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Orin Kerr

Orin Kerr

Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law

Telephone: (213) 740-5617
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 462

Download Curriculum Vitae

Last Updated: August 30, 2018

Orin S. Kerr joined the faculty at USC Gould School of Law in January 2018 as the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law. From 2001 to 2017, he was a professor at the George Washington University Law School. Kerr has previously been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. An accomplished teacher, Kerr received the outstanding teaching award from the George Washington Law School Class of 2009.

Kerr specializes in criminal procedure and computer crime law, and he has also taught courses in criminal law, evidence, and professional responsibility. He has written more than 60 law review articles, over 40 of which have been cited in judicial opinions (including seven articles that have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions). His scholarship also has been cited by more than 3,000 academic articles. In addition to writing law review articles, Kerr has authored popular casebooks, co-authored the leading criminal procedure treatise, and published countless blog posts at popular blogs such as the Volokh Conspiracy and Lawfare.

Kerr has briefed and argued cases in the United States Supreme Court and three federal circuits. He has testified six times before Congressional committees. In 2013, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Kerr to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. In 2015, the Chief Justice again appointed him to serve on the Judicial Conference’s committee to review the Criminal Justice Act.

Kerr graduated from Princeton University and received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He earned his law degree from Harvard University, where he was executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. After law school, he clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. He then served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and as a trial attorney in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the U.S. Department of Justice.


  • The Digital Fourth Amendment (under contract with Oxford University Press, publication expected 2019).
  • Computer Crime Law (West Publishers, 1st ed. 2006; 2nd ed. 2009; 3d. ed. 2013; 4th ed. 2018).
  • Modern Criminal Procedure, Basic Criminal Procedure, and Advanced Criminal Procedure (with Kamisar, LaFave, Israel, King & Primus) (12th ed. 2008, 13th ed. 2012, 14th ed. 2015).
  • Criminal Procedure (6-volume treatise) (with LaFave, Israel, & King) (3d ed. 2007, 4th ed. 2015).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Compelled Decryption and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination," 96 Texas Law Review (forthcoming 2019).
  • "Cross-Enforcement of the Fourth Amendment," 132 Harvard Law Review (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Encryption Workarounds," 107 Georgetown Law Journal 989 (2018) (with Bruce Schneier).  - (SSRN)
  • "Government Hacking to Light the Dark Web: What Risks to International Relations and International Law?" 70 Stanford Law Review Online 58 (2017) (with Sean Murphy). - (SSRN)
  • "Effect of Legislation on Fourth Amendment Protection," 115 Michigan Law Review 1117 (2017). - (SSRN)
  • "Trespass, Not Fraud: The Need for New Sentencing Guidelines for CFAA Offenses," 84 George Washington Law Review 1544 (2016) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Norms of Computer Trespass," 116 Columbia Law Review 1143 (2016). - (SSRN)
  • "An Economic Understanding of Search and Seizure Law," 164 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 591 (2016). - (SSRN)
  • "Executing Warrants for Digital Evidence: The Case for Use Restrictions on Nonresponsive Data,"
    48 Texas Tech Law Review 1 (2015) (symposium keynote). - (SSRN)
  • "Katz Has Only One Step: The Irrelevance of Subjective Expectations," 82 University of Chicago Law Review 113 (2015) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "The Fourth Amendment and the Global Internet," 67 Stanford Law Review 285 (2015). - (SSRN)
  • "A Rule of Lenity for National Security Surveillance Law," 100 Virginia Law Review 1513 (2014). - (SSRN)
  • "A Next Generation Communications Privacy Act," 162 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 373 (2014). - (SSRN)
  • "Foreword: Accounting for Technological Change," 36 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 403 (2013) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "The Curious History of Fourth Amendment Searches," 2012 Supreme Court Review 67 (2013). - (SSRN)
  • "The Mosaic Theory of the Fourth Amendment," 111 Michigan Law Review 311 (2012). - (SSRN)
  • "Defending Equilibrium-Adjustment," 125 Harvard Law Review Forum 84 (2012). - (SSRN)
  • "Why Courts Should Not Quantify Probable Cause," in The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays On Themes of William J. Stuntz, edited by Michael Klarman, David Skeel, and Carol Steiker, at 131 (Cambridge University Press) (2012). - (SSRN)
  • "An Equilibrium-Adjustment Theory of the Fourth Amendment," 125 Harvard Law Review 476 (2011). - (SSRN)
  • "Fourth Amendment Remedies and Development of the Law: A Comment on Camreta v. Greene and Davis v. United States," 2011 Cato Supreme Court Review 237 (2011) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Use Restrictions and the Future of Surveillance Law," The Brookings Institution, Future of the Constitution Series, Paper No. 11 (2011) (symposium). - (www)
  • "Good Faith, New Law, and the Scope of the Exclusionary Rule, 99 Georgetown Law Journal 1077 (2011)." - (SSRN)
  • "Ex Ante Regulation of Computer Search and Seizure," 96 Virginia Law Review 1241 (2010). - (SSRN)
  • "The Modest Role of the Warrant Clause in National Security Investigations," 88 Texas Law Review 1669 (2010) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Vagueness Challenges to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," 94 Minnesota Law Review 1561 (2010) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet: A General Approach," 62 Stanford Law Review 1005 (2010). - (SSRN)
  • "Fourth Amendment Seizures of Computer Data," 119 Yale Law Journal 700 (2010). - (SSRN)
  • "Defending the Third-Party Doctrine: A Response to Epstein and Murphy," 24 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1229 (2009). - (SSRN)
  • "The National Surveillance State: A Response to Balkin," 93 Minnesota Law Review 2179 (2009). - (SSRN)
  • "Do We Need A New Fourth Amendment?," 107 Michigan Law Review 951 (2009) (book review issue). - (SSRN)
  • "The Case for the Third-Party Doctrine," 107 Michigan Law Review 561 (2009). - (SSRN)
  • "The Limits of Fourth Amendment Injunctions," 7 Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law 127 (2009) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Criminal Law in Virtual Worlds," 2008 University of Chicago Legal Forum 415 (2008) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," 75 University of Chicago Law Review 225 (2008) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Four Models of Fourth Amendment Protection," 60 Stanford Law Review 503 (2007). - (SSRN)
  • "How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students," 11 The Green Bag 2D 51 (2007). - (SSRN)
  • "Blogs and the Legal Academy," 84 Washington University Law Review 1127 (2007) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Enforcing Law Online," 74 University of Chicago Law Review 745 (2007) (book review). - (SSRN)
  • "Searches and Seizures in a Digital World," 119 Harvard Law Review 531 (2005). - (SSRN)
  • Essay, "Digital Evidence and the New Criminal Procedure," 105 Columbia Law Review 279 (2005). - (SSRN)
  • "Congress, the Courts, and New Technologies: A Response to Professor Solove," 74 Fordham Law Review 779 (2005) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Search Warrants in an Era of Digital Evidence," 75 Mississippi Law Journal 85 (2005) (annual 4th Amendment symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Virtual Crime, Virtual Deterrence: A Skeptical View of Self-Help, Architectural Solutions, and Civil Liability," 1 Journal of Law, Economics, And Policy 197 (2005) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Technology, Privacy, and the Courts: A Reply to Colb and Swire," 102 Michigan Law Review 933 (2004). - (SSRN)
  • "The Fourth Amendment and New Technologies: Constitutional Myths and the Case for Caution," 102 Michigan Law Review 801 (2004). - (SSRN)
  • "Foreword: The Future of Internet Surveillance Law," 72 George Washington Law Review 1139 (2004) (symposium).
  • "A User’s Guide to the Stored Communications Act, and a Legislator’s Guide to Amending It," 72 George Washington Law Review 1208 (2004) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "Cybercrime’s Scope: Interpreting 'Access' and 'Authorization' in Computer Misuse Statutes," 78 New York University Law Review 1596 (2003). - (SSRN)
  • "Internet Surveillance Law After the USA Patriot Act: The Big Brother That Isn’t," 97 Northwestern University Law Review 607 (2003). - (SSRN)
  • "Lifting the 'Fog' of Internet Surveillance: How a Suppression Remedy Would Change Computer Crime Law," 54 Hastings Law Journal 805 (2003) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "The Problem of Perspective in Internet Law," 91 Georgetown Law Journal 357 (2003). - (SSRN)
  • "A Lukewarm Defense of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act," in Copy Fights: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age (Cato Institute 2002). - (SSRN)
  • "Computers and the Patent System: The Problem of the Second Step," 28 Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal 47 (2002) (symposium). - (SSRN)
  • "The Fourth Amendment in Cyberspace: Can Encryption Create A 'Reasonable Expectation of Privacy?'", 33 Connecticut Law Review 503 (2001). - (SSRN)
  • "Rethinking Patent Law in the Administrative State," 42 William & Mary Law Review 127 (2000). - (SSRN)
  • "Are We Overprotecting Code? Thoughts on First-Generation Internet Law," 57 Washington & Lee Law Review 1287 (2000).
  • "The Decline of the Socratic Method at Harvard," 78 Nebraska Law Review 113 (1999). - (SSRN)
  • "Shedding Light on Chevron: An Empirical Study of the Chevron Doctrine in the U.S. Courts of Appeals," 15 Yale Journal On Regulation 1 (1998). - (SSRN)


The Tribune
December 6, 2018
Re: Elyn Saks

Elyn Saks was quoted in an article exploring the economic and social costs that occur due to the mistreatment of persons suffering from mental illness. "Thirty years ago, I was given a diagnosis of Schizophrenia," she said. "My prognosis was ‘grave’: I would never live independently, hold a job, find a loving partner, or get married. My home would be a board-and-care facility, my days spent watching TV in a day room with other people debilitated by mental illness.” The author of the article went on to discuss the ways that people dealing with mental health issues should be cared for, arguing that they "have the right to live with dignity just as anyone with diabetes or hypertension or heart disease. Mental illness, after all, is an illness like any other."


Sam Erman
September, 2018

Sam Erman wrote an op-ed, "Devastation Without Representation in Puerto Rico," posted to The Los Angeles Times on September 20, 2018.

Gregory Keating
September, 2018

"Principles of Risk Imposition and the Priority of Avoiding Harm," Revus [Online] (2018).

Jody David Armour
September, 2018

"Where Bias Lives in the Criminal Law and its Processes: How Judges and Jurors Socially Construct Black Criminals," American Journal of Criminal Law 45 (2018): 203.