About the Institute
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Institute

The Bolch Judicial Institute’s mission is to study and advance rule-of-law principles, judicial independence, and law reform through technology and innovation. We provide unique educational opportunities for sitting judges in the United States and around the globe; conduct research and support teaching and scholarship; and develop civic education initiatives to advance our mission.

Institute Leadership

David F. Levi is the Levi Family Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute and was the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law from 2007 to 2018. He previously served as the Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California with chambers in Sacramento. He was appointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and a United States district judge by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. He has served as chair of two Judicial Conference committees by appointment of the Chief Justice. He was chair of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee (2000-2003) and chair of the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure (2003-2007); he was reappointed to serve as a member of that committee (2009-2015). In 2014, he was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, and in 2015, he was named co-chair of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves as president of the American Law Institute (ALI). He also is a member of the ALI Council and was an advisor to the ALI’s Federal Judicial Code Revision and Aggregate Litigation projects.

John K. Rabiej is the deputy director of the Bolch Judicial Institute. He joined Duke Law in early 2011 after serving as the Executive Director/Director of Judicial Outreach for The Sedona Conference since 2010. Previously, he was the chief of the Rules Committee Support Office for 20 years, heading the office that staffed the six rules committees of the United States Judicial Conference. He has written extensively on ediscovery, including chapter 37A of Moore’s Federal Practice; chapters in Weinstein’s Federal Evidence Manual; co-authoring with Judge Lee Rosenthal and Dean David Levi on Federal Civil Procedure Manual, Juris Publisher (2014); and co-authoring with Judge Alex Kozinski on Federal Appellate Procedure Manual, Juris Publisher (2014). Rabiej has written more than 20 articles on ediscovery, which are published in the LexisNexis Emerging Issues series of expert commentaries, and numerous articles on rules-related issues, including the meaning and purposes of rule amendments. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2005.

Melinda Myers Vaughn is associate director and marketing manager for the Bolch Judicial Institute and managing editor of Judicature, the Institute’s scholarly journal about judging and the administration of justice. She is experienced in strategic communications, content marketing, writing and publications development, web and multimedia initiatives, media relations, and event planning. She previously served as executive director of communications and events for Duke Law School (2007-2013); as senior editor and then senior manager for content marketing for Citrix’s software-as-a-service division(2013-2015); and as executive director of communications and events at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (2003-2007). She joined the Institute in 2015 to help launch Judicature after Duke took over the 100-year-old publication from the now-defunct American Judicature Society.

Associated Faculty

Jack Knight is academic co-director of the Center for Judicial Studies and the Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. A renowned political scientist and legal theorist, he focuses his scholarship on modern social and political theory, law and legal theory, and political economy. He holds a joint appointment with Duke Law School and Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches in the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Program. At the Law School, he teaches courses on social scientific approaches to law and courts, as well as courses on the political economy of social institutions.

Mitu Gulati is academic co-director of the Center for Judicial Studies and a professor of law at Duke University. His research interests are currently in the historic evolution of concepts of sovereign immunity and the role that law can play as a symbol. He has authored articles in the Journal of Legal Studies, the Review of Finance and Law and Social Inquiry.

Margaret H. Lemos is a scholar of constitutional law, legal institutions, and procedure.  Her scholarship focuses on the institutions of law interpretation and enforcement and their effects on substantive rights. She writes in four related fields: federalism; administrative law, including the relationship between courts and agencies; statutory interpretation; and civil procedure. Her articles have been published in the Supreme Court Review as well as in the Harvard, New York University, Texas, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame law reviews.

> Read about our founders, Carl Bolch Jr. and Susan Bass Bolch

> Meet our Bolch Judicial Institute Student Fellows