Martin R. Gardner

Steinhart Foundation Professor of Law

229 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-1207 | Email

Areas of Expertise
  • Family Law
  • Juvenile Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Sanctions
  • J.D., 1972, University of Utah
  • B.S., 1969, University of Utah


  • Assistant Professor of Law (Alabama), 1973
  • Assistant Professor of Law, 1977
  • Associate Professor of Law, 1978
  • Professor of Law, 1980
  • Steinhart Foundation Professor of Law, 1987
  • Cline Williams-Flavel A. Wright Professor of Law, 2002


Professor Gardner teaches Family Law, Juvenile Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. He attended the University of Utah and received his B.S. degree in 1969 and his J.D. degree in 1972. He served as Associate Comment Editor for the Utah Law Review. During the 1975-76 academic year, he was a Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Harvard University. He is a member of the state bars of Nebraska and Utah. Professor Gardner was an Instructor at the Indiana University School of Law (Bloomington) during 1972-73 and was on the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Law from 1973-77. Professor Gardner was the John Sparkman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law for the Fall semester of 1986-87.

When he is not teaching or writing, Professor Gardner finds time to work out at the gym, play clarinet in several ensembles, and serve in church callings.

Family Law

Law 630/G (CYAF 950) (1-4 cr) The family examined as a socio-legal entity with respect to its creation, dissolution, and the problems incident to its continuation, including interspousal rights and duties and the relationship between parents and children.

Juvenile Law

Law 674/G (1-4 cr) Investigation of the relationship between children, the family, and the state. Both public and private law considerations with emphasis on the juvenile justice system and general considerations of children's constitutional rights.

Criminal Law

Law 508/G (EDAD 970) (3 cr) Substantive criminal law, focusing on the theoretical foundations, general principles, and doctrines that govern the rules of liability and defenses, both in the common law tradition and under the Model Penal Code.

Criminal Procedure

Law 631/G (1-4 cr) Basic problems of criminal procedure with emphasis on the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the United States Constitution and their impact on the criminal justice system.

Criminal Sanction Seminar

Law 773/G (3 cr) Criminal sanction with attention to conceptual and justificatory problems. Issues relating to the just administration of punishment, including the death penalty, as well as legal doctrines and defenses negating or mitigating criminal responsibility. Sentencing process considered with attention to the legal rights of offenders from conviction to final release.


  • The Fourth Amendment and the Public Schools: Observations on an Unsettled State of Search and Seizure Law, 36 Criminal Law Bulletin 373 (2000)
  • The Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel and its Underlying Values: Defining the Scope of Privacy Protection, 90 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 397 (2000)
  • "Rethinking Robinson v. California in the Wake of Jones v. Los Angeles: Avoiding the 'Demise of the Criminal Law' by Attending to 'Punishment,'" Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 429 (Issue 2, 2008);
  • "Adoption by Homosexuals in the Wake of Lawrence v. Texas," 6 Journal of Law and Family Studies 19 (2004);
  • "Viewing the Criminal Sanction Through Latter-day Saint Thought," 2003 Brigham Young University Law Review 861;
  • "The Fourth Amendment and the Public Schools: Observations on an Unsettled State of Search and Seizure Law," 36 Criminal Law Bulletin 373 (2000);
  • "The Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel and its Underlying Values: Defining the Scope of Privacy Protection," 90 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 397 (2000);
  • "Section 1983 Actions Under Miranda: A Critical View of the Right to Avoid Interrogation," 30 American Criminal Law Review 1277 (1993);
  • "The Mens Rea Enigma: Observations on the Role of Motive in the Criminal Law Past and Present," 1993 Utah Law Review 182 (1989);
  • "Student Privacy in the Wake of T.L.O-An Appeal for an Individualized Suspicion Requirement for Valid Searches and Seizures in the Schools," 22 Georgia Law Review 897 (1988);
  • "Punitive Juvenile Justice: Some Observations on a Recent Trend," 10 International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 129 (1987);
  • "Hudson v. Palmer- 'Bright Lines' But Dark Directions for Prisoners'' Privacy Rights," 76 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 75 (1985);
  • "The Emerging Good Faith Exception to the Miranda Rule - A Critique," 35 Hastings Law Journal 429 (1984); Reprinted, 7 Criminal Law Review 181 (1985);
  • "Searches and Seizures of Automobiles and their Contents - Fourth Amendment Considerations in a Post-Ross World," 62 Nebraska Law Review: 1 (1983); Reprinted, 6 Criminal Law Review 57 (1984);
  • "Punishment and Juvenile Justice - A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Constitutional Rights of Youthful Offenders," 35 Vanderbilt Law Review 791 (1982);
  • "The Right to be Punished - A suggested Constitutional Theory," 33 Rutgers Law Review 838 (1981);
  • "The Determinate Sentencing Movement and the Eighth Amendment - Excessive Punishment Before and After Rummel v. Estell," Duke Law Journal 1103;
  • "Consent as a Bar to Fourth Amendment Scope - A Critique of a Common Theory," 71 Journal Of Criminal Law and Criminology 443 (1980);
  • "Illicit Legislative Motivation as a Sufficient Condition for Unconstitutionality Under the Establishment Clause - A Case for Consideration: The Utah Firing Squad," 1979 Washington University Law Quarterly 435;
  • "Mormonism and Capital Punishment - A Doctrinal Perspective, Past, and Present," 12 Dialogue 9 (1979);
  • "Executions and Indignities - An Eight Amendment Assessment of Methods of Inflicting Capital Punishment." 39 Ohio State Law Journal 96 (1978);
  • "The Renaissance of Retribution - An Examination of Doing Justice," 1976 Wisconsin Law Review 781;
  • "The Myth and Impartial Psychiatric Expert - Some Comments Concerning Criminal Responsibility and the Decline of the Age of Therapy." 2 Law and Psychology Review 99 (1976);
  • "The Defense of Necessity and the Right to Escape from Prison - A step Towards Incarceration Free From Sexual Assault," 49 Southern California Law Review 110 (1975);
  • "Criminal Responsibility and Exculpation by Medial Category - An Instance of Not Taking Heat to Heart," 27 Alabama Law Review 55 (1975).


  • Children and the Law: Cases and Materials (with Anne Dupre), Lexis/Nexis Publishers (2nd Edition 2006)
  • Crimes and Punishment: Cases and Materials, 4th Edition (with Richard G. Singer), Lexis/Nexis Publishers (2004)
  • Understanding Juvenile Law, Lexis/Nexis Publishers (3rd Edition 2009)
  • "Review Essay/Self-Defense Theory," 14 Criminal Justice Ethics 72 (1995);
  • "Mormonism and the American Constitution," 14 Dialogue 111 (1981);
  • "The Questions of Parole: Retention, Reform, or Abolition," 59 Nebraska Law Review 44 (1980);
  • "Crime and Punishment: A Radical Solution," 28 Alabama Law Review 527 (1977).