- Evidence Law
- Criminal Law
- Literature & the Law
- Law and Gender
Julia Simon-Kerr is a professor at the Law School where she teaches evidence and civil procedure. Her scholarship focuses on evidence, particularly on how legal issues of credibility are shaped by cultural presumptions. A 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, she joined the Law School faculty after two years as a Bigelow Fellow and lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Simon-Kerr also has written on education law, gender and the law, and law and literature. Her recent article, Systemic Lying, was accepted for presentation at the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.
Professor Simon-Kerr received her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University where she won the Camp Prize for excellence in English literature. Before pursuing her career in the law and academia, Professor Simon-Kerr wrote and edited children’s books for Harper Collins in New York. She has worked on women’s rights issues in Argentina and as a summer associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York, and, while in law school, served as executive editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. Professor Simon-Kerr clerked for Justice Jaynee LaVecchia of the New Jersey Supreme Court and Judge Kermit V. Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Julia Ann Simon-Kerr, Uncovering Credibility, in Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities (Bernadette Meyler, et. al. eds., Oxford University Press) (forthcoming 2018)
Robynn K. Sturm & Julia Simon-Kerr, Justiciability and the Role of Courts in Adequacy Litigation: Preserving the Constitutional Right to Education, 4 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties 83 (2010)
Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit cited the research of Professor Julia Simon-Kerr in a concurrence in an immigration appeal, Barbosa v. Barr, released on March 28, 2019. The plaintiff sought a form of relief from deportation that is available to immigrants who have lived in the United States for a long period without a conviction for a “crime of moral turpitude.” The Board of Immigration Appeals denied his petition on the grounds of his conviction for third-degree robbery in Oregon. Berzon agreed with the majority opinion that the crime is not categorically a crime of moral turpitude. She cited Simon-Kerr's article “Moral Turpitude,” published by the Utah Law Review in 2012, in calling for "renewed consideration as to whether the phrase 'crime involving moral turpitude' is unconstitutionally vague." Judge William Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit cited the same article extensively to make a similar argument in a concurrence in Islas-Veloz v. Whitaker, released in February.
Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit cited Professor Julia Simon-Kerr’s research in his concurrence in an immigration case, Islas-Veloz v. Whitaker, released on February 4, 2019. The plaintiff argued that he should not be deported for being convicted of a "crime involving moral turpitude" because the term is unconstitutionally vague. Judge Fletcher extensively cited Simon-Kerr's article, “Moral Turpitude,” published by the Utah Law Review in 2012, in his concurring opinion, which argues that the legal standard should be found constitutionally deficient under the Supreme Court’s revitalized vagueness doctrine.
Professor Julia Simon-Kerr will speak on a panel entitled "Evidence" at the Association of American Law Schools' annual meeting on January 6, 2019. The panel, which is one of many during the five-day event, will discuss the evolution of evidentiary standards in response to the #MeToo movement.