Stephen Presser
Stephen Presser

STRATEGY
Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern School of Law
Professor of Strategy (Courtesy)

Print Overview

Stephen Presser is a leading American legal historian and expert on shareholder liability for corporate debts. He is frequently an invited witness before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on issues of constitutional law. He holds a joint appointment with the Kellogg School of Management and also teaches in Northwestern's history department.



Print Vita
Education
J.D., 1971, Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude
A.B., 1968, Harvard University, Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Associate Research Scholar, University of London, Institute of United States Studies, 1999-present
Professor of Business Law, Department of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Business Administration, 1999-present
Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law, 1992-present
Faculty, Executive Master's Program, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Business Administration, 1988-present
Full Professor (Tenure), Northwestern University School of Law, 1979-present
Class of 1940 Research Professor, Northwestern University School of Law, 1992-1993
Adjunct Professor, Department of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Business Administration, 1992-1999
Faculty Member, Humanities Program, Northwestern University, College of Arts and Sciences, 1982-1987
Faculty Member, American Culture Program, Northwestern University, College of Arts and Sciences, 1979-1982
Associate Professor , Northwestern University School of Law, 1977-1979
Visiting Associate Professor, University of Virginia School of Law, 1976-1977
Associate Professor (Tenure), Rutgers, State University School of Law, 1976-1977
Associate Professor, Rutgers, State University School of Law, 1974-1976

Other Professional Experience
Associate, Law Firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, 1972-1974
Law Clerk, Honorable Malcolm R. Wilkey, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1971-1972

Grants and Awards
Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, Kellogg School of Management, 1998, 1996, 1994

Print Research
Research Interests
American legal history, shareholder liability for corporate debts

Articles
Presser, Stephen. 2002. How should the Law of Products Liability be Harmonized? What Americans Can Learn from Europeans. Global Liability Issues. 2
Presser, Stephen. 2002. Review Essay on "Constitutional Construction" and "Constitutional Interpretation" by Keith Whittington. Modern Age.
Presser, Stephen. 2001. Back to the Basics of the Constitution: It's not too late to return to the founding fathers original intentions for government. American Legion Magazine.
Presser, Stephen. 2001. Should Ideology of Judicial Nominees Matter?: Is the Senate's Current Reconsideration of the Confirmation Process Justified?. Texas Review of Law and Politics. 6(1): 245-274.
Presser, Stephen. 2001. Liberty Under Law Under Siege: America and the West. Orbis Magazine. 45(3): 357-369.
Presser, Stephen. 2001. Separation of Powers and Civil Justice Reform: A Crisis of Legitimacy for Law and Legal Institutions. Seton Hall Law Review. 31(3): 649-665.
Presser, Stephen. 2000. Marbury, McCulloch, Gore, and Bush: A Comment on Sylvia Snowiss. John Marshall Law Review. 33(4): 1157-1170.
Presser, Stephen. 2000. Constitutional Amendments: Dangerous Threat or Democracy in Action?. Texas Review of Law and Politics. 5(1): 209-225.
Presser, Stephen. 2000. Review Essay: "The Ordinary, The Exceptional, The Corrupt, and the Moral: What did the Impeachment of Bill Clinton Mean for America and Americans?" (on R. Posner An Affair of State). Constitutional Commentary. 17: 149.
Dodd, John L., Christopher Murray, Stephen Presser, Mark Pulliam, Alfred Putnam and Paula M. Stannard. 2000. White Paper: The Case for Judicial Appointments.
Presser, Stephen. 1999. What would Burke think of law and economics?. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. 21(1): 147-153.
Presser, Stephen. 1999. Would George Washington have wanted Bill Clinton impeached?. George Washington Law Review. 67(3)
Presser, Stephen. 1999. Review Essay: "Jeffersonian Blinders" on M. Segers and T. Jelen A Wall of Separation? Debating the Public Role of Religion, and J. Noonan The Lustre of Our Country: The American Experience of Religious Freedom. Review of Politics. 61: 167.
Presser, Stephen. 1997. Review: The Great Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Rule of Law by Charles F. Hobson. Journal of the Early Republic.
Presser, Stephen. 1997. Review Essay: "The Restoration of George Washington". Reviews in American History. 25: 545.
Presser, Stephen. 1997. Some Realism About Atheism: Responses to the Godless Constitution. Texas Review of Law and Politics. 1(1): 87-121.
Presser, Stephen. 1997. Review: To Secure These Rights: The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation by Scott D. Gerber. Constitutional Commentary. 14: 229.
Presser, Stephen. 1997. Review: The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism by Eugene Genovese. Law and History Review. 15: 408.
Presser, Stephen. 1996. Review: The Supreme Court in the Early Republic: The Chief Justiceships of John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth by William R. Casto. Constitutional Commentary. 3: 213.
Presser, Stephen. 1996. Review: The Constitutional Though of Thomas Jefferson by David N. Mayer. Journal of American History.: 183.
Presser, Stephen. 1994. The Stuff of the Founding Debates: The Cultural Framework of Any Informed Citizen of the Early Republic. The Armchair Historian. 1(2): 14.
Presser, Stephen. 1994. Review: The Roots of Liberty: Magna Carta, Ancient Constitution, and the Anglo-American Tradition of Rule of Law edited by Ellis Sandoz. Journal of American History. 81: 224.
Presser, Stephen. 1993. Should a Supreme Court Justice Apply Natural Law?: Lessons from the Earliest Federal Judges. Benchmark. 5: 103.
Presser, Stephen. 1993. Review: Originas of the Federal Judiciary: Essays on the Judiciary Act of 1789 edited by Maeva Marcus. William and Mary Quarterly.: 843.
Presser, Stephen. 1993. On Tushnet the Burkean and in Defense of Nostalgia. Northwestern University Law Review. 88(1): 42-47.
Presser, Stephen. 1992. Thwarting the Killing of the Corporation: Limited Liability, Democracy, and Economics. Northwestern University Law Review. 87(4): 147-179.
Presser, Stephen. 1991. Et Tu Raoul? Or The Original Misunderstanding Misunderstood. Brigham University Law Review. 1991(4): 1475-1496.
Presser, Stephen. 1990. Confessions of a Rogue Legal Historian: Killing the Fathers and Finding the Future of the Law's Past. Benchmark. 4: 217.
Presser, Stephen. 1989. The English, the Americans, and the Dialectic of Federalist Jurisprudence. Northwestern University Law Review. 84(1): 107-185.
Presser, Stephen. 1986. The Supra-Constitution, the Courts, and the Federal Common Law of Crimes: Some Comments on Palmer and Preyer. Law and History Review. 4(2): 325-335.
Presser, Stephen. 1985. Resurrecting the Conservative Tradition in American Legal History. Reviews in American History. 13(4): 526-533.
Presser, Stephen. 1985. Some Realism aAbout Orphism or the Critical Legal Studies Movement and the New Great Chain of Being. Northwestern University Law Review. 79(5-6): 826-899.
Presser, Stephen and BeckyBair Hurley. 1984. Saving God's Republic: The Jurisprudence of Samuel Chase. University of Illinois Law Review. 1984(3): 771-822.
Presser, Stephen. 1983. The Law, History, and Northwestern. The Reporter. 74: 10.
Presser, Stephen and Richard Simpson. 1982. Adjusting to the Managerial Revolution: The Law of Corporations in the Federal Courts of Delaware 1900-1941. William and Mary Law Review. 23(4): 725-790.
Presser, Stephen. 1982. "Legal History" or the History of Law; A Primer on Bring the Law's Past into the Present. Vanderbilt Law Review. 35(4): 849-890.
Presser, Stephen. 1980. Dancing Bears. The Reporter. 3(10): 4.
Presser, Stephen. 1978. A Tale of Two Judges: Richard Peters, Samuel Chase, and the Broken Promise of Federalist Jurisprudence. Northwestern University Law Review. 73(1): 26-111.
Presser, Stephen. 1977. Revising the Conservative Tradition: Towards a New American Legal History. New York University Law Review. 52(3): 700-725.
Presser, Stephen. 1976. An Introduction to the Legal History of Colonial New Jersey. Rutgers Camden Law Journal. 7(2): 262-344.
Presser, Stephen. 1972. Public Interest Litigation in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: A Current Perspective. George Washington Law Review. 41(2): 260-303.
Presser, Stephen. 1971. The Historical Background of the American Law Adoption. Journal of Family Law. 11(3): 443-516.
Book Chapters
Presser, Stephen. 2002. "Vocational Schools, Professor Ledueman, and the University: Lessons from the American Law School Experience and Mark Twain." In Faith, Truth, and Freedom: The Expulsion of Professor Gerd Ludemann from the Theology Faculty at G, edited by Jacob Neusner, Binghamton: Global Publications.
Presser, Stephen. 2002. "Introduction." In The Ideal Element in Law, edited by Roscoe Pound, Liberty Fund.
Presser, Stephen. 1998. "The Verdict on Samuel Chase." In Seriatim: Essays in the Politics, History, and Jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court, 1, edited by Scott D. Gerber, New York University Press.
Presser, Stephen. 1992. "Samuel Chase." In The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, edited by Kermit Hall, 137-138. Oxford University Press.
Presser, Stephen. 1992. "Sedition Act of 1798." In The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, edited by Kermit Hall, 764-765. Oxford University Press.
Presser, Stephen. 1990. "Above and Beyond Strict Liability: Critical Legal Studies and Feminist Approaches to the Law of Torts." In Pernicious Ideas and Costly Consequences: The Intellectual Roots of the Torts Crisis, edited by Jacqueline R. Denning, 63-78. National Legal Center for the Public Interest.
Presser, Stephen. 1987. ""Legal History" or the History of Law; A Primer on Bring the Law's Past into the Present." In Main Themes in United States Constitutional and Legal History, edited by Kermit Hall, Garland Publishers.
Presser, Stephen. 1987. "Historiography of the American Legal System." In Encyclopedia of the American Legal System: Studies of the Principal Institutions and Processes of , edited by Robert J. Janosik, 1337. New York: Scribner's, 3rd edition.
Presser, Stephen. 1981. "Revising the Conservative Tradition: Towards a New American Legal History." In The American Revolution and the Revolution in American Law, edited by Kermit Hall.
Presser, Stephen. 1976. "The Historical Background of the American Law Adoption." In Essays in Nineteenth Century Legal History, edited by W. Holt, 335.
Other
Presser, Stephen. "What Makes for Real Prosperity? The Small Businessman and Regulatory Discontent." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, January.
Presser, Stephen. "Vocational Schools, Professor Ledueman, and the University: Lessons from the American Law School Experience and Mark Twain." Religion Magazine.
Presser, Stephen. "Why Bush Should Veto Shays-Meehan." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Review Essay: "Some Dare Call it Justice" on Vincent Bugliosi, the Betrayal of America, Alan M. Dershowitz, Supreme Injustice, and Richard Posner, Breaking the Deadlock." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, December.
Presser, Stephen. "A Round Table Discussion: Restoring the Electoral College, Don't Fix It." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, February.
Presser, Stephen. "Law, Morality, and Religion." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, January.
Presser, Stephen. "Can American Legal Education Be Fixed?." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, January.
Presser, Stephen. "How Bush Would Fix the Supremes." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Commerical Speech and the First Amendment: Cigarette Companies and the Playboy Channel Have Rights Too--Or Do They?." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, October.
Presser, Stephen. "Saving His Eternal Soul: Why Buchanan Should Not Jump Ship." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "God and the Constitution: Towards a New Legal Theology.".
Presser, Stephen. "Flag Amendment Represents Foundation in Civility." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Recapturing the Constitution." Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, January.
Presser, Stephen. "Bill, Tom, Hillary, and Paula." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "A Kinder Posner: The Master of Legal Controversy Becomes More Ecumenical (Review of "Overcoming Law" by Richard Posner)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "A Vote for Passing the Flag Amendment." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "The US Doesn't Need Nine Justices." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "The Senate, The House, and Perhaps the Constitution." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "America's civil religion: The fierce, and still vital, arguments that arose over the US Constitution (Review of "The Debates on the Constitution", ed. Bernard Bailyn)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "A New Age "New Deal": Constitutional Theorist Cass Sunstein Rethinks The 1st Amendments (Review of "Democracy and Freedom of Speech" by Cass Sunstein)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Criminal Law on Trial: In Lawrenc Friedman's Legal Universe, the Only Constant is Change (Review of "Crime and Punishment in American History" by Lawrence Friedman." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Orwell's law: Imaginary cases illuminate the man and the issues (Review of "The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law" by Norval Morris)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Locking in liberalism: Bruce Ackerman says that 'We the People' change the Constitution (Review of "We the People" by Bruce Ackerman)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "A great legal mind's judgment on judging (Review of "The Problems of Jurisprudence" by Richard Posner)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Returning the Court to the Proper Role." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Robert Bork's civil war: The defeated Supreme Court nominee leads the fight for legal conservatism (Review of "The Tempting of America" by Robert Bork)." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "An International "Citizen's Arrest" Might Oust Noriega." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen and ArLynnLeiber Presser. "Rights, Responsibilities, and the Flag." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "The Future of American Jurisprudence is at Stake." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "The Worthy Tradition Bush Upholds." Chicago Tribune.
Presser, Stephen. "Moving Away from Individualism in the Law." Chicago Lawyer.
Presser, Stephen. "Tax Value of Marijuana May Appeal to Legislators." Newark Star-Ledger.
Presser, Stephen. "Times Have Changed for Newsmen: Press Was Not Always So Free." South Jersey Courier-Post.
Presser, Stephen. "Ford is on Shaky Legal Ground in Calling on a "Higher Law"." Philadelphia Inquirer, September 12.
Books
Presser, Stephen and Jamil S. Zainaldin. 2000. Law and Jurisprudence in American History: Cases and Materials. West Publishing Company, 4th edition.
Presser, Stephen. 2000. Law and Jurisprudence in American History: Teacher's Manual. West Publishing Company, 4th edition.
Kmiec, Douglas W. and Stephen Presser. 1999. The American Constitutional Order: Introduction to the History and Nature of American Constitutional Law. Anderson Publishing.
Presser, Stephen and Jamil S. Zainaldin. 1995. Law and Jurisprudence in American History: Cases and Materials. West Publishing Company, 3rd edition.
Presser, Stephen. 1994. Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered. Regnery Publishing Inc.
Ferrara, Ralph, Meredith Brown and Stephen Presser. 1993. Takeovers II : A strategist’s manual for business combinations in the 1990s. Butterworth's, 2nd edition.
Presser, Stephen. 1991. The Original Misunderstanding: The English, The Americans, and the Dialectic of Federalist Jurisprudence. Carolina Academic Press.
Presser, Stephen. 1991. Piercing the Corporate Veil. West Group.
Presser, Stephen and ArLynnLeiber Presser. 1991. The Guide to American Law Supplement. West Publishing Company.
Presser, Stephen. 1990. The Guide to American Law Supplement. West Publishing Company.
Presser, Stephen and Jamil S. Zainaldin. 1989. Law and Jurisprudence in American History: Cases and Materials. West Publishing Company, 2nd edition.
Presser, Stephen. 1985. Guide to American Law. West Publishing Company.
Presser, Stephen. 1983. Studies in the History of the United States Courts of the Third Circuit. Government Printing Office.
Presser, Stephen and Jamil S. Zainaldin. 1980. Law and Jurisprudence in American History: Cases and Materials. West Publishing Company.

 
Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Business law, law and the manager
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Business Law (BLAW-435-0)
This course is a survey of the basic and fundamental legal concepts that managers and entrepreneurs will be exposed to in public, private and non-profit entities. It is not a surrogate for a law school course (as such the course is not open to law or JD/MBA students) ; it does not delve into subjects of legal procedure (e.g. rules of evidence and rules of civil or criminal procedure). Rather, it covers a variety of legal topics of greatest interest to managers. For example, the course includes instruction on torts, a subject normally covered in a full semester law school course, by focusing on the basics of torts (e.g. negligence, professional negligence (malpractice), and product liability) in a meaningful way so that the student is armed with the ability to identify and analyze tort-related issues going forward. The ten week quarter also includes two topics (contracts and corporations) that are each spread over two weeks of instruction. One week of the quarter is geared to agency law, a subject of great importance in business since under certain circumstances, an employer is automatically liable for the acts of its agents occurring within the scope of their employment. While the majority of class time is spent on civil legal matters (e.g. money damages, equitable relief in the form of injunctions), one week is devoted to a review of criminal law, specifically those crimes that touch U.S. business on a frequent basis (e.g. the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)). Also, due to frequently-expressed interest by students, one week is designed to provide a solid overview of antitrust and intellectual property issues. (Students seeking a deeper dive into these topics should consider taking BLAW 437 upon completion of BLAW 435.)