Of Counsel, Zalkind, Rodriquez, Lunt & Duncan LLP
Harvey A. Silverglate was born in Brooklyn, NY, on Mother’s Day — May 10, 1942. He was educated at Bogota (NJ) High School (Class of 1960), Princeton University (Class of 1964, cum laude in History), and Harvard Law School (Class of 1967).
Silverglate, counsel to the Boston law firm of Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP, specializes in criminal defense, civil liberties, and academic freedom and student rights law, and has represented students in trouble since he served as trial counsel for the students charged with taking over University Hall at Harvard during an anti-war demonstration in 1969. He has taught at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (a public secondary school in Massachusetts ), University of Massachusetts College III (in Boston ), and Harvard Law school. He is a long-time member of the American Civil Liberties Union and has served the Massachusetts state affiliate as a member of its Board of Directors for some three decades, serving two terms in the 1980s as its Board president. During his presidency, he initiated the Bill of Rights Education Project focusing on secondary schools, and a Campus Chapters project resulting in the formation of ACLU-related student groups on college campuses around the state. He is a long-time affiliate of Dunster House at Harvard College, where he conducts “law tables” with undergraduates. His law practice has ranged widely and has included drug prosecutions, draft and riot cases in the 60s and 70s, bank and securities fraud, bribery and extortion, espionage, tax evasion, police misconduct, murder and manslaughter, habeas corpus proceedings, money laundering, and desertion (tried at a court martial during the Vietnam War).
Silverglate has for some three decades been the criminal law and civil liberties columnist for The Boston Phoenix, an independent “alternative” weekly, and, more recently, did a stint as the regular bi-monthly civil liberties columnist for The National Law Journal, where he still occasionally contributes commentaries. His column appeared as well in Inc. Technology magazine. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and elsewhere. His articles and book reviews have been published in the Harvard Law Review, The New York Times Book Review, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, The Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Media Studies Journal, Cato Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the now defunct Civil Liberties Review, a number of other professional journals, Reason magazine, and elsewhere. He has contributed to books on political repression (1970) and the criminalization of drugs (1978). The Shadow University (with Alan Charles Kors) is his first full-length published book; published in hardcover by The Free Press in October 1998, it is now available in paperback under the Harper/Perennial imprint from HarperCollins (published October 1999).
In addition, Silverglate is co-founder (with Prof. Kors) of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Inc. (F.I.R.E.), a non-profit, tax-exempt foundation dedicated to preserving and enlarging academic freedom, due process, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience on American college campuses. FIRE, which commenced operations in September 1999 with a main office in Philadelphia and a satellite office in Boston, has a paid staff, although its founders and directors serve pro bono. It fills an important role as a hands-on organization willing and able to give practical advice and other assistance to students and faculty members who find their liberties and consciences under attack by administrators wielding the fashionable politically-acceptable and officially-imposed ideologies of the day, from whatever end of the political spectrum those ideologies derive. FIRE’s fundamental mission is to change the culture on college campuses to one respecting free speech, free conscience, and fair process. Silverglate has lectured at dozens of colleges and universities throughout the country and has appeared on local and national radio and television programs discussing campus freedom issues, as well as civil liberties issues in other areas such as the enforcement of the criminal law.
In September 2009, Silverglate published Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (Encounter Books). Three Felonies a Day describes how the United States Department of Justice targets all segments of civil society by means of abusive prosecutions based upon unacceptably vague federal criminal statutes and regulations. The book chronicles the federal prosecutions of members of various professions, including doctors, lawyers, public officials, scholars, artists, journalists, accountants and accounting firms, and pharmaceutical industry companies and representatives.
Silverglate was appointed in the spring of 2000 as Chair of the independent Privacy Board of Predictive Networks, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in which position he served until the end of 2002. Earlier, he served as the first litigation counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”), a leading civil liberties organization fighting for freedom in cyberspace.
Silverglate lives with his wife, the portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their son, Isaac lives and works in Manhattan.