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Full-Text Articles in Law

Judges And Judgment: In Praise Of Instigators, Kathryn Judge Jan 2019

Judges And Judgment: In Praise Of Instigators, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This essay celebrates judicial instigators, and Judge Richard Posner as instigator. It embraces a view of the judicial system as a system, one that can best achieve its myriad aims only if there is some variety in its constituent parts. Having some judges, some of the time, willing to ask hard questions about what the law is and should be is critical to ensuring the law achieves its intended aims. This essay illustrates this point by weaving together a single case about mutual fund fees with personal observations accumulated over a year as a clerk to Judge Posner and Posner ...


The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2018

The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

Judges see themselves as – and many reforming voices urge them to be – facilitators of access to justice for pro se parties in our state civil and administrative courts. Judges’ roles in pro se access to justice are inextricably linked with procedures and substantive law, yet our understanding of this relationship is limited. Do we change the rules, judicial behavior, or both to help self-represented parties? We have begun to examine this nuanced question in the courtroom, but we have not examined it in a potentially more promising context: pre-hearing motions made outside the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, judges rule on ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2018

The Keys To The Kingdom: Judges, Pre-Hearing Procedure, And Access To Justice, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

Judges see themselves as – and many reforming voices urge them to be – facilitators of access to justice for pro se parties in our state civil and administrative courts. Judges' roles in pro se access to justice are inextricably linked with procedures and substantive law, yet our understanding of this relationship is limited. Do we change the rules, judicial behavior, or both to help self-represented parties? We have begun to examine this nuanced question in the courtroom, but we have not examined it in a potentially more promising context: pre-hearing motions made outside the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, judges rule on ...


Judicial Priorities, Bert I. Huang, Tejas N. Narechania Jan 2015

Judicial Priorities, Bert I. Huang, Tejas N. Narechania

Faculty Scholarship

In an unprecedented move, the Illinois Supreme Court in the mid-1990s imposed hard caps on the state's appeals courts, drastically reducing the number of opinions they could publish, while also narrowing the formal criteria for opinions to qualify for publication. The high court explained that the amendment's purpose was to reduce the "avalanche of opinions emanating from [the] Appellate Court," which was causing legal research to become "unnecessarily burdensome, difficult and costly." This unusual and sudden policy shift offers the chance to observe the priorities of a common law court in its production of published opinions. The method ...


Trial By Preview, Bert I. Huang Jan 2013

Trial By Preview, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

It has been an obsession of modern civil procedure to design ways to reveal more before trial about what will happen during trial. Litigants today, as a matter of course, are made to preview the evidence they will use. This practice is celebrated because standard theory says it should induce the parties to settle; why incur the expenses of trial, if everyone knows what will happen? Rarely noted, however, is one complication: The impact of previewing the evidence is intertwined with how well the parties know their future audience — that is, the judge or the jury who will be the ...


Courthouse Iconography And Chayesian Judical Practice, William H. Simon Jan 2012

Courthouse Iconography And Chayesian Judical Practice, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to a symposium on Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis’s Representing Justice considers what courthouse imagery and design might be appropriate for “Chayesian” judicial practice. The imagery and design that Resnik and Curtis examine largely connotes traditional litigation – lawsuits that are bi-polar, retrospective, and self-contained. However, judicial practice is increasingly Chayesian – concerned with forward-looking efforts to coordinate multipolar problems with sprawling party structures. Traditional iconography is inadequate to Chayesian practice because it celebrates equilibrium and communicates information about cases one-by-one. By contrast, Chayesian intervention often induces productive disequilibrium and it can only be made transparent through expression that ...


"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss Jan 2012

"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay suggests an underappreciated, appropriate, and conceptually coherent structure to the Chevron relationship of courts to agencies, grounded in the concept of "allocation." Because the term "deference" muddles rather than clarifies the structure's operation, this Essay avoids speaking of "Chevron deference" and "Skidmore deference." Rather, it argues, one could more profitably think in terms of "Chevron space" and "Skidmore weight." "Chevron space" denotes the area within which an administrative agency has been statutorily empowered to act in a manner that creates legal obligations or constraints – that is, its allocated authority. "Skidmore weight" addresses the possibility that an agency ...


Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang Jan 2012

Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The growth of “litigation finance” — the funding of lawsuits by outside investors who are neither parties nor counsel — is being closely watched by academics, the press, and the bar. The practice poses risks of conflicting interests and improper influence; and yet if carefully managed it may in fact enhance party autonomy. What questions, then, should judges be asking when dealing with a case with outside funding? This symposium essay offers judges a starting point: a menu of questions to ask parties who receive such financing. These inquiries aim to pierce simplistic labels such as “loan” or “investment,” in order to ...


Arbitrating Trade Disputes (Who's The Boss?), Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2012

Arbitrating Trade Disputes (Who's The Boss?), Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute settlement has attracted a lot of interest over the years and there is a plethora of academic papers focusing on various aspects of this system. Paradoxically, there is little known about the identity of the WTO judges: since, at the end of the day, the WTO has evolved into the busiest forum litigating state-to-state disputes. There are many writings regarding the appointment process in other international tribunals. At the risk of doing injustice to many papers on this issue, we should mention the following works: Terris et al. look at various courts and especially those ...


What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen Jan 2011

What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

November 2, 2010 is the latest milestone in the evolution of state judicial elections from sleepy, sterile affairs into meaningful political contests. Following an aggressive ouster campaign, voters in Iowa removed three supreme court justices, including the chief justice, who had joined an opinion finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Supporters of the campaign rallied around the mantra, "It's we the people, not we the courts." Voter turnout surged to unprecedented levels; the national media riveted attention on the event. No sitting Iowa justice had ever lost a retention election before.

This essay – a reply to Nicole Mansker ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...


Justice Stevens And The Obligations Of Judgment, David Pozen Jan 2011

Justice Stevens And The Obligations Of Judgment, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

How to sum up a corpus of opinions that spans dozens of legal fields and four decades on the bench? How to make the most sense of a jurisprudence that has always been resistant to classification, by a jurist widely believed to have "no discernible judicial philosophy"? These questions have stirred Justice Stevens' former clerks in recent months. Since his retirement, many of us have been trying to capture in some meaningful if partial way what we found vital and praiseworthy in his approach to the law. There may be something paradoxical about the attempt to encapsulate in a formula ...


Left, Right, And Center: Strategic Information Acquisition And Diversity In Judicial Panels, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2011

Left, Right, And Center: Strategic Information Acquisition And Diversity In Judicial Panels, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops and analyzes a hierarchical model of judicial review in multimember appellate courts. In our model, judicial panels acquire information endogenously, through the efforts of individual panelists, acting strategically. The resulting equilibria strongly resemble the empirical phenomena collectively known as "panel effects" – and in particular the observed regularity with which ideological diversity on a panel predicts greater moderation in voting behavior (even after controlling for the median voter's preferences). In our model, non-pivotal panel members with ideologies far from the median have the greatest incentive to acquire additional policy-relevant information where no one on a unified panel ...


Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David E. Pozen Jan 2010

Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most important recent developments in American legal theory is the burgeoning interest in "popular constitutionalism." One of the most important features of the American legal system is the selection of state judges – judges who resolve thousands of state and federal constitutional questions each year – by popular election. Although a large literature addresses each of these subjects, scholarship has rarely bridged the two. Hardly anyone has evaluated judicial elections in light of popular constitutionalism, or vice versa.

This Article undertakes that thought experiment. Conceptualizing judicial elections as instruments of popular constitutionalism, the Article aims to show, can enrich ...


Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David Pozen Jan 2009

Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most important recent developments in American legal theory is the burgeoning interest in "popular constitutionalism." One of the most important features of the American legal system is the selection of state judges – judges who resolve thousands of state and federal constitutional questions each year – by popular election. Although a large literature addresses each of these subjects, scholarship has rarely bridged the two. Hardly anyone has evaluated judicial elections in light of popular constitutionalism, or vice versa.

This Article undertakes that thought experiment. Conceptualizing judicial elections as instruments of popular constitutionalism, the Article aims to show, can enrich ...


Romancing The Court, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2008

Romancing The Court, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

Problem-solving courts, created at the end of the 20th century, make court-based solutions central to addressing significant societal problems, such as substance abuse and its impact on criminal activity and family functioning. Yet, lessons gleaned from over 100 years of family court history suggest that court-based solutions to intractable social problems have rarely been effective. This article asks three questions of the problem-solving court movement: What problem are we trying to solve? Is the court the best place to solve the problem? What are the consequences of giving authority to a court for solving the problem? Answering those questions through ...


Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2008

Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Contrary to a suggestion by Professors Matthew Stephenson and Adrian Vermeule ("Chevron has Only One Step," forthcoming in Va. L. Rev.), Chevron v. NRDC's model for judicial review of agency interpretations of regulatory statutes involves two "steps" – and for good reason. The two-step analysis provides a framework for allocating interpretive authority in the administrative state, by separating those questions of statutory implementation assigned to independent judicial judgment (Step One) from those regarding which courts' role is limited to oversight of agency decisionmaking (Step Two).

At Chevron's first step, courts should begin by identifying whether congressional instructions clearly either ...


The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David E. Pozen Jan 2008

The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Judicial elections in the United States have undergone a dramatic transformation. For more than a century, these state and local elections were relatively dignified, low-key affairs. Campaigning was minimal; incumbents almost always won; few people voted or cared. Over the past quarter century and especially the past decade, however, a rise in campaign spending, interest group involvement, and political speech has disturbed the traditional paradigm. In the "new era," as commentators have dubbed it, judicial races routinely feature intense competition, broad public participation, and high salience.

This Article takes the new era as an opportunity to advance our understanding of ...


Making Judicial Recusal More Rigorous, James J. Sample, David Pozen Jan 2007

Making Judicial Recusal More Rigorous, James J. Sample, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The right to an impartial arbiter is the bedrock of due process. Yet litigants in most state courts face judges subject to election and reelection – and therefore to majoritarian political pressures that would appear to undermine the judges' impartiality. This tension has existed for as long as judges have been elected (and, to some extent, for as long as they have been appointed, in which case campaigns often take a less public but equally politicized form).

In recent years, however, this tension has become more acute. Today, state courts around the country increasingly resemble – and are increasingly perceived to resemble ...


The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Judicial elections in the United States have undergone a dramatic transformation. For more than a century, these state and local elections were relatively dignified, low-key affairs. Campaigning was minimal; incumbents almost always won; few people voted or cared. Over the past quarter century and especially the past decade, however, a rise in campaign spending, interest group involvement, and political speech has disturbed the traditional paradigm. In the "new era," as commentators have dubbed it, judicial races routinely feature intense competition, broad public participation, and high salience.

This Article takes the new era as an opportunity to advance our understanding of ...


The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, we have seen an escalation of attacks on the independence of the judiciary. Government officials and citizens who have been upset by the substance of judicial decisions are increasingly seeking to rein in the courts by limiting their jurisdiction over controversial matters, soliciting pre-election commitments from judicial candidates, and drafting ballot initiatives with sanctions for judges who make unpopular rulings. Many of these efforts betray ignorance at best, or defiance at worst, of traditional principles of separation of powers and constitutional protections against tyranny of the majority.

The attacks are fueled in part by the growing influence ...


Originalism, Stare Decisis And The Promotion Of Judicial Restraint, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2005

Originalism, Stare Decisis And The Promotion Of Judicial Restraint, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

If we consider constitutional law as a practice, it is clear that both originalism and precedent play an important role. Neither one is going to vanquish the other, at least not any time soon. We can engage in academic debate about originalism versus stare decisis, as if they were rival modes of interpretation that could operate to the exclusion of the other. But the question of practical importance is one of degree and emphasis: in cases where these two sources of authority arguably point in different directions, which one should have a greater claim to our allegiance?

Originalism – interpreting the ...


Judicial Campaign Codes After Republican Party Of Minnesota V. White, Richard Briffault Jan 2004

Judicial Campaign Codes After Republican Party Of Minnesota V. White, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The vast majority of judicial offices in the United States are subject to election. The votes of the people select or retain at least some judges in thirty-nine states, and all judges are elected in twenty-one states. By one count, 87% of the state and local judges in the United States have to face the voters at some point if they want to win or remain in office. Judicial elections, however, differ from elections for legislative or executive offices in a number of significant ways. In nineteen states, most judges are initially appointed but must later go before the voters ...


Judicial Auditing, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley Jan 1998

Judicial Auditing, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper presents a simple framework for analyzing a hierarchical system of judicial auditing. We concentrate on (what we perceive to be) the two principal reasons that courts and/or legislatures tend to scrutinize the decisions of lower-echelon actors: imprecision and ideological bias. In comparing these two reasons, we illustrate how each may yield systematically distinct auditing and reversal behaviors. While auditing for imprecision tends to bring about even-handed review/reversal, auditing for political bias tends to be significantly more one-sided. Examples of these tendencies can be found in a number of legal applications, including administrative law, constitutional law, and ...


Two Modes Of Legal Thought Symposium On Legal Scholarship: Its Nature And Purposes, George P. Fletcher Jan 1981

Two Modes Of Legal Thought Symposium On Legal Scholarship: Its Nature And Purposes, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

We should begin with a confession of ignorance. We have no jurisprudence of legal scholarship. Scholars expatiate at length on the work of other actors in the legal culture – legislators, judges, prosecutors, and even practicing lawyers. Yet we reflect little about what we are doing when we write about the law. We have a journal about the craft of teaching, but none about the craft of scholarship.

In view of our ignorance, we should pay particular heed to our point of departure. I start with the observation that legal scholarship expresses itself in a variety of verbal forms. Descriptive propositions ...


Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, Michael I. Sovern Jan 1971

Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, Michael I. Sovern

Faculty Scholarship

There were Whiz Kids before McNamara, and never more than during the tenure of the late Thomas E. Dewey as District Attorney of New York County. Only thirty-three years old when he became special prosecutor for the investigation of organized crime in New York and thirty-five when he took office as District Attorney in 1937, Dewey surrounded himself with a remarkably talented group of young lawyers. Frank Hogan, for example, was thirty-five in 1937, Charles Breitel all of twenty-eight. Stanley Howells Fuld, who had graduated from the Columbia Law School one year after the District Attorney, was thirty-four. Nine years ...