Harvey Silverglate Guest-Blogging

I’m delighted to report that Harvey Silverglate will be guest-blogging this week about his new book, Three Felonies a Day. Mr. Silverglate, who is of counsel to the Boston law firm of Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP, is a practicing lawyer who specializes in criminal defense, civil liberties, and academic freedom/student rights law. His work has ranged widely, including drug prosecutions, draft and riot cases in the ’60s and ’70s, bank and securities fraud, bribery and extortion, espionage, tax evasion, police misconduct, murder and manslaughter, habeas corpus proceedings, money laundering, and desertion (tried at a court martial).

He has also written a great deal about these subjects: For nearly four decades, he has been the criminal law and civil liberties columnist for The Boston Phoenix, an alternative weekly newspaper, and he frequently contributes commentary to Forbes.com. In the past, he has been a regular civil liberties columnist for The National Law Journal, and his op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. His articles and book reviews have been published in the Harvard Law Review, The New York Times Book Review, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, The Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Media Studies Journal, Cato Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reason magazine, and elsewhere. The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses (with Alan Charles Kors) was his first full-length book; published by The Free Press in October 1998, it is still available in paperback under the Harper/Perennial imprint from HarperCollins (published October 1999).

Following the publication of The Shadow University, Mr. Silverglate and Prof. Kors founded the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving and enlarging academic freedom, due process, and freedom of speech and conscience on American college campuses. Readers of this blog know that I have long respected FIRE, which is now 10 years old; it’s one of the most effective and important legal advocacy groups in the nation.

Mr. Silverglate’s new book, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (New York: Encounter Books, September 2009), argues that the Department of Justice targets all segments of civil society by means of abusive prosecutions based upon vague federal criminal statutes and regulations. The book chronicles the federal prosecutions of members of various professions, including doctors, lawyers, public officials, artists, journalists, accountants and accounting firms, and pharmaceutical industry companies and representatives. This week, Mr. Silverglate will blog about the material that he covers in the book.