Karen Blum

Professor Emerita and Research Professor of Law

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Bar Admittance

  • MA
  • Federal District Court of MA
  • Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Education

  • BA, Wells College
  • JD, Suffolk University
  • LLM, Harvard University

Biography

Karen Blum began teaching at Suffolk Law School in 1974. She has taught in the areas of Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Civil Rights and Police Misconduct Litigation. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Wells College, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and an LL. M. from Harvard. Professor Blum is a regular faculty participant in § 1983 Civil Rights Programs and Institutes around the country. In addition, she serves as a faculty member for workshops sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for Federal Judges and Federal Magistrate Judges. Professor Blum has authored numerous articles in the section 1983 area and is a co-author, along with Michael Avery, David Rudovsky, and Jennifer Laurin, of the treatise Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation. As a Professor Emerita, Professor Blum continues to engage in Section 1983 programs throughout the country and is actively involved in efforts to achieve police reform.

 

Professional Activities

American Constitution Society (former member of Advisory Board for Boston Chapter)
State Advisory Committee to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2009-2017)
ACLU MASS (served on Legal Committee)
National Police Accountability Project (Advisory Board)
American Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association
Boston Bar Association Task Force on Police Reform
Federal Bar Association
National Lawyers’ Guild
Association of American Law Schools (First Chair of Civil Rights Section)

 

Publications

Books

Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation, Avery, Rudovsky, Blum & Laurin (3d ed. 2020-21)

Section 1983 Litigation, Blum & Urbonya (Federal Judicial Center 1998)

 

Book Chapters

Local Government Liability Under Section 1983, Practising Law Institute: Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation: Litigation and Administrative Practice Course Handbook Series (1991-2019)

Qualified Immunity, Practising Law Institute: Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation: Litigation and Administrative Practice Course Handbook Series (1996-2020)

Chapter 3 of Volume 31 of Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook (2015): Section 1983 Litigation: The Maze, the Mud, and the Madness (reprint of Wm & Mary Bill Rts article)

Chapter 4 of Volume 24 of Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook
(2008): Scott v. Harris: Death Knell for Deadly Force Policies and Garner Jury Instructions? (reprint of Syracuse article with new addendum)

Chapter 4 of Volume 18 of Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook (2002): Recent Developments in the Law of Qualified Immunity

Chapter Four: Affirmative Duties of Government After DeShaney, Sword & Shield Revisited (American Bar Association 1998)

Chapter 4 of Volume 13 of Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook (1998): Justices Revisit the Issue of Municipal Liability Under Section 1983 for Single Decision of Final Policymaker: Board of County Commissioners of Bryan County v. Brown


Articles

Qualified Immunity: Time to Change the Message, 93 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1887 (2018)

Section 1983 Litigation: The Maze, the Mud, and the Madness, 23 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 913 (2015)

Qualified Immunity Developments: Not Much Hope Left for Plaintiffs, 29 Touro L. Rev. 633 (2013).

Municipal Liability and Liability of Supervisors: Litigation Significance of Recent Trends and Developments, 29 Touro L. Rev. 93 (2012)

Qualified Immunity: Further Developments In The Post-Pearson Era, 27 Touro L. Rev. 243 (2011)

Supervisory Liability After Iqbal: Misunderstood But Not Misnamed, 43 Urb. Law. 541 (2011)

Section 1983 Litigation: Post-Pearson and Post-Iqbal, 26 Touro L. Rev. 433 (2010)

Fourth Amendment Stops, Arrests and Searches in the Context of Qualified Immunity, 25 Touro L. Rev. 781 (2009) (with Erwin Chemerinsky)

Making Out the Monell Claim Under Section 1983, 25 Touro L. Rev. 829 (2009)

Recent Developments in the Use of Excessive Force by Law Enforcement, 24 Touro L. Rev. 569 (2008)
The Qualified Immunity Defense: What’s “Clearly Established” and What’s Not, 24 Touro L. Rev. 501 (2008)

Scott v. Harris: Death Knell for Deadly Force Policies and Garner Jury Instructions? 58 Syracuse L. Rev. 1 (2007)

Qualified Immunity: Discretionary Function, Extraordinary Circumstances, and Other Nuances, 23 Touro L. Rev. 57 (2007)

Support Your Local Sheriff: Suing Sheriffs Under Section 1983, 34 Stet. L. Rev. 623 (Spring 2005)

Qualified Immunity in the Fourth Amendment: A Practical Application of § 1983 As It Applies to Fourth Amendment Excessive Force Cases, 21 Touro L. Rev. 571 (2005)

Qualified Immunity: The Constitutional Analysis and its Application, 20 Touro L. Rev. 643 (2004)

Municipal Liability Under Section 1983 Independent of Employee Liability, 17 Touro L. Rev.551 (2001)

The Theory of Municipal Custom and Practice, 16 Touro L. Rev. 825 (2000)

Local Government Liability for the Enforcement of State Law “The Devil Made Me Do It!”, 41 Municipal Lawyer 7 (July/August 2000)

Municipal Liability: Derivative or Direct? Distinguishing the Canton Case from the Collins Case, 48 DePaul L. Rev 687 (1999)

Municipal Liability Under Section 1983, 15 Touro L. Rev. 1535 (1999)

Heightened Pleading: Is There Life After Leatherman?, 44 Cath. U. L. Rev. 701 (1995)

DeShaney: Custody, Creation of Danger and Culpability, 27 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 435 (1994)

Qualified Immunity: A User's Manual, 26 Ind. L. Rev. 187 (1993)

Monell, DeShaney and Zinermon: Official Policy, Affirmative Duty, Established State Procedure and Municipal Liability under Section 1983, 24 Creighton L. Rev. 1 (1990).

Section 1981 Revisited: Looking Beyond Runyon and Patterson, 32 Howard L. J. 1 (1989).

Two Hundred Years Later: Hopes Not Realized, Promises Not Fulfilled--The Constitutionalization of Racism, 72 Mass. L. Rev. 56 (1987).

Applying the Parratt/Hudson Doctrine: Defining the Scope of the Logan Established State Procedure Exception and Determining the Adequacy of State Postdeprivation Remedies, 13 Hastings Const. L. Q. 695 (1986).

The Implications of Parratt v. Taylor for Section 1983 Litigation, 16 Urb. Lawyer 363 (1984).

From Monroe to Monell: Defining the Scope of Municipal Liability in Federal Courts, 51 Temple L. Q. 409 (1978). (cited in Supreme Court decision, Pembaur v. City of Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469 (1986))

MEDIA

U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a strip search of a middle school student was unconstitutional, 06/29/09. NECN Sidebar Series

Once Again, Supreme Court Lets Police Officers Off the Hook, (with Erwin Chemerinsky) The National Law Journal (May 25, 2015)

All Too Clearly Cruel, The National Law Journal (February 25, 2002)

A Worker's Safety Rights, The National Law Journal (January 20, 1992)


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Courses Taught

  • Civil Procedure
  • Civil Rights
  • Police Misconduct Litigation
  • Federal Courts