James Richardson, Ph.D., J.D.

Professor Emeritus
James Richardson

Contact Information


  • J.D., Nevada School of Law, 1986
  • Ph.D., Sociology, Washington State University, 1968
  • M.A., Texas Tech University, 1966
  • B.A., Texas Tech University, 1965


Dr. James T. Richardson is a professor emeritus of sociology and judicial studies. He received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1968 and his J.D. from the Old College, Nevada School of Law in 1986. He has been teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1968. He directs the master's and doctoral judicial studies program for trial judges as well as the justice management master's program for others who work in the justice system.

Dr. Richardson is the co-author and editor of 10 books, including Organized Miracles, Money and Power in the New Religions, The Satanism Scare, and Regulating Religion: Cases Studies from around the Globe, and Saints under Siege: The Texas Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. He has also published numerous articles in the American Journal of Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and other scholarly journals, including law reviews.

His areas of specialization include the sociology of law, the sociology of religion, social psychology of law, social movements, social and behavioral science evidence. He is currently engaged in comparative research on law and religion, including use of courts to exert social control over minority religions, treatment of Muslims in court, evidentiary issues in courts, jury studies and new minority faiths around the world.


  • Stuart Wright and J.T. Richardson (2011). Saints under Siege: The Texas Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. New York: NYU Press.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2004). Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe. New York: Kluwer.

Journal Articles:

  • Reichert, J., & Richardson, J. T. Decline of a Moral Panic: A Social Psychological and Socio-Legal Examination of the Current Status of Satanism Scare. Forthcoming in Nova Religio.
  • Turner, B.S., A. Possamai, and J.T. Richardson (2011). Introduction." Special issue, "Legal Pluralism and Shari'a Law" of Democracy and Security 7: 311-316.
  • Chomos, J. M. Miller, L. Sicafuse, J. Richardson, C. Peoples, & C. Bremer. (2011). Increasing juror satisfaction: A call to action for judges and researchers. Drake Law Review 59: 707-731.
  • Richardson, J.T. (2011). The social construction of legal pluralism. Democracy and Security 7: 390-405.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2011). Deprogramming: From private self-help to governmental organized repression. Crime, Law, and Social Change, 55, 321-336.
  • Domitrovich, S., Merlino, M., & Richardson, J. T. (2010). State trial judge use of court appointed experts: Survey results and comparisons. Jurimetrics, 50, 371-389.
  • Flores, D. M., Miller, M. K., Chamberlain, J., Richardson, J. T., & Bornstein, B. H. (2010). Judges' perspectives on stress and safety in the courtroom: An exploratory study. Court Review, 45(3), 76-89.
  • Flores, D. M., Richardson, J. T., & Merlino, M. L. (2010). Examining the effects of the Daubert trilogy on expert evidence practices in federal civil court: An empirical analysis. Southern Illinois Law Review, 34, 533-564.
  • Richardson, J. T., Reichert, J., & Lykes, V. (2009). Satanism in America: An update. Social Compass, 56(4), 552-563.
  • Richardson, J.T. (2009). Governance beyond the campus: Lobbying as a necessary element of shared governance. Academe, 95(6): 11-14.
  • Merlino, M. L., Murray, C. I., & Richardson, J. T. (2008). Judicial gatekeeping and the social construction of the admissibility of expert testimony. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 26(2), 187-206.
  • Merlino, M. L., Richardson, J. T., Chamberlain, J., & Springer, V. (2008). Science in the law school curriculum: A snapshot of the legal education landscape. Journal of Legal Education, 58, 190-213.
  • Richardson, J. T., & Shterin, M. (2008). Constitutional courts in postcommunist Russia and Hungary: How do they treat religion? Religion, State & Society, 36(3), 251-267.
  • Flores, D., Miller, M. J. Chamberlain, J. Richardson, and B. Bornstein (2008). Judges' perspective on stress and safety in the courtroom. Court Review 45: 76-89.
  • Dobbin, S., Gatowski, S., Eyre, R., Dahir, V., Merlino, M., & Richardson, J. T. (2007). Federal and state trial judges on the proffer and presentation of expert evidence. Justice System Journal, 28, 1-15.
  • Oleson, T., & Richardson, J. T. (2007). The confluence of research traditions on terrorism and religion: A social psychological examinations. Psicologia Politica, 34, 39-55.
  • Miller, M. K., & Richardson, J. T. (2006). A model of causes and effects of judicial stress. The Judges' Journal, 45, 20-23.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2006). The Sociology of religious freedom: A structural and socio-legal analysis. Sociology of Religion, 67, 271-294.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2006). Religion, constitutional courts, and democracy in former communist countries. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 603, 129-138.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2006). Religion in public space: A theoretical perspective and comparison of Russia, Japan, and the United States. Religion, Staat, Gesellschaft, 7, 45-61.
  • Dahir, V., Richardson, J. T., Ginsburg, G. P., Gatowski, S., Dobbin, S., & Merlino, M. (2005) Judicial applications of Daubert to psychological syndrome and profile evidence. Psychology, Public Policy and the Law, 11, 62-82.
  • Edelman, B., & Richardson, J. T. (2005). Imposed limitations on freedom of religion in China and the margin of appreciation doctrine: A legal analysis of the crackdown on the Falun Gong and other 'evil cults.' Journal of Church and State, 47(2), 243-267.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2005). Breakthrough conference in law and religion in China. Nova Religio, 9, 97-103.
  • Richardson, J. T., Robinson, J., & Schaar-Buis, D. (2005). Justice system degree programs at the University of Nevada, Reno. Justice System Journal, 26, 212-218.

Book Chapters:

  • Turner, B.S., and J.T. Richardson, Shari'a and legal pluralism in the United States in M.S. Berger (Ed.), Applying Shari'a in the West. Leiden: Leiden University Press (2012).
  • Shoemaker, J. and J.T. Richardson. The resurrection of religion in America? The 'tea' cases, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the war on drugs in Francois Bellanger (ed.), Legal Cases involving New Religious Movements. London: Ashgate. (2012).
  • Richardson, J. T. Major controversies involving new religious movements in O. Hammer and M. Rothstein (Eds.), Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements. Cambridge University Press. (2012)
  • Chamberlain, J., & Richardson, J. T. Judicial stress: A topic in need of research in M. Miller and B. Bornstein (Eds.), Trauma, Stress, and Well-Being in the Legal System. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2012).
  • Richardson, J. T. Conversion and new religious movements in D. Snow, D. della Porta, B. Klandermans, and D. McAdam (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. Oxford: Blackwell. (2012).
  • Richardson, J. T. The politics of conversion: Legal theories and precedents concerning conversion and proselytizing in L. Rambo and C. Farhadian (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Conversion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2012).
  • Richardson, J. T., & Schreinert, T. (2011). Political and legislative context of the FLDS raid in Texas. In S. Wright & J. T. Richardson (Eds.), Saints Under Siege (pp. 221-241). New York: New York University Press.
  • Schreinert, T. & Richardson, J. T. (2011). The courts finally speak in Texas: An analysis of the appeal court opinions concerning the FLDS children. In S. Wright and J. T. Richardson (Eds.), Saints under Siege (pp. 242-263) New York: New York University Press.
  • Wright, S., and Richardson, J. (2011). Introduction to Saints under Siege. In S. Wright and J. Richardson (eds.), Saints under Siege (pp.1-22). New York: New York University Press.
  • Russell, J. & Richardson, J. T. (2011). Religious values and public education in the United States. In E. Coleman and K. White (Eds.), Tolerance, Education, and the Curriculum (pp. 11-26). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.
  • Richardson, J. T., & Edelman, B. (2011). State fostered violence against the Falun Gong. In J. Lewis (Ed.), Violence and New Religions (pp. 379-396). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Richardson, J. T. (2010). Identity theories, religious groups, and legal social control in Central and Eastern Europe." In I. Borowik and M. Zawila (Eds.), Religions and Identities in Transition (pp. 15-31). Krakow: Nomos Press.
  • Richardson, J. T., & Robbins, T. (2010). Monitoring and surveillance of religious groups in America. In D. H. Davis (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Church and State in the United States (pp. 353-369). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Barker, E., & Richardson, J. T. (2010). Introduction. In E. Barker (Ed.), The Centrality of Religion in Social Life: Essays in Honour of James A. Beckford (pp. 3-11). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
  • Richardson, J. T., & Shoemaker, J. (2010). The European Court of Human Rights, minority religions, and the social construction of religious freedom. In E. Barker (Ed.), The Centrality of Religion in Social Life: Essays in Honour of James A. Beckford (pp. 103-116). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Reprinted, in shorter form in State-Church Relations in Europe (pp. 80-88). Bratislava: Institute for Church-State Relations, 2008.