David Dante Troutt is professor of law (Justice John J. Francis Scholar ) and the founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality, and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME). He teaches and writes in four areas of primary interest: the metropolitan dimensions of race, class and legal structure; intellectual property; Torts; and critical legal theory. His major publications (noted below) include books of fiction and non-fiction, scholarly articles and a variety of legal and political commentary on race, law and equality. A member of the faculty since 1995 after practicing corporate and public interest law in New York and California, Troutt founded CLiME in 2013 in order to provide a research resource for students and the public interested in the growing challenges of municipalities and families trying to sustain middle-class outcomes amid growing fiscal constraints and rapid demographic change.
Several themes characterize Troutt’s work. A key feature of his writing and teaching about the intersections of race, class and place concerns identifying blind spots in conventional analyses of spatially determined opportunity through structuralist and interdisciplinary analysis. This work involves inquiries about meanings of colorblindness, the role of inequity in persistent marginalization, and the utility of civil rights theories in addressing concentrated poverty. Troutt is conducting ongoing research on developing the principle of mutuality in public law. Key themes in Troutt’s writing about intellectual property include personhood and authorship in copyright and trademark. Key aspects of his work in critical theory include the uses of narrative methodology, cultural constructions of marginalization and the dynamic life of stereotypes.
Professor Troutt is a frequent public speaker and contributor to a variety of national periodicals, including Politico, Huffington Post, Reuters and The Crisis. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School. An avid drummer, carpenter, photographer and ichtheologist, he lives with his wife and family in Montclair, NJ.