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Teri Kanefield

Attorney, author, and educator.

About Teri Kanefield

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Teri Kanefield is an attorney, author, and educator. She has written more than a dozen books; published more than 50 articles, essays, and stories in mainstream outlets; and filed hundreds of appellate briefs. Her legal and political analysis has appeared in The Washington Post, CNN.com, NBC, and other mainstream news outlets. A list of publications is here.

She holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s in English with an emphasis in fiction writing from the University of California at Davis, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Before law school, Teri taught English and creative writing at the university and college levels. Her legal career began with criminal defense work at the trial level, then she worked exclusively as an appellate defender. For twelve years, she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing people who had the right to appeal but could not afford to pay.

Motivated by a desire to make law and civics accessible to America’s future leaders, Teri took breaks from handling appeals to write books for young readers. She believes writing for middle and high school readers is much like writing for appellate justices: Appellate justices want everything broken down and digestible. And although she won't carry the comparison too far, she does believe Ninth graders are usually more open-minded and a lot more fun.

For more of Teri Kanefield's work, visit her website.

Latest
Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, Part 1: The Basics
Teri Kanefield looks at the fundamental principles that shape our understanding of crime and punishment, tracing the historical and cultural evolution of these concepts.
June 13, 2024
All About Appeals
From detailing the rights of individuals to appeal adverse rulings to unraveling the complexities of different court systems and levels of appeal, Teri Kanefield offers a thorough exploration that enlightens readers on the pivotal significance of this legal process.
June 6, 2024
Juries and the Zenger Trial
Teri Kanefield explores the significance of juries in the landmark Zenger Trial and their role in the American legal system.
May 30, 2024
Beware The Lawyers (Follow-Up)
Teri Kanefield writes that in the end, "All we’ve got are individual people formed by the norms and institutions they are embedded in making decisions, hopefully coming to the right conclusions and acting in good faith. Or at the very least, bowing to some sense of public pressure or shame not to do the wrong thing."
May 22, 2024
Beware The Lawyers
Teri Kanefield explains, "Media audiences and producers may say they want decoding, but often they don’t. Often they want “scorecard” analysis. They want to know who is winning."
May 16, 2024
The Ninth Amendment and The Law (and Politics) of Reproductive Rights
Teri Kanefield peers into the intersection of privacy rights, equal protection, and women's autonomy.
May 7, 2024
Where’s the Beef? Trump’s Manhattan Criminal Case and some Mind-Bending Legal Puzzles
Teri Kanefield delves into the arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defense, shedding light on the complexities and potential outcomes of this high-profile case.
May 2, 2024
Trump’s First Criminal Trial: Theories of the Case
Teri Kanefield discusses the significance of a well-crafted theory, parallels between litigation and storytelling, and the influence of unreliable witnesses all surrounding the Trump trial.
April 25, 2024
Sex, Lies, and Falsified Documents: Trump’s First Criminal Trial
Teri Kanefield writes, "Much of what we take as 'facts' would not be admissible as evidence in court...A witness can sound persuasive on a podcast or press interview but can wither under cross-examination."
April 17, 2024
The Ronna McDaniel Story Fallout (But What About Fox?) And A Few Words About The Next Election
Teri Kanefield writes about the fallout from the Ronna McDaniel hiring on MSNBC, highlighting the potential clash between McDaniel's persona and the network's audience.
April 11, 2024
The Ronna McDaniel Story
Teri Kanefield; "History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes. In our current media disruption, as in the late nineteenth century, sensationalism is emphasized over facts."
April 4, 2024
The Progressive Presumption and the Right to Vote
Teri Kanefield writes: "While there were always activists and idealists who believed that a country that boasted of rule by people should give all people a voice, the changes were also driven by self-interests." And it's self-interests working today to silence those voices.
March 26, 2024
The Right to Vote
The "right to vote" is constantly evolving...and there is no affirmative Constitutional right to vote (did you know that?). Teri Kanefield walks us through the evolution of democracy and voting rights from a historical perspective.
March 21, 2024