Professor Brian Owsley
Brian Owsley graduated from the University of Notre Dame with Honors. He attended Columbia University where he received a joint degree in law and a master in international affairs. While at Columbia Law School, he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and earned a Certificate with Honors from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. He served as the Executive Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and was also a staff member of the Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law. He was a member of the Black Law Students Association and the Columbia Society of International Law.
After leaving Columbia University, he clerked for the Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for the Honorable Janis Graham Jack of the Southern District of Texas. He served as the Leonard H. Sandler Fellow at Human Rights Watch where he worked on matters involving the Middle East, particularly Iraq. He also served as a Law Fellow for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He drafted appellate briefs and argued appeals on behalf of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in United States Courts of Appeals around the country.
He also served as a civil trial lawyer for the United States Department of Justice defending the Government in complex commercial litigation. As lead counsel in Columbia First Bank, FSB v. United States, he argued and was granted the first directed verdict in favor of the Government in a Winstar-related litigation case saving the taxpayers millions of dollars. While at the Department of Justice, he earned a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service awarded by the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
Most recently, he served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Texas where he presided over numerous civil and criminal bench and jury trials. He took pleas and sentenced criminal defendants in misdemeanor cases and issue countless opinions as well memoranda and recommendations on various dispositive motions. At the conclusion of his term, the Senate of the State of Texas issued a Commendation in Senate Resolution Number 849 recognizing his service as a magistrate judge.
He has published several law review articles on a range of topics. Additionally, his article entitled The Fourth Amendment Implications of the Government’s Use of Cell Tower Dumps in Its Electronic Surveillance, which is to be published in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, addresses novel issues about electronic surveillance using cell tower dumps. Moreover, his article entitled The Supreme Court Goes to the Dogs: Reconciling Florida v. Harris and Florida v. Jardines, which is to be published in the Albany Law Review, analyzes two recent Supreme Court decisions regarding drug-detection dogs.