Adam Kolber

Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-0649 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law
Health Law


A.B., Princeton University
J.D., Stanford Law School

Bioethics and Public Policy

This course examines the legal regulation of medical decision-making. The central focus is private decision-making by individuals, but public decision-making about the allocation of medical services will also be addressed. Specific topics include the doctrine of informed consent, decision-making for incompetent patients, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, reproductive decision-making, and the sale/donation of body parts and services. In examining these various issues, students will consider the extent, content, and consistency of current law, the factual assumptions and policy goals on which legal regulation is based, the impact of technological innovation, and directions for legal reform.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade with pass/fail option. With the instructor's permission, a limited number of students may write a paper to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement in lieu of taking a final examination.

Criminal Law

This course consists of an introduction to the criminal process and the role of the Constitution in reconciling the authority of government with the rights of the individual. The primary focus of the course is, however, on the substantive aspects of the criminal law. The role of the criminal law as the principal means of social control is explored, as well as the limitations on legislative power to define and punish criminal behavior. Cases and statutes are studied to develop a critical understanding of the fundamental concepts of criminal responsibility. The course includes the study of some specific crimes such as homicide and conspiracy, as well as the general principles of jurisdiction, accessorial liability, justification and the impact of mental disease, intoxication and mistake on criminal responsibility.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade only. Final exam.

Health Law

This course will survey legal issues related to the delivery of health care. Topics typically include access to health care (e.g., rights to treatment, health care for the indigent); the doctor-patient relationship (e.g., malpractice, competency, informed consent, confidentiality); bioethics issues (e.g., end-of-life decisionmaking, reproductive rights); and public health issues (e.g., vaccination, the Affordable Care Act).

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take-home exam.

Law and the Brain Seminar

This course applies insights from the mind and brain sciences to questions of law and policy. Among the topics we will discuss, most fall into one of two categories. The first set concerns issues of responsbility. Some claim that a more scientific understanding of the mind and brain calls into doubt our traditional notions of responsibility. In this light, we will consider the proper scope of the insanity defense and of retributive punishment in general. The second set concerns legal and ethical issues raised by emerging technologies. For example, we will examine pharmaceuticals that enhance memory and cognition beyond our natural abilities. We will also consider the possible use of brain imaging evidence in the courtroom as a method of detecting lies, uncovering bias, or measuring pain. No prior science background is assumed.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade only. A paper is required which may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. No third credit option.