Your Witness is sponsored by the ad hoc Committee on Intellectual Diversity and Civil Discourse of Cleveland State University College of Law. Submissions and reflections on aspects of the law and of legal education are invited. Comments and proposed submissions should be directed to yourwitness@law.csuohio.edu

Cleveland State University adheres to the University of Chicago Principles on Freedom of Speech.


David F. Forte

David F. Forte is a Professor of Law at Cleveland State University College of Law, where he was the inaugural holder of the Charles R. Emrick, Jr. – Calfee Halter & Griswold Endowed Chair. He has been a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Warsaw and the University of Trento. In 2016 and 2017, Professor Forte was Garwood Visiting Professor at Princeton University in the Department of Politics. He holds degrees from Harvard College, Manchester University, England, the University of Toronto and Columbia University.

During the Reagan administration, Professor Forte served as chief counsel to the United States delegation to the United Nations and alternate delegate to the Security Council. He has authored a number of briefs before the United States Supreme Court and has frequently testified before the United States Congress and consulted with the Department of State on human rights and international affairs issues. His advice was specifically sought on the approval of the Genocide Convention, on world-wide religious persecution, and Islamic extremism. He has appeared and spoken frequently on radio and television, both nationally and internationally. He writes and speaks nationally on topics such as constitutional law, religious liberty, Islamic law, the rights of families, and international affairs. He served as book review editor for the American Journal of Jurisprudence and has edited a volume titled, Natural Law and Contemporary Public Policy, published by Georgetown University Press. His book, Islamic Law Studies: Classical and Contemporary Applications, has been published by Austin & Winfield. He is Senior Editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (2006), 2d. edition (2014) published by Regnery & Co, a clause by clause analysis of the Constitution of the United States.

Kevin F. O’Neill

Kevin Francis O’Neill is an Associate Professor at Cleveland State University College of Law, where he teaches First Amendment, Evidence, Civil Procedure, and Pretrial Practice. His scholarship focuses on the Speech Clause of the First Amendment, with particular emphasis on public protest and forum access issues. He is the co-author (with Howard E. Katz) of Strategies and Techniques of Law School Teaching (Aspen 2009), now in its sixth printing. 

Prior to entering academia, Professor O’Neill served four years as Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. He was responsible for supervising all ACLU litigation in the state of Ohio and trying selected cases himself. During his tenure at the ACLU, he focused special attention on First Amendment issues, reproductive freedom, police misconduct, and government mistreatment of the homeless. After leaving the ACLU for academia, he continued to serve as an ACLU volunteer attorney on First Amendment cases. Prior to joining the ACLU, he was a trial lawyer at the national law firms of Smith & Schnacke (now Thompson, Hine & Flory) and Arter & Hadden (now Tucker, Ellis & West). During his seven years in commercial litigation, Professor O’Neill represented clients from a broad range of locales, including California and Saudi Arabia. His work has spanned all phases of trial and appellate practice, including cases decided by the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Courts.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.