Main Content

Casebook Credits History Find
Tanaka Criminal Law Casebook
First published Apr 2021 and updated Nov 2021

Built on the foundation of the David Ball and Michelle Oberman casebook.

        This casebook is adapted from the amazing work done by David Ball and Michelle Oberman in 2020.  They recognized the shortcomings of traditional casebooks and sought to create a more perfect text.  In their words:

Too often, casebooks surface issues of mental health, sex, gender, race and sexual orientation without meaningful context to situate how these issues have been treated by the criminal legal system, how they reflect social norms, how they have changed over time, etc.). Too seldom do casebooks invite a meaningful discussion of the role of race in the criminal legal system. Instead, most are marked by a failure to acknowledge, let alone grapple with ongoing discussions of alternatives to policing, alternatives to criminalization, and critical thinking about why we deal with social problems via the criminal legal system . . . .

I hope that my casebook lives up to their goals of being "thoughtful about when and how we expose students to difficult material, aiming to give them the context and the analytical tools needed to process it."

        Whenever possible, I attempted to be thoughtful about the topic of sexual assault in my selection of cases and resources for this introductory course.  I did so to avoid using traumatizing material when it was not necessary to the purposes of this course.  That said, the subject of Criminal Law cannot be taught without the use of cases and resources that include terrible crimes with distressing details.  Please try be aware of your need for breaks and self-care as you proceed through these materials.

֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֎ ֎ ֎ ֎

        This casebook would not be possible with the assistance of Alexa Binkowitz, Hope Estrella, Nataly Brown, and Shannon Palm.  As chapter editors, Alexa, Hope, and Nataly were truly instrumental in fulfilling my vision for this casebook.  I could not be more pleased to count them as former students, research assistants, and future members of the bar.

֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֎ ֎ ֎ ֎

        To other faculty - this casebook is yours to clone, revise, and make your own.  I only request that you continue to credit those whose work is included here and please let me know how you have improved upon it.

֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֎ ֎ ֎ ֎

        I also echo the gratitude to those whose contributions live on in this version: Joshua Dressler; Stephen Garvey; Cynthia Lee; Angela Harris; Jeannie Suk; Tim Wu; Amna Akbar; Alice Ristroph; Paul Butler; Allegra McLeod; Jocelyn Simonson; Karen Tani; Mike Flynn; and the students and co-authors who were the driving force behind this project: Cydney Chilimidos; Miriam Contreras; Jenai Howard; Christina Iriart; Angela Madrigal; Leah Mesfin; Zachary Nemirovsky; Nicholas Newman; Nathanial Perez; Michael Pons; and Phillip Yin.

--Elizabeth S. Tanaka, Quinnipiac University School of Law