Justice Dennis J. Curran (Ret.)

Contact Info:
Tufts University
Dept. of Political Science
Packard Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Mobile: 781.697.7784
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Personal website

Professor of the Practice of Political Science

Juris Doctorate, University of Virginia School of Law, 1977
M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1974

Justice Curran received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. At the University of Pennsylvania, he graduated magna cum laude, earning both his bachelor and master's degrees in an accelerated four-year program. A native of Boston, he graduated from Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in America.

Justice Curran is a Professor of the Practice of Political Science at Tufts University. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Roger Williams University School of Law and on its Board of Advisors. He also teaches at Brown University's summer program.

Each year, Justice Curran volunteers to teach a week-long law course for the American Legion's Boys' and Girls' State program which selects high-achieving rising junior high school students for a participatory, student-run government program.

Professional Career

Justice Curran has been honored by the:

  • "Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award" from the Massachusetts Bar Association for "having demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice and upholding the highest traditions for public service." The Award has been granted only 8 times in the past 31 years.
  • "William Whiting Judicial Courage Award" by the American Board of Trial Advocates (Massachusetts Chapter).
  • "President's Award for Judicial Excellence" by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, for his "deep commitment and belief in the civil justice system, his many contributions to society and his continued dedication to the law."
  • "Annual Judiciary Award" by the Order of the Sons of Italy (Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.)

Curran is a member of the National Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum. Other Board members include scholar and noted author Doris Kearns Goodwin, filmmaker Ken Burns and Presidential historian Michael R. Beschloss. Curran has also been elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society; he is a member and lecturer of the Lincoln Group of Boston.

Before joining the judiciary, Curran was a Boston trial attorney for over 23 years, having achieved an "AV" rating (the highest possible rating for professional excellence and ethical standards) from Martindale-Hubbell. He has achieved Board-certification as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy; he has also been elected for admission into the American Board of Trial Advocates.

The Governor of Massachusetts first nominated Curran in 2002 as an Associate Justice to the District Court; he served in the newly-constructed Boston Municipal Court in 2003; and just three years later, the Governor nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court where he served for over a decade.

As a trial judge, he presided over 450 civil and criminal trials.

Justice Curran has a strong research interest in cutting edge issues in American jurisprudence: the jury selection process (i.e., voir dire), civil case flow management (i.e., how to provide speedy trials for litigants), (alternative) dispute resolution and drug abuse and the courts.

In his early career, Curran served as First Assistant Legal Counsel to the Governor and before that, as an Assistant District Attorney in a career criminal prosecution unit for Suffolk County.

He has been married for 37 years to Dr. Dorothy A. McCarthy-Curran. They live in Wellesley Hills. They have two sons, daughter-in-law Ufara Zuwasti Curran, M.D. M.Sc. (Oxford) and three-year-old grandson Story Curran.

PS 105: "Constitutional Law"
PS 118-01: "Topics in American Politics: The American Legal System"