Clinical Associate Professor of Law
Interests: criminal law; trial advocacy; civil litigation
David Breen knows about crime and the law more intimately than most attorneys. In 1991, he was shot and nearly killed during a robbery at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in New York City. After his recovery, he worked with the New York City Council to pass one of the first comprehensive ATM safety laws in the nation.
The incident occurred after he began working at the Manhattan D.A.'s office in 1990, and has continued to influence his successful career as a criminal and civil litigator for the past 13 years. Breen has served as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Boston, an assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an assistant district attorney for New York County. A faculty member in the Criminal Clinical Program, Breen lectures on Massachusetts criminal law and procedure, as well as issues relating to search and seizure, custodial and non-custodial interrogation and jury selection. He also directly supervises students in the Prosecutor Program in Quincy District Court and is a lecturer in trial advocacy.
"I feel a special obligation to teach the same foundational skills I learned in BU Law's Prosecutor Program," he says. "My own first trial as an attorney was as a student in this program in 1990. What I learned gave me a definite advantage over other new attorneys when I started out professionally that year. I particularly enjoy it when students become excited about investigating and developing criminal cases for trial," he continues. "I try to teach them to be strong and forceful advocates for the Commonwealth, but to focus on doing justice. In some instances, that means having to dismiss cases in which the evidence does not support the charges or in which a person's rights have been violated."