James J. Tomkovicz

Edward Howrey Professor Emeritus

Professor Tomkovicz joined the faculty in 1982 after serving as a Visiting Professor at Iowa in the spring of 1981 and an Adjunct Professor at UCLA during the 1981-82 academic year. Prior to that, Professor Tomkovicz was an attorney with the Appellate Section of the Lands Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. He also served as a law clerk to Hon. Edward J. Schwartz, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, and as law clerk to Hon. John M. Ferren, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

During the spring semester, 1992, he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He has also served as a Visiting Professor at the UCLA School of Law in 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2013, at the USC Gould School of Law in 2011 and 2013, at Pepperdine University School of Law in 2013, and at the Southwestern Law School in 2013-2014. Professor Tomkovicz taught at the University of San Diego School of Law during summer sessions in both 2004 and 2006. During the spring semester, 2002, he participated as a faculty member in the London Law Consortium. During the fall 2019 semester Professor Tomkovicz served as a Visiting Professor at the Emory University School of Law, where he taught Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence.

Professor Tomkovicz has authored amicus curiae briefs for the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in a number of United States Supreme Court cases: Knowles v. Iowa, Florida v. J.L., Kyllo v. United States, United States v. Patane, Maryland v. Blake, and Arizona v. Gant.

He is the coauthor (with Professor Welsh S. White (1940-2005)) of many editions of a casebook entitled Criminal Procedure: Constitutional Constraints Upon Investigation and Proof (8th edition--Carolina Academic Press) (2017). He has authored an outline entitled Criminal Procedure (1997, Aspen) and a scholarly text concerning the Sixth Amendment right to legal assistance that is entitled The Right to the Assistance of Counsel (Greenwood Press, 2002). In 2011, Oxford University Press published Professor Tomkovicz's most recent book, Constitutional Exclusion: The Rules, Rights, and Remedies that Strike the Balance Between Freedom and Order, an in-depth analysis of the seven constitutional bases for excluding evidence of guilt from criminal trials. Professor Tomkovicz has authored several articles concerning various topics in criminal procedure and criminal law. In recent years, he initiated and helped organize College of Law symposia celebrating anniversaries of the landmark Supreme Court rulings in Batson v. Kentucky and Gideon v. Wainwright.

Tomkovicz retired from the faculty in 2021, after a 40-year career at Iowa Law. 

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Practice and Teaching: 

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation 
  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication and Evidence


  • California Bar
  • United States Supreme Court Bar
James Tomkovicz (3)
BA, University of Southern California, 1973
JD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976