Professor Pedro A. Malavet: Scholarship


Law Review Articles

  • Counsel for the Situation: The Latin Notary, a Historical and Comparative Model, 19 Hastings Int'l. and Comparative L. Rev. 389-488 (1996).
    • Can a lawyer, in certain matters, be an impartial counsel for the situation, rather than an advocate for either party? The Latin Notary is a legal professional of the Civil Law world that is expected to be a non-adversarial, expert legal counselor to every party to a transaction. The State seeks to ensure impartiality by imposing on the notary very strict training, admission and ethical requirements. In exchange for such high demands, the state often grants the notaries profitable subject-matter and geographic monopolies. Covers historical development, current definition and scope, relation to "lawyer as intermediary" of Model Rule 2.2.
  • The Non-Adversarial, Extra-Judicial Search For Legality And Truth: Foreign Notarial Transactions As An Inexpensive And Reliable Model For A Market-Driven System Of Informed Contracting And Fact-Determination, 16 Wisc. Int'l L. J. 1-60 (1997).
    • Notarial transactions are specialized contracts, which in most of the world are written and certified by a legal professional known as a notary, who obviously is not the U.S. notary public. These, in effect, lawyers, practice a liberal profession so endowed of the public trust that they are expressly made alternatives to judicial proceedings. Hence, the notarial form is an extra-judicial certification of legality and truth, often comparable to our court judgments. This system guarantees honesty and legality while avoiding or resolving disputes, at a very low cost, when compared to American law practice and certainly when compared to litigation.
  • The Foreign Notarial Legal Services Monopoly: Why Should We Care?, 31 John Marshall L. Rev. 945-970 (1998).
    • This piece serves three purposes: (1) briefly to take issue with the current treatment of comparative scholarship, especially how it is ignored by main law reviews; (2) to be a succinct introduction to the Latin Notary; and (3) to point out that the adversarial ethic and notarial impartiality can co-exist and even complement one another. It presents the notary as an example of a non-adversarial ethic, in a system that has other professionals who are ruled by the adversarial ethic. It does not advocate the abandonment of the adversarial ethic, but, rather, argues that in certain legal situations a non-adversarial approach can work best.
  • Literature and Arts as Antisubordination Praxis LatCrit Theory and Cultural Production: The Confessions of an Accidental Crit, 33 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1293-1331(2000).
    • This short article: (1) explains the development the Arts Panel at the LatCrit IV Conference and provides an account of its substantive content; (2) it gives the author's reactions to the presentations, while placing them within the planned description and written questions, locating them within the contemporary debate over the use of narrative in legal scholarship and in postmodern philosophical discourse more generally; and (3) the author gives a narrative about his own reluctant, difficult, and ultimately accidental gravitation towards LatCrit theory.
  • Puerto Rico: Cultural Nation, American Colony, 6 Mich. J. Race and Law 1-106 (2000) (actually published in the Summer of 2001).
    • A study of Puerto Rico's century-old legal relationship with the United States, and how it constructs Puerto Ricans as legal and social second-class citizens because of their cultural nationhood. The discriminatory treatment conflicts with contemporary notions of justice and morality in postmodern political and legal philosophy. The article articulates a framework for legal reform that is consistent with a new progressive theoretical construct of a pluralistic and communitarian form of liberalism.
  • The Accidental Crit II: Culture and the Looking Glass of Exile, 78 D.U. L. Rev. 753-793 (2001) (actually published in the Fall of 2002).
    • A LatCritical look at the then-current "Latina/o Musical Moment" represented by the popularity of artists like Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, Jennifer López, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, and Christina Aguilera. It specifically focuses on competing cultural constructs of Latinas/os generally, and Puerto Ricans in particular, re/viewed from the author's perspective of exile along the cultural borderlands of Puerto Rico and the Estados Unidos de Norteamérica (the U.S.A.).
  • Reparations Theory and Postcolonial Puerto Rico: Some Preliminary Thoughts, 13 La Raza L. J. 387-423 (2002).
    • Applying recent Critical Race Theory reparations discourse to inform Puerto Rico's transition to any one of the three legitimate post-colonial status options.
  • Introduction: LatCritical Encounters with Culture, In North-South Frameworks, 51 Fla. L. Rev. 1-39 (2003).
    • A critical introduction of a group of articles in the LatCrit VI Symposium issue, discussing the authors' diverse approaches to Latin American legal cultures and contextualizing the publications in the growing body of LatCrit scholarship.
  • Afterword: Outsider Citizenships and Multidimensional Borders: The Power and Danger of Not Belonging, 52 Cleveland State L. Rev. 321-338 (2005).
    • A critical review of the essays and articles included in the LatCrit VIII Symposium issue.
  • The Inconvenience of a “Constitution [that] follows the flag … but doesn’t quite catch up with it”: From Downes v. Bidwell to Boumediene v. Bush, 80 Mississippi Law Journal 181-257 (Fall 2010).
    • Providing extensive historical, precedential and sociological context for the 2008 decision on the habeas corpus rights of detainees at Guantanamo Naval Station; includes a detailed study of the court’s references to the Insular Cases and then a detailed analysis of the original decisions an their historical and sociological context.
  • Cluster Introduction: Puerto Rico: Interrogating Economic, Political, and Linguistic Injustice, 42 Cal. Western Int’l L.J. 393-405 (Spring 2012).
    • A review of articles in the LatCrit XVI symposium volume.
  • Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Civil Code and the Problem of Transculturation, 29 Florida Journal of International Law 197 (Fall 2017), Cuba, Puerto Rico, el Código Civil y el Problema de la Transculturación, 29 Florida Journal of International Law 197-S (Spanish) (Otoño 2017).
    • My presentation at the Law and Policy in the Americas Conference at the University of Havana in the summer of 2016. To be published in English and Spanish. Originally presented in Spanish.
  • The Accidental Crit III: The Unbearable Lightness of Being ... Pedro?, 22 Rutgers Race & The Law Review 247-292 (2021).
    • A personal critical race narrative about being a Latino in the legal academy and my complex and painful process of promotion and tenure, viewed from the perspective of over 27 years in the academy and in the current age of Trumpian anti-Latina/o rabble rousing.

In Progress

  • Latinx Racialization in the United States and Juror Bias: Peña-Rodríguez v. Colorado
    • Putting the Supreme Court opinion in the context of comparative legal examples, historical evolution, critical race theory literarure and actual and implicit bias literature, as well as in the current poltics of anti-Latinx hysteria and violence.

Book Chapter

  • Book Chapter: The Story of Downes v. Bidwell: “The Constitution Follows the Flag ... But Doesn't Quite Catch up With It,” in Race and the Law Stories (Rachel Moran and Devon Carbado, eds., Foundation Press, 2008).
    • A study of the principal decision of the Insular Cases of 1901, which has provided constitutional authorization for the U.S. territorial empire for over a century. The cases were most recently referenced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush in June 2008.


  • America's Colony: The Political and Cultural Conflict between the U.S. and Puerto Rico  (NYU Press 2004) (paperback edition 2007) (electronic edition 2010).
    • A detailed study of the historical, legal, political and cultural background of the U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship, focusing on the political conflict produced by the clash between the dominant U.S. culture and the Latina/o Puerto Rican culture. The book also critically addresses the mythologies of 100 years of U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico.

Popular Press

  • Breaking Down UF Racial Barriers, The Gainesville Sun, Sunday, September 13, 2008.
    • An OpEd essay on the 50th Anniversary of the desegregation of the University of Florida College of Law; briefly describes the personal struggle of lead plaintiff Virgil Hawkins, first admitted student George Starke and first law graduate W. George Allen.

Electronic Publishing

  • Personal Home Page.
    • A virtual teaching portfolio. Short biography; Curriculum Vitae; course syllabi; past final examinations and practical projects and feedback memoranda related thereto; general resources for students, mostly related to exam-taking; and a personal page.
  • UF eLearning
    • I use the university's CANVAS platform to post information about all my courses within a Gatorlink-Authenticated environment.