John Rabiej to join Duke’s Center for Judicial Studies

February 7, 2012Duke Law News

John Rabiej, the former executive director and director of judicial outreach for The Sedona Conference®, will join Duke Law in February as the administrative director of the Center for Judicial Studies.

Rabiej brings more than 30 years’ experience working with judges to his role at Duke, including nearly 20 years’ service as head of the office supporting the Judicial Conference Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

At Duke, Rabiej will create and implement a variety of programs to advance the new Center for Judicial Studies. The center’s mission is to support research and scholarship on the judiciary and to offer graduate level and advanced educational opportunities to judges. Rabiej will work closely with Jack Knight, Frederick Cleaveland Professor of Law and Political Science, and Professor Mitu Gulati, who are the faculty directors of the center and leading scholars of the study of courts and institutions.

“I have known John Rabiej for many years because of his central role in the rulemaking process for the federal courts,” said Dean David F. Levi. “He has a wealth of knowledge about court practices and organization, judicial statistics, and law reform. He is a leading expert on electronic discovery. He has worked closely with many judges over the years and is in a position to help connect the new center to leading thinkers in the bench and bar on a range of topics affecting the judiciary and the legal profession, which will be of great interest to our faculty and students.”

The Sedona Conference, which Rabiej has headed for the past year, develops conferences that bring judges, scholars, lawyers, and others together to examine legal issues relating to antitrust law, complex litigation, and intellectual property rights and to develop policies and best practices for moving the law forward. Rabiej will continue to participate in Sedona Conference activities as a contributing editor.

Rabiej served from 1992 to 2010 as the chief of the support office for the Judicial Conference Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and the committee’s five advisory committees on appellate, bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and evidence rules. In this role, he coordinated the work of the rules committees, which are composed of federal judges, lawyers, and academics and are charged by Congress with the responsibility of developing the rules and policies used in all federal courts. Rabiej also provided guidance on rules-related issues to the Judicial Conference, the United States Supreme Court, and Congress.

Duke’s Center for Judicial Studies advances the study of the judiciary by fostering interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperative thinking from multiple perspectives. By bringing together judges, researchers, teachers, and theorists, the center leads an interdisciplinary exploration of the judicial process in order to help both judges and scholars better understand the judicial process and to generate ideas for how it might be improved.

The center accomplishes its mission through scholarship and research and through educational programs for judges, including Duke Law School’s new Master of Laws in Judicial Studies program, an advanced degree program for sitting judges focused on the study of judicial institutions.

“John is a wonderful addition to the Judicial Studies Center,” said Knight. “He brings a unique combination of skills and experience to the center's activities. His extensive experience in various aspects of the judicial process will significantly enhance our relationships with judges throughout the country. John brings another valuable perspective to our program.”

Rabiej holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University; a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law; and a master’s degree from Georgetown University. He has published numerous articles on the federal rule-making process, civil procedure, and electronic discovery. He is a member of the American Law Institute and in 2011 received a Distinguished Service Resolution from the Judicial Conference Rules Committees.

“The Center for Judicial Studies represents an exciting new concept that will bridge the worlds of judges and scholars,” said Rabiej. “I look forward to meeting the challenges, working with the faculty of this great institution, and reuniting with Dean Levi, who served on the rules committees for many years and whom I greatly respect and admire.”
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