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Full-Text Articles in Law

Empowering Individual Plaintiffs, Alex Stein, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2017

Empowering Individual Plaintiffs, Alex Stein, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The individual plaintiff plays a critical—yet, underappreciated—role in our legal system. Only lawsuits that are brought by individual plaintiffs allow the law to achieve the twin goals of efficiency and fairness. The ability of individual plaintiffs to seek justice against those who wronged them deters wrongdoing, ex ante, and in those cases in which a wrong has been committed nevertheless, it guarantees the payment of compensation, ex post. No other form of litigation, including class actions and criminal prosecutions, or even compensation funds, can accomplish the same result. Yet, as we show in this Essay, in many key ...


Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse Jun 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This invited commentary for Journal of Law & the Biosciences considers four empirical studies previously published in the journal of the reception of neuroscientific evidence in criminal cases in the United States, Canada, England and Wales, and the Netherlands. There are conceded methodological problems with all, but the data are nonetheless instructive and suggestive. The thesis of the comment is that the courts are committing the same errors that have bedeviled the reception of psychiatric and psychological evidence. There is insufficient caution about the state of the science, and more importantly, there is insufficient understanding of the relevance of the neuroscientific ...


Penal Culture And Hyperincarceration: The Revival Of The Prison, Alex Steel, Chris Cunneen, David Brown, Eileen Baldry, Melanie Schwartz, Mark Brown Dec 2015

Penal Culture And Hyperincarceration: The Revival Of The Prison, Alex Steel, Chris Cunneen, David Brown, Eileen Baldry, Melanie Schwartz, Mark Brown

David C. Brown

What are the various forces influencing the role of the prison in late modern societies? What changes have there been in penality and use of the prison over the past 40 years that have led to the re-valorization of the prison? Using penal culture as a conceptual and theoretical vehicle, and Australia as a case study, this book analyses international developments in penality and imprisonment. Authored by some of Australia’s leading penal theorists, the book examines the historical and contemporary influences on the use of the prison, with analyses of colonialism, post colonialism, race, and what they term the ...


The Rise Of Judicial Governance In The Supreme Court Of India, Manoj Mate Feb 2015

The Rise Of Judicial Governance In The Supreme Court Of India, Manoj Mate

Manoj S. Mate

This article analyzes how the Supreme Court of India, through its activism and assertiveness, has emerged as arguably the most powerful court among democratic polities. Over the past four and a half decades, the Court dramatically expanded its role in the realm of rights and governance, asserting the power to invalidate constitutional amendments under the basic structure doctrine, control judicial appointments, and govern in the areas of environmental policy, monitoring and investigating government corruption, and promoting electoral transparency and accountability. In this article, I argue that the Court’s shift toward greater, yet selective, assertiveness in India’s governance can ...


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range ...


Attitudes Toward The Way Courts Deal With Criminals, Chelsea Van Aken May 2014

Attitudes Toward The Way Courts Deal With Criminals, Chelsea Van Aken

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

The way courts treat criminals depends on a variety of factors. This paper examines how age, sex, and race affect an offender’s treatment during sentencing. These variables were collected using the 2010 General Social Survey and were tested using the SPSS 20.0 Student Version Statistical Software. The independent variables include age, race, and sex, while the dependent variable is the way courts deal with criminals. The hypotheses that were tested stated that older individuals, nonwhite persons, and men would believe that courts deal too harshly with criminals. The conclusion found that none of the variables showed a significant ...


Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser Jan 2014

Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii Jan 2014

Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Prosecutorial Discretion In Three Systems: Balancing Conflicting Goals And Providing Mechanisms For Control, Sara Sun Beale Jan 2014

Prosecutorial Discretion In Three Systems: Balancing Conflicting Goals And Providing Mechanisms For Control, Sara Sun Beale

Faculty Scholarship

In regulating the authority and discretion exercised by contemporary prosecutors,national systems balance a variety of goals, many of which are in tension or direct conflict. Forexample, making prosecutors politically or democratically accountable may conflict with theprinciple of prosecutorial neutrality, and the goal of efficiency may conflict with accuracy. National systems generally seek to foster equal treatment of defendants and respect for theirrights while also controlling or reducing crime and protecting the rights of victims. Systems thatrecognize prosecutorial discretion also seek to establish and implement policy decisions aboutthe best ways to address various social problems, priorities, and the allocation of ...


Revisitando El Debate Sobre Los Abogados Integrantes Y La Independencia Del Poder Judicial, Sergio Verdugo Sverdugor@Udd.Cl, Carla Ottone Jan 2013

Revisitando El Debate Sobre Los Abogados Integrantes Y La Independencia Del Poder Judicial, Sergio Verdugo Sverdugor@Udd.Cl, Carla Ottone

Sergio Verdugo R.

Se revisa el debate sobre la conveniencia del sistema de reemplazo judicial basado en los abogados integrantes y se analiza especialmente la crítica que sostiene que ellos no son independientes de los intereses del Poder Ejecutivo. Para ello, se examina el comportamiento de votación de los abogados integrantes de la tercera sala de la Corte Suprema en causas de indemnización de perjuicios donde el Fisco es parte, y se compara con la manera en que votan los ministros titulares. Se concluye que casi todos los jueces de esta sala votan de una manera generalmente favorable al interés fiscal, aunque esta ...


Shleifer's Failure, Jonathan Klick Jan 2013

Shleifer's Failure, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee Nov 2012

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee

Keith J. Bybee

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...


Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward Jan 2012

Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This essay develops an institutional perspective to consider limitations on judicial authority. Rather than assume that judicial decisions put an end to disagreements about what the Constitution means, this perspective focuses on the political contests that occur after judges make disputed interpretations of constitutional law. This perspective shows that scholars both exaggerate the role of judicial review in enforcing constitutional limits and underestimate the political instability that follows from difficulty in challenging controversial judicial holdings. Together, these claims are the beginning of an argument defending a form of legislative supremacy that would allow Congress and the President to override judicial ...


United States Supreme Court Cases From Georgia, Mary Wilson Dec 2011

United States Supreme Court Cases From Georgia, Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson

United States Supreme Court Cases from Georgia.


Legal Ethics And Campaign Contributions: The Professional Responsibility To Pay For Justice, Keith Swisher Jan 2011

Legal Ethics And Campaign Contributions: The Professional Responsibility To Pay For Justice, Keith Swisher

Keith Swisher

Lawyers as johns, and judges as prostitutes? Across the United States, attorneys (“johns,” as the analogy goes) are giving campaign money to judges (“prostitutes”) and then asking those judges for legal favors in the form of rulings for themselves and their clients. Despite its pervasiveness, this practice has been rarely mentioned, much less theorized, from the attorneys’ ethical point of view. With the surge of money into judicial elections (e.g., Citizens United v. FEC), and the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in protecting justice from the corrupting effects of campaign money (e.g., Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal ...


Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele Jan 2010

Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele

Faculty Working Papers

In this Response, we use Professors Cox and Miles' recent study of judicial decision-making to explore what is at stake when legal scholars present empirical findings without fully investigating the structural relationships of their data or without explicitly stating the assumptions being made to draw causal inferences. We then introduce a new methodology that is intuitive, easy to use, and, most importantly, allows scholars systematically to assess problems of bias and confounding. This methodology—known as causal directed acyclic graphs—will help empirical researchers to identify true cause and effect relationships when they exist and, at the same time, posit ...


Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt Jan 2010

Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt

Faculty Working Papers

In this symposium essay, we investigate the effect of economic conditions on the voting behavior of U.S. Supreme Court Justices. We theorize that Justices are akin to voters in political elections; specifically, we posit that the Justices will view short-term and relatively minor economic downturns—recessions—as attributable to the failures of elected officials, but will consider long-term and extreme economic contractions—depressions—as the result of exogenous shocks largely beyond the control of the government. Accordingly, we predict two patterns of behavior in economic-related cases that come before the Court: (1) in typical times, when the economy cycles ...


The Greatest Legal Movie Of All Time: Proclaiming The Real Winner, Grant H. Morris Jan 2010

The Greatest Legal Movie Of All Time: Proclaiming The Real Winner, Grant H. Morris

Grant H Morris

In August, 2008, the ABA Journal featured an article entitled: “The 25 Greatest Legal Movies.” A panel of experts, described in the article as “12 prominent lawyers who teach film or are connected to the business” selected “the best movies ever made about lawyers and the law.” This distinguished panel ranked its twenty-five top legal movies, choosing To Kill a Mockingbird as its number one legal movie. The panel also selected twenty-five films as “honorable mentions,” which were listed in alphabetical order. In my opinion, however, the real greatest legal movie of all time was not selected as the winner ...


Let My People Go: Ethnic In-Group Bias In Judicial Decisions – Evidence From A Randomized Natural Experiment, Oren Gazal-Ayal, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan Jan 2010

Let My People Go: Ethnic In-Group Bias In Judicial Decisions – Evidence From A Randomized Natural Experiment, Oren Gazal-Ayal, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan

Oren Gazal-Ayal

Does ethnic identity affect judicial decisions? We provide new evidence on ethnic biases in judicial behavior, by examining the decisions of Arab and Jewish judges in first bail hearings of Arab and Jewish suspects in Israeli courts. Our setting avoids the potential bias from unobservable case characteristics by exploiting the random assignment of judges to cases during weekends, and by focusing on the difference in ethnic disparity between Arab and Jewish judges. The study concentrates on the early-stage decisions in the judicial criminal process, controlling for the state's position, and excluding agreements, thereby allowing us to distinguish judicial bias ...


All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee Jan 2010

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee

College of Law Faculty - Scholarship

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...


Pro-Prosecution Judges: "Tough On Crime," Soft On Strategy, Ripe For Disqualification, Keith Swisher Dec 2009

Pro-Prosecution Judges: "Tough On Crime," Soft On Strategy, Ripe For Disqualification, Keith Swisher

Keith Swisher

In this Article, I take the most extensive look to date at pro-prosecution judges and ultimately advance the following, slightly scandalous claim: Particularly in our post-Caperton, political-realist world, “tough on crime” elective judges should recuse themselves from all criminal cases. The contextual parts to this claim are, in the main, a threefold description: (i) the "groundbreaking" Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal decision, its predecessors, and its progeny; (ii) the judicial ethics of disqualification; and (iii) empirical and anecdotal evidence of pro-prosecution (commonly called "tough on crime") campaigns and attendant electoral pressures. Building on this description and the work of ...


Toward A Revised 4.2 No-Contact Rule, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Mar 2009

Toward A Revised 4.2 No-Contact Rule, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Bridge Connecting Pontius Pilate's Sentencing Of Jesus To The New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission's Concerns Over Executing The Innocent: When Human Beings With Human Flaws Determine Guilt Or Innocence And Life Or Death, James B. Johnston Jan 2009

The Bridge Connecting Pontius Pilate's Sentencing Of Jesus To The New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission's Concerns Over Executing The Innocent: When Human Beings With Human Flaws Determine Guilt Or Innocence And Life Or Death, James B. Johnston

James B Johnston

No abstract provided.


Straw, Sand, And Sophistry, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2009

Straw, Sand, And Sophistry, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Time Out, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2009

Time Out, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Ripe Standing Vines And The Jurisprudential Tasting Of Matured Legal Wines – And Law & Bananas: Property And Public Choice In The Permitting Process, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2008

Ripe Standing Vines And The Jurisprudential Tasting Of Matured Legal Wines – And Law & Bananas: Property And Public Choice In The Permitting Process, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

From produce to wine, we only consume things when they are ready. The courts are no different. That concept of “readiness” is how courts address cases and controversies as well. Justiciability doctrines, particularly ripeness, have a particularly important role in takings challenges to permitting decisions. The courts largely hold that a single permit denial does not give them enough information to evaluate whether the denial is in violation of law. As a result of this jurisprudential reality, regulators with discretion have an incentive to use their power to extract rents from those that need their permission. Non-justiciability of permit denials ...


Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow Dec 2007

Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow

Donald J. Kochan

Conflicts created by concurrences and pluralities in court decisions create confusion in law and lower court interpretation. Rule of law values require that individuals be able to identify controlling legal principles. That task is complicated when pluralities and concurrences contribute to the vagueness or uncertainty that leaves us wondering what the controlling rule is or attempting to predict what it will evolve to become. The rule of law is at least handicapped when continuity or confidence or confusion infuse our understanding of the applicable rules. This Article uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States ...


The Effect Of Judicial Expedience On Attorney Fees In Class Actions, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jan 2007

The Effect Of Judicial Expedience On Attorney Fees In Class Actions, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Judges facing exogenous constraints on their pecuniary income have an incentive to reduce their workload to increase their private welfare. In the face of an increase in caseload, this incentive will induce judges to attempt to terminate some cases more rapidly. In class action cases, failing to grant an attorney fee request will delay termination. This conflict is likely to lead judges to authorize higher fees as court congestion increases. Using two data sets of class action settlements, we show that attorney fees are significantly and positively related to the congestion level of the court hearing the case.


Rhetoric Of Disputes In The Courts, The Media, And The Legislature, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Jan 2006

Rhetoric Of Disputes In The Courts, The Media, And The Legislature, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Two Valuable Treatises On Civil Procedure, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Jan 2005

Two Valuable Treatises On Civil Procedure, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.