Lewis D. Sargentich

Professor of Law


Lewis Daniel Sargentich teaches a section of the 1L Torts course and courses in jurisprudence and legal theory. He has been teaching at HLS since 1973 and became a full professor in 1979.

Born in 1944, he grew up in Alhambra, California. He did his undergraduate work at Occidental College and studied at the University of Sussex in England as a Marshall Scholar.

Sargentich earned his Harvard Law School law degree summa cum laude. He studied Torts in a course taught by Robert Keeton. According to Eugene Volokh’s Academic Legal Writing (2003), Sargentich’s Note on “The First Amendment Overbreadth Doctrine” (83 Harv. L. Rev. 844, 1970) had been cited more often than all but one other law review article written by a student. He served as one of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s law clerks.

Professor Sargentich is co-author of Tort and Accident Law: Cases and Materials (4th edition 2004) with Gregory Keating and the late Robert Keeton.

Areas of Interest

Lewis D. Sargentich, The First Amendment Overbreadth Doctrine, 83 Harv. L. Rev. 844 (1970).
Constitutional Law
Government & Politics
First Amendment
Congress & Legislation
Judges & Jurisprudence
Statutory Interpretation
Type: Article
The general thesis of this Note is that the overbreadth doctrine is a principled response to the systematic failure of other methods of adjudication to protect first amendment rights adequately. The Note will proceed largely by examining alternatives to scrutiny for overbreadth. The first part will consider theoretical arguments for the as applied and overbreadth methods, and general guidelines for the employment of overbreadth reasoning. The second part will examine the method of rehabilitating overbroad statutes by excising the invalid applications as they arise, and will sketch intrinsic limitations of case by case adjudication as a means of securing the guaranties of the first amendment. In the third part, the Note will consider other methods for remedying statutory overbreadth by excising classes of unconstitutional applications - through the articulation of general rules of first amendment privilege or through the restrictive construction of expansive statutory language. In the last two parts the Note will examine the main competing technique of facial review - interest-balancing - and will consider further guidelines for affirmative use of the overbreadth doctrine.

Current Courses

Course Catalog View