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News Posted on February 25, 2014

Professor Imwinkelried to Receive 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award at ‘Celebrating King Hall’ Event

Professor Edward J. Imwinkelried, one of UC Davis School of Law's most distinguished scholars and most inspiring teachers, will accept the Law School's Distinguished Teaching Award at a special Celebrating King Hall event on March 13 at the ARC Ballroom on the UC Davis campus. The event will be hosted by Dean Kevin R. Johnson and will recognize scholarship recipients and honor other outstanding achievements.

The Distinguished Teaching Award, supported by the generosity of Bill and Sally Rutter, was inaugurated in 1980 to honor "law teachers who give stellar performances in the classroom."  Professor Imwinkelried, who also won the award in 1989 and 2006, is the first three-time recipient of the honor.

Professor Imwinkelried, who earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of San Francisco, is an internationally renowned expert in the field of evidence law.  His book, Scientific Evidence is such an authoritative treatment of the subject that it was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the landmark 1993 case that set the standards for admissibility of scientific evidence in federal courts.  The book has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as the "standard against which all future treatises on the subject will be measured."

A nationally recognized expert on subjects such as DNA typing, forensic psychiatry, and laser techniques for fingerprint detection, Professor Imwinkelried is the author of more than 200 publications, including books, articles in peer-reviewed journals, and other substantive publications.  He is frequently called upon for advice on the admissibility of evidence and the evidence of uncharged crimes--so much so that he was consulted by both the defense and prosecution in the so-called "trial of the century," the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. 

Yet Professor Imwinkelried is also a natural teacher, a talent that was recognized while he was serving as an army lawyer in the XXIV Corps and 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam in 1970, when a senior officer noticed Imwinkelried's gift and assigned him to teaching duty.  He went on to become a lecturer on evidence, criminal procedure, crimes and trial advocacy in the Criminal Law Division of the Judge Advocate General's School in Virginia, then a Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Washington University before coming to UC Davis in 1985.  He has also taught as a Visiting Professor at Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, University of Houston, and University College Dublin.

Since his arrival, Professor Imwinkelried has been a fixture at King Hall, where he has a reputation as a passionate lecturer, a dedicated teacher who memorizes students' names before the semester even begins, and a truly caring person who is never too busy to meet with students.    

"I'd never expected to get this much personal attention at law school," wrote one student in nominating him for the Law School's Distinguished Teaching Award.  "Professor Imwinkelried exemplifies the open and nurturing environment King Hall prides itself on."