Robert J. Goodwin
J. Russell McElroy Professor of Law
Department: Cumberland School of Law
Degrees and CertificationsJ.D., Washington University School of LawB.A., University of Missouri
Joined faculty in 1983
Teaching & Research Interests: Criminal Law, Evidence & Scientific Evidence
Publications, Presentations & Selected Litigation
A native of St. Louis Missouri, Professor Robert Goodwin obtained his B.A. degree from the University of Missouri and his J.D. degree from Washington University. Upon graduation from law school Professor Goodwin became a VISTA attorney and established a privately funded poverty and civil rights law center in Southeast Missouri. Professor Goodwin was the center’s primary litigator, and he became its executive director before leaving.
Professor Goodwin’s first case before the Missouri Supreme Court involved a successful challenge to the constitutionality of charging registration and course fees in Missouri’s public schools. Professor Goodwin joined Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in 1978, where he continued his public interest trial and appellate court practice. In 1981 Professor Goodwin joined the faculty at Washington University School of Law, and in 1983 he came to Cumberland School of Law.
At Cumberland Professor Goodwin served as the Director of the Center for Advocacy and Clinical Education from 1984 to 1991. During this time the Center won the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyer's “Emil Gumpert Award” for excellence in teaching trial advocacy. Professor Goodwin currently teaches Evidence, Scientific Evidence, Criminal Law and related electives.
Since joining the Cumberland faculty Professor Goodwin has remained active in public interest litigation. In one high profile case Professor Goodwin represented a class of over 100,000 school-aged children in a lawsuit that successfully challenged inequities in Alabama’s system for funding public schools and the provision of educational services to children with disabilities.
Professor Goodwin was appointed Special Master by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in a Voting Rights Act case that involved redrafting district boundaries for the election of members of the Alabama State Board of Education. Professor Goodwin’s has authored a nationally adopted text on Criminal and Forensic Evidence, and is a Fellow in the “American Academy of Forensic Sciences.” Professor Goodwin co-authored the 6th edition of the authoritative evidence treatise, MCELROY’S ALABAMA EVIDENCE with Dean Charles Gamble in 2009. He has written extensively in the area of school law and expert testimony and his articles have been cited by state and federal courts.