Sam Buell's research and teaching focus on criminal law and on the regulatory state, particularly regulation of corporations and financial markets. He is the author of Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age (W.W. Norton & Co. 2016). His recent scholarship explores the conceptual structure of white collar offenses, the problem of behaviors that evolve to avoid legal control, and the treatment of the corporation and the white collar offender in the criminal justice system. Buell's publications have appeared in Georgetown Law Journal, Law & Contemporary Problems, Duke Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, NYU Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and the Oxford Handbooks. He is a member of the American Law Institute, has testified before the United States Senate and the United States Sentencing Commission on matters involving the definition and punishment of corporate crimes, and has delivered recent invited lectures in Australia, China, and Taiwan.
Buell joined the Duke Law faculty as a professor in 2010, after serving as an associate professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Law. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a federal prosecutor in New York, Boston, Washington, and Houston. He twice received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department of Justice’s highest honor, and was a lead prosecutor for the Department’s Enron Task Force. Buell clerked for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and practiced as an associate with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. He graduated summa cum laude from New York University School of Law and magna cum laude from Brown University.