David Breen returned to teach at BU School of Law after a distinguished career of investigating and trying complex criminal and civil matters in both New York and Massachusetts. He has served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, as an assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Boston. Since 2003 he has served as a special assistant district attorney in Quincy, MA.
A faculty member in the Criminal Clinical Program, Professor Breen lectures on 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. Professor Breen has a particular interest in issues related to prosecutorial ethics and has offered a seminar on that subject since 2008.
"I feel a special obligation to teach the same ethical and foundational skills I learned in the BU Law Criminal 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 in 1990."
"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 always 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."
Professor Breen has also lectured in Criminal Law and Procedure at the Fletcher School and in 2006 he created the Criminal Law component of the Boston University Graduate School of Medicine’s masters of forensic science, in which he taught from 2006-2014.
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.