“Recently I’ve been delighted to have traveled to China to share my ideas on procedure and evidence. Because of the translation and publication of two of my articles in China’s top legal journals, I have become a well known evidence scholar there,” says Harrisburg Professor John Capowski
A former litigator, Professor Capowski took a natural interest in evidence law that has continued into his teaching and scholarship. “Within evidence law, I’m especially interested in hearsay, confrontation rights, and the evidence law and procedure of other countries,” he says, and it was that interest that led him to develop an expertise in China’s current efforts at judicial reform.
While he takes a great deal of pride in his work on the Chinese legal system, he adds, “I am proud that my scholarship has been cited by various courts, including a significant number of United States District Courts and the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as the basis for their decisions.”
“My major goal is preparing students to be good lawyers,” he says of what drives him, and he hopes that his scholarship can help improve his teaching and “have a positive impact on the law.” He finds “the opportunity to counsel students on both career and personal issues” extremely rewarding.
Professor Capowski’s work with students extends to sharing his practical expertise as well as his academic expertise. He came to Widener in the fall of 1994 to run a legislative clinic focused on public interest work. “My students and I worked with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence in getting two laws passed that deal with domestic violence issues. We researched, drafted, and testified on the legislation,” he says.
He has also enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with students on moot court competitions, noting, “I serve each year as the coach of Harrisburg’s moot court evidence team and have traveled to Brooklyn Law School to that school’s evidence moot court competition. That competition brings together teams from all over the United States, many from the most prestigious law schools. In a field of almost forty law schools, one year we took home the award for best brief."