Cain, Patricia A. 1945-

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Cain, Patricia A. 1945-


Born 1945. Education: Vassar College, A.B., 1968; University of Georgia, J.D., 1973.


Office—College of Law, University of Iowa, 290 Boyd Law Bldg., Iowa City, IA 52242-1113. E-mail[email protected].


Lawyer in Montgomery, AL, 1973-74; University of Texas School of Law, member of faculty, 1974-91; University of Iowa, Iowa City, member of law college faculty, beginning 1991, Aliber Family Chair in Law, beginning 2001, associate dean of academic affairs, 1996-99, associate dean of admissions, 2001-03, interim provost, 2003-04, vice provost, 2004—. Member of the State Bars of Texas and Iowa; former member of the Bar of Alabama (1974). Visiting professor at universities, including the University of Southern California, 1987-89, the University of Wisconsin, Tulane University, and Washington University. Member, American Law Institute; former member of board of directors, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.


Society of American Law Teachers (former president), American Society for Legal History.


(With Sheldon F. Kurtz) Law Outlines. Property, Casenotes Publishing (Santa Monica, CA), 1997.

Rainbow Rights: The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2000.

(With Arthur S. Leonard) Sexuality Law, Carolina Academic Press (Durham, NC), 2005.

(With E. Gary Spitko) Wills, Trusts, and Estates Exam Pro, West Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Federal Tax Deductions, by Brian E. Comerford and Mason J. Sacks, Warren, Gorham & Lamont (Boston, MA), 1983; Texas Corporations—Law and Practice, Matthew Bender (Albany, NY), 1985; Women's Voices in Our Time: Statements by American Leaders, edited by Victoria L. De Francisco and Marvin D. Jensen, Waveland Press (Prospect Heights, IL), 1994; Changing Perspectives of the Family: Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Symposium of the Constitutional Law Resource Center, Drake University Law School, edited by Stanley Ingber, Drake University Law School (Des Moines, IA), 1994; Tax Stories, Foundation Press (New York, NY), 2002; Legal Guide for Iowa Nonprofits, edited by Richard Koontz, University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), 2003; Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America, edited by Marc Stein, Scribner's (New York, NY), 2004; Property Stories, edited by Gerald Korngold and Andrew P. Morriss, Foundation Press (New York, NY), 2004; and Materials on Family Wealth Management, edited by William J. Turnier and Grayson M.P. McCouch, Thomson/West (St. Paul, MN), 2005. Contributor to journals, including Accounting Review, Georgia Law Review, Hofstra Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, South Texas Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Berkeley Women's Law Journal, Tax Notes, Law & Sexuality, Wisconsin Women's Law Journal, Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Journal of Legal Education, Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies, Denver University Law Review, Cleveland State Law Review, University of San Francisco Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Iowa Law Review, and the Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice. Also contributor of book reviews to periodicals.


Attorney and professor Patricia A. Cain has specialized in two particular areas of the law: taxes and the protection of the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. The latter is the subject of her book Rainbow Rights: The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement. Tracing the legal evolution of these rights during the second half of the twentieth century, the author considers both the public and private rights issues of homosexuals in America. She feels that an unfortunate turning point occurred with the 1986 U.S. Supreme Court in Bowers vs. Hardwick, in which a slim five-to-four majority of the justices decided that the U.S. Constitution does not necessarily protect the right of homosexuals to have anal intercourse. This effectively opened the floodgates for states to make sodomy a criminal offense. Though not explicitly directed at homosexuals, the court's decision was clearly a strike against their private lives and allows homosexuality to be viewed as criminal and immoral.

Reviewing Rainbow Rights for the Michigan Law Review, Shayna S. Cook felt that the author's focus on this case and at laws governing the private lives of gays and lesbians causes Cain to view the last couple of decades in overly negative terms. Cook, however, pointed out that homosexuals have made some strides in public law issues, and that the news for gays and lesbians is not quite as disturbing as the author makes it out to be. "Cain's focus on the movement's losses—most notably Bowers v. Hardwick—obscures the significance of its gains and, consequently, depicts the movement's future as overly bleak," as Cook put it. Nevertheless, the critic believed the book to be a "good primer on the legal challenges and the key themes uniting them." Rebecca Mae Salokar, however, writing in the Law and Politics Book Review, was more enthusiastic in her summation. Salokar called Rainbow Rights "a robust and comprehensive text," and went on to comment that the books's "narrative style enlivens the cases" that Cain describes.



Law and Politics Book Review, December, 2001, Rebecca Mae Salokar, review of Rainbow Rights: The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement, p. 575.

Michigan Law Review, May, 2001, Shayna S. Cook, review of Rainbow Rights, p. 1419.


University of Iowa College of Law Web site, (September 20, 2006), brief biography and career information on Patricia A. Cain.