Professor of Law
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
- B.A. (summa cum laude) Brigham Young University
- M.A. University of California, Berkeley
- J.D. University of California, Berkeley
Professor David Pimentel (J.D., M.A., U.C. Berkeley; B.A., BYU) joined the UI College of Law in 2015. Before beginning his academic career in 2007, he worked for the United Nations, overseeing Court Management and Legal Aid at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and directing Rule of Law activity in South Sudan for the U.N. Mission there. He has also led USAID-funded court reform projects in Romania and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, returning to Sarajevo in 2010-11 as a Fulbright Scholar.
Before coming to the University of Idaho, he directed the Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law at Ohio Northern University, later heading ONU’s Rule of Law-focused LL.M. Program. He has an international reputation in the field of post-conflict justice and rule of law, and has taught and lectured on related topics – cultural imperialism in rule of law promotion, legal pluralism, judicial restructuring and governance – throughout the world.
More recently, he has written on the subject of forfeiture reform, as well as on issues of child protection. He is an advocate for legal protection of parents’ rights, particularly against a state actor’s second-guessing of parenting choices, and has been cited and quoted by state appeals and supreme courts, overturning convictions in these cases.
Before going abroad to work on judicial reform, he spent twelve years with the federal judiciary, including one year as a Supreme Court Fellow in Washington, DC, and one year as a law clerk for the Honorable Martin Pence, in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu. He also spent two years in private practice with the law firm Perkins Coie in Seattle.
He and his wife Annette Bay (who writes juvenile nonfiction) have six beautiful and brilliant children, as well as the distinction of having dragged them through some of the more inhospitable places on earth, doing post-conflict justice. He has a passion for running, longboard surfing, jazz and blues, and old movies. Recently he has learned to play the ukulele, but not very well.
- Rule of Law
- Customary Law and Legal Pluralism
- Post-Conflict Justice
- Judicial Governance, Independence and Accountability
- Child Protection and Parental Rights
- Juvenile Justice
- Forfeiture Procedure and Policy
- Bicycle Law and Policy
- Legislating Childhood Independence, 50 Pepp. L. Rev. 285 (2023)
- A Cure for What Ails You: How Universal Healthcare Can Help Fix Our Tort System, 100 Or. L. Rev. 501 (2022)
- The Blues and the Rule of Law: Musical Expressions of the Failure of Justice, 67 Loy. L. R. 191 (2021); republished in Romania in Revistă Forumul Judecătorilor (Judges’ Forum Review) (Jan. 2022)
- Innovation in a Legal Vacuum: The Uncertain Legal Landscape for Shared Micro-Mobility, 2020 J. L. & Mobility 17 (2020) (with Michael B. Lowry, Timothy W. Koglin, and Ronald W. Pimentel) (peer reviewed)
- Punishing Families for Being Poor: How Child Protection Interventions Threaten the Right to Parent while Impoverished, 71 Okla. L. Rev. 883 (2019).
- Cycling, Safety, and Victim-Blaming: Toward a Coherent Public Policy for Bicycling in 21st Century America, 85 Tenn. L. Rev. 753 (2018).
- Forfeiture Policy in the United States: Is There Hope for Reform? 17 Criminology & Pub. Pol’y 129 (2018) (peer reviewed).
- Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse: Can State Legislation Solve the Problem? 25 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 173 (2018).
- Forfeitures and the Eighth Amendment: A Practical Approach to the Excessive Fines Clause as a Check on Government Seizures, 11 Harv. L. & Pol’y Rev. 541 (2017).
- Fearing the Bogeyman: How the Legal System’s Overreaction to Perceived Danger Threatens Families and Children, 42 Pepp. L. Rev. 235 (2015)
- Rule of Law Reform in Transitional States: Bringing Method to the Madness (Book Review of Rachel Kleinfeld's Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad), 13 Santa Clara J. Int'l L. 467 (2015)
- Culture and the Rule of Law: Cautions for Constitution-making, 37 Fordham Int'l L. J. Online 101 (2014)
- Judicial Independence in Post-conflict Iraq: Establishing the Rule of Law in an Islamic Constitutional Democracy (with Brian Anderson), 46 Geo. Wash. Int'l L. Rev. 29 (2013)
- The Widening Maturing Gap: Trying Juveniles as Adults in an Era of Extended Adolescence, 46 Texas Tech L. Rev. 72 (2013)
- Criminal Child Neglect and the “Free Range Kid”: Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care?, 2012 Utah L. Rev. 947 (2012) (cited, quoted at length, and relied upon in State v. Cummings, 297 Kan. 716, 726-27 (2013))
- Revisiting Forfeitures: Bringing Principle to Practice in Federal Court, 13 Nev. L. J. 1 (2012)(cited in United States v. $196,969.00, 719 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2013) (J. Posner))
- Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: Grappling with Ideology and History in the New Nepali Constitution, 21 Ind. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 207 (2011); published simultaneously in the sub-continent at 5 Indian J. Const. L. 77 (2011)
- Legal Pluralism in Post-colonial Africa: Linking Statutory and Customary Adjudication in Mozambique, 14 Yale Human Rts. & Dev. L. J. 59 (2011)
- Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law: Can Indigenous Justice Survive?, 32(2) Harv. Int'l. Rev. 32 (2010)
- Constitutional Concepts for the Rule of Law: A Vision for the Post-Monarchy Judiciary in Nepal, 9 Wash. U. Global Stud.. L. Rev. 283 (2010)
- Rule of Law Reform without Cultural Imperialism: Strengthening Customary Justice through Collateral Review in Southern Sudan, 2 Hague J. on Rule L. 1 (2010) (peer reviewed)
- The Reluctant Tattle-tale: Closing the Gap in Federal Judicial Discipline, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 909 (2009)
- Reframing the Independence v. Accountability Debate: Defining Judicial Structure in Light of Judges’ Courage and Integrity, 57 Clev. St. L. Rev. 1 (2009)
- Restructuring the Courts: In Search of Basic Principles for the Judiciary of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, 9 Chi. J. Int'l Law 107 (2008)
- Fowler V. Harper Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship, awarded to one faculty member each year at Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Pettit College of Law (2014)
- Fulbright Scholar, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010-11)
- William R. McMahon Award, awarded by the American Bar Association for leadership in the field of technology in the courts (2007)
- Tom C. Clark Award, distinction reserved for one Supreme Court Fellow each year, presented by Chief Justice Rehnquist and the family of the late Justice Tom C. Clark (1998)
- Supreme Court Fellow, United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission. Washington, DC (1997-98)