 14 Legal Stud. F. 163 (1990) Hein Online  

The 'Sting' Reconsidered: Entrapment, Organized Crime, and Corruption, 16 Rutgers L.J. 937 (1985) Hein Online  

The Doctrine of State Necessity in Pakistan, 16 Cornell Int'l L.J. 341 (1983) Hein Online  

Criminal Procedure, 1981 Det. C. L. Rev. 429 (1981) Hein Online  

County of Grisby v. Aikan - A Look at Jury Selection, Nov. 1975 Law in Am. Soc'y 31 (1975)

Book Review, 23 DePaul L. Rev. 1174 (1974) Hein Online

Speaking Engagements and Recognitions

Speaker, "The Degradation of Kentucky’s Habitual Offender Statute," Third Annual Kentucky Bar Association Forum on Criminal Law Reform in Kentucky, KBA Criminal Law Section, The University of Louisville School of Law, Louisville Kentucky.  (November 7, 2014)

Panelist, “The Kentucky Penal Code  – A Model of Clarity and Construction in 1975:  What Went Wrong and How Can it Be Corrected?,” Third Annual Kentucky Bar Association Forum on Criminal Law Reform in Kentucky, KBA Criminal Law Section, The University of Louisville School of Law, Louisville Kentucky.  (November 7, 2014)