About the author
Originally from Long Island, New York, Kantrowitz developed a passion for writing at an early age. At Ohio University, he majored in history. After graduating cum laude, he, after serving in the Army, gained a master's degree in Political Science, also from OU. After teaching for a year, he attended the University of Toledo College of Law, where he served on its Law Review and Moot Court Board.
From 1979 to 1985 he was an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County (Boston), prosecuting cases in the District and Superior Courts. In 1985, he started his own practice, concentrating in civil and criminal litigation. Among his many assignments, he was lead attorney on twenty-four first degree murder cases. In 1995, Governor William Weld appointed him to serve as an associate justice on the Juvenile Court, where he served for six years. Governor Paul Cellucci then named him to the Appeals Court, where he took the oath of office on February 5, 2001. He left the Bench in August, 2015, and immediately temporarily relocated to his alma mater, Ohio University, as a visiting professor, teaching the fall semester in its History Department.
Kantrowitz also served on several Supreme Judicial Court committees, most notably as a member of the Model Murder-Manslaughter Jury Instructions Committee; as a member and then acting chair of the Bishop-Fuller Committee, established to develop a new protocol concerning the rights of criminal defendants to review the records of complainants who sought psychiatric care; and, as chair of the Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law, established to assemble the current law into one easily usable document. The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence was first published in 2008 and is updated annually. He left the Committee in 2013. Kantrowitz has also taught at various local institutions. Currently he teaches trial advocacy at the School of Law at Northeastern University.
Throughout his career he has written extensively. His first article, published in 1980, involved his performing as a stand-up comic in New York City. After he left the DA's Office, he published his first book, the Massachusetts Compendium of Criminal Law, in 1985. The book, a mainstay in the criminal courts throughout the Commonwealth, continues to be published annually. Now called the Massachusetts Criminal Law Sourcebook, authorship and updating have recently been turned over to attorneys by Helle Sachse and Tim Maguire. Over the years he has written two Massachusetts Practice books, published by West Publishing (now Thomson Reuters) on criminal and mental health law. He has also written, co-written or edited books on juvenile law, civil law and evidence. In addition to these writings, he has written several law related articles. He is the most highly published author on state law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In 1990, he turned his attention to writing books outside of the legal sphere. He published three books with Acadia Publishing, the world's largest publisher of regional, state and local history, on the towns of Canton (2000) and Ashland (2001) and of Framingham State University (2003). In 2011, he co-authored Walking Tours of Civil War Boston, the Official Guidebook of the Freedom Trail Foundation.
He continues to write. A perhaps more exciting work is his Old Whiskey and Young Women: American True Crime Tales of Murder, Sex and Scandal (Fonthill Media, 2015). Currently he writes two columns for Lawyers Weekly. One, Law ‘n History, deals with once famous/now forgotten criminal events and cases in our history while the other, Unsolved, deals with unsolved, mainly local, murder cases.
Besides writing and teaching, Kantrowitz does some case evaluation and mediation. He was also, in March, 2018, named to the State Ethics Commission as a Commissioner.