Richard Peltz-Steele

Richard Peltz-Steele

Chancellor Professor

Law School / Faculty




UMass School of Law 227


Duke UniversityJD
Washington & Lee UniversityBA


  • Tort law
  • Comparative law
  • Media law (free speech, access to information, defamation, privacy, copyright)



A continuation of LAW 515, Torts I

A continuation of LAW 515, Torts I

Exploration of legal methods and institutions comparing United States with other regions of the world. The course addresses major global legal traditions with emphasis on classical distinction between civil law and common law. Students are exposed to basic sources in key foreign jurisdictions, such as the EU, and foreign law questions that arise in domestic legal proceedings. Final paper.

A student not presently enrolled in a Clinic or Field Placement Program may observe in practice what the student is studying in a doctrinal course. Time required at the entity is 5 hours per week (70 hours per semester) for the 1-credit option, and 10 hours per week (140 hours per semester) for the 2-credit option. The student must be supervised by a lawyer who practices in the substantive area covered in the co-curricular course. The doctrinal professor of the course must agree to supervise, as well. Enrollment is contingent on the availability of both an appropriate entity and agreement of the doctoral course professor. Co-curricular immersion credits do not satisfy the Practice Requirement. Of the 90 credits required for graduation, students are required to earn at least 65 in courses that meet in regularly scheduled class sessions. This course does not count toward the 65 credit requirement.


Research Interests

  • Civil/human rights and freedom of expression
  • Mass communication and journalism
  • Social and economic development
  • Sport and society

Professional background

Peltz-Steele received his law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s in journalism and Spanish from Washington & Lee University. Peltz-Steele has won awards in teaching, research, and public service. He practiced commercial law in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and taught law for more than thirteen years before coming to UMass Law in 2011.

Peltz-Steele is author or co-author of qualitative and quantitative research articles in law and mass communication journals, as well as book chapters, a treatise in the law and mass communication field, a casebook in tort law, and a casebook in freedom of information law and policy. He is especially active in international media law and policy, having presented papers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, and having published in international and foreign journals. His current research focuses on comparative access to information law, especially in developing nations. Peltz-Steele serves in various capacities for the American Bar Association, including the legal education committee of the Section of International Law.

External links

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