Professor R. Michael Cassidy teaches and writes in the areas of Criminal Law,
Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. He is considered an expert on the subject of
prosecutorial ethics, and provides training nationally to public sector attorneys on
their responsibilities under the Rules of Professional Conduct. He is quoted frequently
by the media on subjects relating to criminal law and ethics, including appearing in the
New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald. He is the Faculty Director of
the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy. 

During his extensive career as a government lawyer prior to joining the BC community,
Professor Cassidy prosecuted hundreds of serious felony cases involving narcotics
trafficking, organized and white collar crime, and public corruption. He has also briefed
and argued numerous high-profile criminal matters before the Massachusetts Supreme
Judicial Court. From 1993 to 1996, Professor Cassidy served as Chief of the Criminal
Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office under then Attorney General Scott

Among his many professional and community activities, Professor Cassidy has served as a
member of the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission, as Editor-in-Chief of the
Massachusetts Law Review, as a member of the Governor's Commission on Corrections
Reform, as a hearing officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, as a member of
the Criminal Justice Section Council of the Boston Bar Association, as an Advisor to the
National District Attorneys' Association, and as a member of the Massachusetts
Judicial Nominating Commission. Professor Cassidy was recently appointed to serve a three
year term on the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules
of Professional Conduct. He is active in local government, youth sports and religious
education in his hometown of Winchester, Massachusetts. 

Professor Cassidy received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre
Dame, and his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Following law school
he served as law clerk to the Honorable Edward F. Hennessey, Chief Justice of the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and then as a litigation associate at the Boston
law firm of Foley, Hoag. 

Professor Cassidy served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2007-2010 and as
Associate Dean for Administration and Finance from 1996 to 2002. He has twice been
awarded the Emil Slizewski prize for distinguished teaching by the graduating class at

Forthcoming Works


(Ad)ministering Justice: A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty to Support Sentencing Reform, Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal (2014)

This article stakes out an ethical argument in favor of prosecutorial leadership on sentencing reform....


Prosecutorial Ethics

Prosecutorial Ethics (2013)

This casebook explores the ethical responsibilities of a prosecutor at each stage of the criminal...


Criminal Law and Procedure


The Model Penal Code’s Wrong Turn: Renunciation as a Defense to Criminal Conspiracy, Florida Law Review (2012)

While the Model Penal Code was certainly one the most influential developments in criminal law...



Plea Bargaining, Discovery, and the Intractable Problem of Impeachment Disclosures, Vanderbilt Law Review (2011)

In a criminal justice system where guilty pleas are the norm and trials the rare...



Federal Criminal Discovery: Handbook Regarding Exculpatory & Impeachment Material (with Douglas P. Woodlock and Leo T. Sorokin) (2009)


Massachusetts Grand Jury Practice, Grand Jury Practice (1992)

Legal Ethics


Some Reflections on Ethics and Plea Bargaining: An Essay in Honor of Fred Zacharias, San Diego Law Review (2011)

In this article the author explores what it means for a prosecutor to “do justice”...



Lawyers and Fundamental Moral Responsibility (with Daniel R. Coquillette and Judith A. McMorrow) (2010)

The materials in this book are organized around specific problems designed to encourage and focus...



The Prosecutor and the Press: Lessons (Not) Learned from the Mike Nifong Debacle, Law and Contemporary Problems (2008)

Using the Mike Nifong disciplinary case in North Carolina as a focal point, the author...



Character and Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About a Prosecutor's Ethical Duty to "Seek Justice.", Notre Dame Law Review (2006)

A critical issue facing the criminal justice system today is how best to promote ethical...



Prosecutorial Ethics (2005)

This casebook explores the ethical responsibilities of a prosecutor at each stage of the criminal...




Reconsidering Spousal Privileges after Crawford, American Journal of Criminal Law (2006)

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted...



Sharing Sacred Secrets: Is it (Past) Time for a Dangerous Person Exception to the Clergy-Penitent Privilege?, William & Mary Law Review (2003)

In this article, the author discusses the important and previously unexplored topic of whether the...


Legal Education


Strategic Austerity: How Some Law School Affordability Initiatives Could Actually Improve Learning Outcomes, Chapman Law Review (2013)

The legal profession is facing profound and perhaps irreversible changes. Whether you view these striking...



Beyond Practical Skills: Nine Steps for Improving Legal Education Now, Boston College Law Review (2012)

It has been five years since the Carnegie Report “Educating Lawyers” called upon law schools...



Why I Teach (A Prescription for the Post-Tenure Blues), Journal of Legal Education (2005)

In this brief essay from a collection of articles designed to demonstrate the scope and...


Selected Professional Activities

Keynote Address, Criminal Justice Policy in America, Northeastern Open Classroom, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy Studies (2014)
Grand Jury Gag Orders: Are there any Ties that Bind?, Stein Center for Legal Ethics, Fordham Law School (2014)


Report of the Standing Advisory Commmitee on the Rules of Professional Conduct (with Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court. Standing Advisory Committee On the Rules of Professional Conduct), Boston College Law School Faculty Papers (2013)

No subject area


Silencing Grand Jury Witnesses, Indiana Law Journal (2016)

The investigations of local police officers for causing the deaths of unarmed civilians in Ferguson,...



Reforming the Law School Curriculum from the Top Down, Journal of Legal Education (2015)

With growing consensus that legal education is in turmoil if not in crisis, law schools...