Lucian E. Dervan | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

Lucian E. Dervan | School of Law | SIU



Lucian E. Dervan

Associate Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Development

Lucian E. Dervan

Office: Lesar Law Building, Room 250
Phone: (618) 453-8797

Professor Dervan joined the Southern Illinois University School of Law faculty in 2009 and focuses his teaching and scholarship on both domestic and international criminal law. In 2013, he was awarded the Southern Illinois University Early-Career Faculty Excellence Award for his research, teaching, and professional activities. In 2012, he was awarded the SIU School of Law Scholar of the Year Award for his scholarly achievements. Along with his service to SIU, Professor Dervan has served as a visiting faculty member at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Professor Dervan is a member of the Advisory Committee of the NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson. He also serves as a faculty member at the program. The NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College is an annual multi-day training for practitioners in the field of white collar criminal defense. Students at the college learn key advocacy skills and substantive white collar law during the program.

In 2012, Professor Dervan was invited to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee – Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security at its hearing on "Stolen or Counterfeit Goods Legislation." During his testimony, Professor Dervan offered his insights regarding various aspects of the proposed criminal legislation and also discussed his recent research regarding plea bargaining’s innocence problem. A copy of Professor Dervan’s testimony is available here.

In 2010, Professor Dervan was awarded a Foundation for Defense of Democracies Academic Fellowship to study counter-terrorism, national security, and international criminal law in Israel during the summer. The fellowship included participation in discussions with scholars, military officers, intelligence officials, and diplomats at Tel Aviv University and travel to military bases, border zones, and security installations.

Prior to joining the SIU School of Law, Professor Dervan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also spent six years in private practice with King and Spalding LLP and Ford and Harrison LLP. At King and Spalding LLP, Professor Dervan was a member of the Special Matters and Government Investigations team. The Special Matters team was established by former United States Attorney General Griffin B. Bell in 1989 to represent corporations and individuals in complex federal and state criminal investigations, internal investigations, and Congressional investigations, as well as in related civil and regulatory proceedings. As a member of the Special Matters team, Professor Dervan launched corporate internal investigations and compliance reviews, represented corporations during government investigations, prepared for trials of corporations and individuals, and handled various types of complex criminal and civil litigation, including qui tam whistleblower actions. 

Professor Dervan’s notable cases have included:

  • Representing an international soft drink company during a Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigation regarding allegations by a former employee.
  • Representing a national data aggregation company in response to federal and multi-state attorneys general investigations of an information security breach.
  • Representing the audit committee of a national healthcare services company during an internal investigation of accounting practices.
  • Representing an international insurance claims management company during a Department of Justice criminal and civil investigation, including structuring a favorable corporate plea agreement.

Professor Dervan attended Emory University School of Law where he was an Emory Scholar, served as an Articles Editor for the Emory Law Journal, and was elected a member of the Order of the Coif.

Professor Dervan actively engages in service activities, including work with Legal Aid, Habitat for Humanity, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Professor Dervan is admitted to practice in Georgia (active) and Florida (active). Professor Dervan is also the co-chair of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Academics Committee.

Professor Dervan has published book chapters and articles on various subjects related to criminal law, plea bargaining, internal corporate investigations, and American legal history. His most recent articles include the following:

  • The Innocent Defendant’s Dilemma: An Innovative Empirical Study of Plea Bargaining’s Innocence Problem, 103 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 1 (2013) (with Dr. Vanessa A. Edkins). Featured in a Wall Street Journal article entitled – “Academic Study Shows Innocent Plead at High Rate” (September 23, 2012) – available here
  • White Collar Over-Criminalization: Deterrence, Plea Bargaining, and the Loss of Innocence, 101 Kentucky Law Journal 543 (2013).
  • Bargained Justice: Plea Bargaining’s Innocence Problem and the Brady Safety-Valve, 2012 Utah Law Review 51 (2012).
  • International White Collar Crime and the Globalization of Internal Investigations, 39 Fordham Urban Law Journal 361 (2012) (solicited article).

A list of his complete publications is available here and copies of many of his articles are available for download here. Professor Dervan is also the founder and author of The Plea Bargaining Blog.