Joanna L. Grossman, the Sidney and Walter Siben Distinguished Professor of Family Law, published “Double Take: The Law of Embezzled Lives” in the University of Cincinnati Law Review. This article, co-authored by Lawrence M. Friedman (Stanford Law School), is part of a larger project that explores privacy in law and society.
This piece focuses on one aspect of privacy: role-playing and concealed or altered identity. It explores a particular kind of role-playing, known as “passing,” in which people lead double lives — sometimes to avoid social stigma, other times to gain an illegal or improper advantage.
This article focuses on the limits of passing — those situations (contemporary and historical) when it is wrong or illegal to live two lives because the “false” or outer life is a lie that would be considered impermissibly deceptive.
The reader is taken on a tour of everything from spying to adoption secrecy to transgenderism while learning something of the law and social meaning of passing.