J.D., New York University; B.S., Davidson College
Special interests: criminal justice, election law, judicial process, governmental integrity
Floyd Feeney wasn't planning on becoming a professor while attending New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar, editor-in-chief of the Law Review, and recipient of an award as the outstanding graduate in the class of 1960. But his NYU law school dean encouraged him to consider a career in academia, and after graduating and clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Feeney chose to teach. Several generations of King Hall students have been glad that he did.
A founding member of the UC Davis School of Law faculty, Feeney is the Homer G. and Ann Berryhill Angelo Professor of Law and director of the Law School's LL.M. Program. He has long been noted for his teaching excellence and commitment to students. Using creative questions that go beyond eliciting facts or reciting case holdings, he engages students and pushes them to think about underlying principles as well as the technicalities of the law. He also encourages students to ride along with the police and get firsthand knowledge about the real world of criminal justice and the law.
We all learn in different ways, Feeney says. Experiencing something in person is certainly one of the more powerful ways of gaining knowledge and perspective. Being able to see situations from the perspective of others is, I believe, a critical skill for all lawyers. He received the School's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986 and 2008.
Before coming to Davis, Feeney served as special assistant to the solicitor of the Department of Labor, deputy special counsel to the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, special assistant to the Administrator of the Agency for International Development, and Assistant Director of President Johnson's Crime Commission.
Joining the UC Davis School of Law faculty in 1968, Feeney served as the executive director of the university Center of Administration of Criminal Justice until 1986. This work led to awards from the National Institute of Justice and the California Probation, Parole, and Correctional Association. As director of the Vera Institute of Justice's London office in 1983-84, he worked with British police and courts.
One of Feeney's great skills is his knowledge of international criminal justice systems. He was a Fulbright Professor of Law at the University of Augsburg (Germany) in 1995-96. He helped establish the School of Law's LL.M. program, which attracts judges and lawyers from all over the world, and he now serves as the program's director. Believing that there is much to be learned by seeing how other countries approach problems, he often stages German trials in his seminars so that students can fully comprehend the differences between the American system and the civil law system used by much of the rest of the world.
An accomplished international scholar, Feeney has authored eight books and numerous articles. He has taught and lectured in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. He has served as consultant or advisor to the National Institute of Justice, the National Center for State Courts, the British Home Office, the California Legislature, the American Bar Association's European and Eurasian Law Initiative, the Police Foundation, the California Speaker's Commission on the Initiative Process, and numerous individual criminal justice agencies.