This book is the culmination of contributions of many talented people.  Penn State’s Teaching and Learning with Technology Team (Sara Marley Davis, Wade Shumaker, Bradley Antill, Bryan McGeary and Hanna Friedenberger), aided by the advice of Ryan Cook and Seth McGeorge of the Dickinson Law IT Team, deserve full credit and praise for the technical creation of this multimedia, layered book.  Now-retired Dickinson Law Associate Librarian Judy Swarthout helped conceive and execute innovations in earlier electronic versions of the book that have found their way into the current iteration.  Dickinson Associate Dean for Library and Information Services Laura Ax-Fultz graciously volunteered her expertise, as well as the work of her law student assistant Michael Merten, to create links to publicly accessible full text of cases and articles that are cited in the book. And Dickinson Law Administrative Support Coordinator Sherry Miller has indefatigably kept the work current through constantly evolving caselaw and technologies.

I likely never would have discovered the surprising, vexatious, and critically important issues arising in the litigation of violations of rights secured by the United States Constitution without the random good fortune of attorney Harold C. Hirshman enlisting me in the representation of Eloise Beard in litigation against officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose informant William O’Neal was complicit in the murder of her brother, Jeff Beard.  That ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit opened my eyes to the layers of procedural and substantive doctrine situated between an undisputed deprivation of a constitutional right and the victim’s ability to obtain redress for that deprivation.  I have had the continued good fortune of counting Harold as an inspiration and friend for the entirety of my legal career.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to over four decades of students at Penn State Dickinson Law whose willingness to tackle the intellectual rigor of the Civil Liberties Litigation course has elevated my understanding, as well as to the too numerous to mention research assistants who have provided first-rate material for the notes to the cases.

The most important person responsible for the content of this book is my wife, Terri S. Gildin.  I have been privileged to watch her live every waking moment unselfishly committed to serving others and doing what is right–the very values to which law ought to aspire.


Gary S. Gildin

August 17, 2021



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