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Visiting Professor Emeritus
A.B., Hamilton College
J.D., Cornell Law School
John J. Capowski is a Professor of Law Emeritus at Widener’s Harrisburg campus. He is an honors graduate of Hamilton College and has his Doctor of Law from the Cornell Law School.
After law school, he worked as an attorney with the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation in Rochester, New York, a federally funded Legal Services program. He then returned to Cornell as a faculty member and served as the Director of Cornell’s clinical program.
Professor Capowski then joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Law, where he taught skills and doctrinal courses and directed one of Maryland’s clinical programs. He also was the first Director of Education and Training for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, and he has served as a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico, West Virginia University, and the University of Denver.
In 1994, Professor Capowski joined Widener’s faculty. He has written in the areas of administrative law, evidence, lawyering skills, public benefits, public interest law, and fly fishing. He has taught courses including evidence, civil procedure, comparative law, and an advanced evidence seminar. He has directed Widener’s international programs in Venice and Sydney and also taught in the Geneva program.
Professor Capowski and his students worked with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence in helping to enact two Pennsylvania laws dealing with domestic violence. He has been a member of the Executive Committees of both the Clinical Legal Education and Evidence Sections of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), and in 2013, he became the secretary to the AALS Evidence Section.
Since 2007 he has made several trips to Beijing to participate in the China’s International Symposia on Evidence, which have focused on the China’s judicial reform effort. Articles he has presented there have been translated into Mandarin and published in two of China’s leading law journals.
Selected Recent Articles
The Uniform Provisions of Evidence: A Major Reform that Maintains China’s Judicial Traditions, 证据理论与科学：第3届国际研讨会论文集, 42, 中国政法大学出版社, 2012 年5月. (THE THEORY AND SCIENCE OF EVIDENCE, THE COLLECTION OF ARTICLES FOR THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, CHINA UNIVERSITY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND LAW, MAY 2012). (also published in PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EVIDENCE LAW AND FORENSIC SCIENCE 66 (July 16-17, 2011).
China’s Evidentiary and Procedural Reforms, The Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Harmonization of Civil and Common Law, 47 TEX. INT’L L. J. 455 (2012).
China’s Uniform Provisions of Evidence of the People’s Court and the Convergence of Civil Law and Common Law, 18 EVIDENCE SCIENCE, NO. 5, 589 (2010), The Journal of the Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science of China University of Political Science and Law. (Translated into Chinese [论《人民法院统一证据规定》 及大陆法系和普通法系的融合] at pages 600-17).
Establishing Federal Criminal and Civil Evidence Codes, 61 ARK. L. REV. 218 (2008).
Evidence Codification and Transubstantive and Bifurcated Evidence Rules, 2 EVIDENCE SCIENCE, NO. 2, 216 (2008). The journal of the Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science of China University of Political Science and Law. (Translated into Chinese [证据法典化、统一立法与分别立法] and published at pages 226-33). Reprinted in Chinese, 8 PROCEDURAL LAW AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM 28 (2008), the journal of the Research Center for Social Sciences of Renmin University of China.
Evidence and the One-Liner: A Beginning Evidence Professors Exploration of Humor in the Law School Classroom, 35 ARIZ. ST. L. J. 877 (2003).