Leslie W. Abramson

Frost Brown Todd Professor of Law


Professor Abramson's primary teaching areas are criminal procedure and civil procedure. His research is known nationally in the areas of judicial ethics and criminal detainers for prisoners. He has authored many law review articles and books, including several law school casebooks and several volumes in the Kentucky Practice series for practicing attorneys. His other research interests have ranged from constitutional issues to legal education.

Much of Professor Abramson's service to the profession and the community focuses on legal reform. He has served as Reporter for the Western District of Kentucky work groups which implemented the federal Speedy Trial Act and the Civil Justice Reform Act.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Abramson practiced law with Frank and Robert Haddad in Louisville. He holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.  In 1979, he earned his doctorate in juridical science from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure Seminar in Discovery

Criminal Procedure

Books and Monographs

Quick Review: Criminal Procedure, 3d ed., West Academic 2014.

Criminal Procedure: Post-Investigative Process, Cases & Materials, (with Cohen and Adelman) 4th ed., Lexis 2014.

Civil Procedure: Cases, Problems, Exercises, (with Cross & Deason) 3d ed., West Group 2010.

Acing Criminal Procedure, 3d ed., West Group 2012.

Acing Professional Responsibility, 2d ed., West Academic 2013.

Problems in Criminal Procedure, (with late Joseph Grano) 5th ed., West Academic 2012.

Kentucky Practice, Substantive Criminal Law, 3d ed., Volumes 10 & 10A, West Group 2010.

Kentucky Practice, Criminal Practice and Procedure, 5th ed., Volumes 8 and 9, West Group 2010.

Kentucky Practice - Civil Procedure Forms, 2d ed., Volumes 11 and 12, West Group 2006.

Kentucky Lawyers Speak, Oral History from Those Who Practiced It, Butler Books 2009.

Commentary to proposed Kentucky Penal Code revision (2003).

A Century in Celebration: The United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, 1901-2001 (2001).

Judicial Conduct and Ethics, 3d ed., (2001 supplement) (with James Alfini).

Judicial Disqualification Under Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, 2d ed., (American Judicature Society 1992).

Criminal Detainers (Ballinger Books 1979).

Basic Bankruptcy: Alternatives, Proceedings & Discharges, (University of Michigan ICLE 1971) (ed.).


Smith v. Hooey: Underrated But Unfulfilled, 44 San Diego L. Rev. 573 (2007).

Judicial Disclosure and Disqualification: The Need for More Guidance, 28 Justice System J. 301 (2007).

The Judge's Relative is Affiliated with Counsel of Record: The Ethical Dilemma, 32 Hofstra L. Rev. 1181 (2004).

Understanding Judicial Ethics, Courier-Journal Op-Ed page, April 26, 2004.

Understanding Mistrials, Courier-Journal Op-Ed page, November 23, 2000.

The Judicial Ethics of Ex Parte and Other Communications, 37 Houston L. Rev. 1343 (2000).

Appearance of Impropriety: Deciding When a Judge's Impartiality 'Might Reasonably Be Questioned', 14 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 55 (2000).

The Judge's Ethical Duty to Report Misconduct by Other Judges and Lawyers and Its Effect on Judicial Independence, 25 Hofstra L. Rev. 751 (1997).

Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, 79 Marq. L. Rev. 949 (1996).

The Interstate Agreement on Detainers: Narrowing Its Availability and Application, 21 N.Eng. J. Cr. & Civ. Conf. 1 (1995).

The Good News and Bad..., Courier-Journal Op-Ed page, July 14, 1994.

Specifying Grounds for Judicial Disqualification in Federal Courts, 72 Neb. L. Rev. 1046 (1993).

Deciding Recusal Motions: Who Judges the Judges?, 28 Valp. L. Rev. 543 (1994).

Clarifying 'Fair Play and Substantial Justice': How the Courts Apply the Supreme Court Standard for Personal Jurisdiction, 18 Hast. Con. L. Q. 441 (1991).

Witness Waiver of the Fifth Amendment Privilege, 41 Okla. L. Rev. 235 (1988).

Judicial Conflicts of Interest, Kentucky Jury Verdict Reporter (1988).

Equal Protection and Administrative Convenience, 52 Tenn. L. Rev. 1 (1984).

Criminal Procedure, 1983 Det. C. L. Rev. 373.

Criminal Procedure, 1982 Det. C. L. Rev. 385.

Extradition in America: Of Uniform Acts and Governmental Discretion, 33 Baylor L. Rev. 793 (1981).

Entrapment and Due Process in the Federal Courts, 8 Am. J. Crim. L. 139 (1980) (with L. Lindeman).

Detainers and Detainer Strategies, Prisoners' Rights Sourcebook Volume II (I. Robbins, ed. 1980).

Law School Deans: A Self-Portrait, 29 J. Legal Ed. 6 (1977) (with G. Moss).

Compulsory Retirement, the Constitution and the Murgia Case, 42 Mo.L.Rev. 25 (1977).

Kentucky's Future Need for Attorneys, 63 Ky. L. J. 323 (1975).

State Taxation of Exports: The Stream of Constitutionality, 54 N.C.L.Rev. 59 (1975).

Testimony at public hearing of American Bar Association Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, 2004.

Disqualification, 19th National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, Chicago, 2004.

The Judge's Relative is Affiliated with Counsel of Record: The Ethical Dilemma, National Conference on Judicial Ethics, Hempstead, New York, 2003

What You Thought You'd Learned and What's New, UL/LBA CLE, 2002

Disqualification, 18th National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, Chicago, 2002.

Ethics, Ethics and More Ethics, UL/LBA CLE, 2001.

Judicial Disqualification, Kansas Trial Judges Association, Wichita, 2001.

Disqualification, 17th National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, Chicago, 2000.

Kentucky's New Code of Judicial Conduct, UL/LBA CLE 1999.

Kentucky Penal Code Issues, Kentucky Criminal Justice Council, 1999.

Ethics Issues for School Board Attorneys, Kentucky Association of School Board Attorneys, 1999.

Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Institute, 1998.

Nuts and Bolts of Divorce, UL/LBA CLE, 1998.

Attorneys Duties of Confidentiality, Credit Financial Development Division, 1998.

Police Interrogation, Floyd Central High School, 1997.

How the Judicial System Works, Club 60, 1997.

Contemporary Problems in Professional Responsibility, Back to Law School Program for Town/Gown Week, October, 1997.

Ethical Issues for Paralegals and Attorneys Who Employ Them, UL/LBA CLE, December, 1996.

Personal Jurisdiction and Cyberspace, UL/LBA CLE, November, 1996.

Judicial Misconduct - The Appearance of Impropriety, Back to Law School Program for Town/Gown Week, October, 1996.

Recent Developments in Legal Ethics, Back to Law School Program for Town/Gown Week, October, 1995.

Ethical Issues for Attorneys Who Practice Criminal Cases, Kentucky Academy of Justice, June 1995.

Paralegal Ethics, UL/LBA CLE, 1995 (also moderator and organizer of seminar).

Criminal Law Update, UL/LBA CLE, 1994 (also moderator and organizer of seminar).

Recent Developments in Conflict of Interest, Back to Law School Program for Town/Gown Week, 1994.

Amendments to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, UL/LBA CLE, 1994 (also moderator and organizer of seminar).

Conflicts of Interest for Judges, UL/LBA CLE, 1993.

Judicial Disqualification, Federal Bar Association, 1991.

Moderator and Organizer, Ethical Issues for the Family Practitioner, Petrilli Seminar, 1992.

Moderator and Organizer, Ethical Issues in Criminal Law, UL/LBA CLE, 1992.

Ethical Issues in Environmental Litigation, Louisville Bar Association, 1990.

Ethics Issues for the Securities Lawyer, University of Kentucky CLE, 1990.

Judicial Disqualification, Eastern Judicial Forum, American Judicature Society, Leesburg, Virginia, 1989.

Judicial Ethics, Indiana Judicial Conference, 1989.

Judicial Disqualification, Western Forum, American Judicature Society, Denver, Colorado, 1989.

Judicial Disqualification, Midwest Judicial Forum, American Judicature Society, Chicago, Illinois, 1988.

Judicial Disqualification, Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, 1988.

Judicial Disqualification, Florida Conference of Appellate Judges, 1988.

Depositions for the New Litigator, Louisville Bar Association/ University of Louisville Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 1988.

Judicial Disqualification under Canon 3C of the Code of Judicial Conduct Organizations, Chicago, Illinois, 1986.

Recent Developments in Legal Ethics, Louisville Bar Association CLE Seminar, 1984.

Ethical Issues for the ERISA Attorney, University of Louisville CLE Seminar, 1984.

Ethical Considerations for Corporate Counsel, Continuing Legal Education Committee, Kentucky Bar Association, Corporate House Counsel Section, 1983.

Prosecutor's Ethics, Kentucky Prosecutors Conference, 1982.

Detainers, National Association of Extradition Officials, Williamsburg, Virginia,1981.

Ethics for Prosecutors, Kentucky Prosecutors Training Seminar, 1981.

Criminal Detainers, Eighth Annual Kentucky Public Defender Training Seminar, 1980.

Law School

Brandeis Medal Committee, Co-chair, 2010-present.

Search Committee for Academic Success Director, Chair, 2014.

Probation and Reinstatement Committee, 1983-1991, 1994-present, Chair, 1995-2013.

Advisor, ABA Client Counseling Competition, 1996-present.

Advisor, Brandeis Society, 1993-present.

Advisor, University of Louisville Law Review, 1981-2007, 2012-present.

Profession and Community

Kentucky Bar Association, Annual Convention CLE Committee, 2011-2013.

Volunteer Teacher, Advanced Placement, United States Government and Politics, duPont Manual Magnet High School, 2001-2009.