Michael E. Tigar

Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Law, Duke Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Law, Washington College of Law, American University
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Michael E. Tigar is Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University School of Law and Professor Emeritus of Law at American University Washington College of Law. His work focuses on constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, the French legal system, and litigation. He has taught at the University of Texas School of Law, where he held the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Law, at UCLA School of Law, and at Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Politiques, Université Paul Cezanne, Aix-en-Provence. Tigar has authored more than a dozen books, including Mythologies of State and Monopoly Power (2018), Nine Principles of Litigation and Life (2009), and Thinking About Terrorism: The Threat to Civil Liberties in Times of National Emergency (2007). His new memoir, Sensing Injustice: A Lawyer’s Life in the Battle for Change, was published by Monthly Review Press (April 2021). Tigar has argued seven cases before the United States Supreme Court and nearly one hundred cases before federal courts of appeals. His clients included H. Rap Brown, Angela Davis, John Connally, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Debra Meeks, and Leonard Peltier. In 1978, he and Samuel J. Buffone co-founded Tigar & Buffone, a firm that committed one-third of its resources to pro bono matters. Tigar was third on the 1999 California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Lawyer of the Century Ballot, behind Clarence Darrow and Thurgood Marshall. He holds a BA and JD from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Rapoport Center holds the Michael Tigar Papers, a digital archive with materials from Tigar’s legal career, political activism, journalism, and scholarship, along with mementos, correspondence, audio files, and more.