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Just Say 'No Fishing': The Lure Of Metaphor, Elizabeth G. Thornburg Jan 2006

Just Say 'No Fishing': The Lure Of Metaphor, Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Faculty Scholarship

The phrase "fishing expedition" is widely used in popular culture and in the law. In the case of metaphorical "fishing" in the law, reliance on the metaphor can act as a substitute for rigorous analysis, disguising the factors that influence a result. When used by the court, it is uninformative. Worse, the fishing metaphor may itself shape the way the court thinks about the kind of issue or claim involved. Accusations of "fishing" also affect the language and position of the litigants. Parties arguing against pleadings or discovery use the metaphor as a rhetorical weapon, stigmatizing their opponents, instead of ...


Designer Trials, Elizabeth G. Thornburg Jan 2006

Designer Trials, Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Faculty Scholarship

This article considers the intersection of freedom of contract and the trials that have not vanished. Could contracting parties effectively agree in advance of a dispute that any litigation of the case will comply with certain rules? Would such an agreement be enforced even in a contract of adhesion? If so, parties with sufficient bargaining leverage could design away many of the characteristics of litigation that they find unappealing, without the need to resort to private processes. The result: a designer trial with the procedural deck stacked in favor of the party with the greatest pre-dispute bargaining power.

Such a ...