Charles R. Nesson is the William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and Principal Investigator of BKC’s Nymity project. Nesson also leads a research team working on prison reform initiatives in Jamaica and is working on compiling a sourcebook of teaching materials related to the radical ideal of American Jury, in which ordinary citizens are empowered to decide issues of justice.
Professor Nesson joined the faculty at Harvard Law School in 1966 after serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II and as a Special Assistant to John Doar, head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. He and Leonard Boudin successfully defended Daniel Elsberg in the Pentagon Papers case. Nesson was also co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case against W. R. Grace and Company that was made into the book & film A Civil Action. He served as a moderator on the popular PBS program, Fred Friendly Seminars, in which the moderator leads prominent guests through a Socratic-style dialogue on an issue of society-wide concern.
Nesson’s teaching and research focus on evidence law and the Sixth Amendment, with a particular focus on the Confrontation Clause and the potential injustices of peremptory challenges. Nesson has long been an advocate for using poker as a means of teaching strategy, risk assessment, and assertiveness.
He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Fern, and their dog, Sweet Pea.