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Full-Text Articles in Law

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson Jan 2019

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson

Faculty Scholarship

Public law litigation (PLL) is among the most important and controversial types of dispute that courts face. These civil class actions seek to reform public agencies such as police departments, prison systems, and child welfare agencies that have failed to meet basic statutory or constitutional obligations. They are controversial because critics assume that judicial intervention is categorically undemocratic or beyond judicial expertise.

This Article reveals flaws in these criticisms by comparing the judicial function in PLL to that in corporate bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted. Our comparison shows that judicial ...


Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Writing about separation of powers with particular attention to the contrasting American and British views at the time of Trump and Brexit has been challenging and illuminating. The essay takes as its third framework the constrained parliamentarianism Prof. Bruce Ackerman celebrated in his essay, The New Separation of Powers, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 633 (2000), and briefly considers its relative success in Australia, France, and Germany, and failure in Hungary and Poland, in achieving “separation of powers” universally understood ends, the prevention of autocracy and preservation of human freedoms. That courts and judges would not be political actors, that governments ...


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 ...


Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew Jan 2018

Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew

Faculty Scholarship

An historical approach to constitutional interpretation draws upon original intentions or understandings of the meaning or application of a constitutional provision. Comparing the ways in which courts in different jurisdictions use history is a complex exercise. In recent years, academic and judicial discussion of “originalism” has obscured both the global prevalence of resorting to historical materials as an interpretive resource and the impressive diversity of approaches courts may take to deploying those materials. This chapter seeks, in Section B, to develop a basic taxonomy of historical approaches. Section C explores in greater depth the practices of eight jurisdictions with constitutional ...


Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2015

Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines one year of publicly available criminal judgments from a basic-level rural county court and an intermediate court in Henan Province in order to better understand trends in routine criminal adjudication in China. I present an account of ordinary criminal justice in China that is both familiar and striking: a system that treats serious crimes, in particular those affecting State interests, harshly, while at the same time acting leniently in routine cases. Most significantly, examination of more than five hundred court decisions shows the vital role that settlement plays in criminal cases in China today. Defendants who agree ...


Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2014

Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, state courts have suffered serious funding reductions that have threatened their ability to resolve criminal and civil cases in a timely fashion. Proposals for addressing this state court funding crisis have emphasized public education and the creation of coalitions to influence state legislatures. These strategies are unlikely to succeed, however, and new institutional arrangements are necessary. Dedicated state trust funds using specific state revenue sources to fund courts offer the most promise for adequate and stable state court funding.


Legal Reform: China's Law-Stability Paradox, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2014

Legal Reform: China's Law-Stability Paradox, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

In the 1980s and 1990s, China devoted extensive resources to constructing a legal system, in part in the belief that legal institutions would enhance both stability and regime legitimacy. Why, then, did China’s leadership retreat from using law when faced with perceived increases in protests, citizen complaints, and social discontent in the 2000s? This law-stability paradox suggests that party-state leaders do not trust legal institutions to play primary roles in addressing many of the most complex issues resulting from China’s rapid social transformation. This signi½es a retreat not only from legal reform, but also from the rule-based model ...


Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2014

Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, state courts have suffered serious funding reductions that have threatened their ability to resolve criminal and civil cases in a timely fashion. Proposals for addressing this state court funding crisis have emphasized public education and the creation of coalitions to influence state legislatures. These strategies are unlikely to succeed, however, and new institutional arrangements are necessary. Dedicated state trust funds using specific state revenue sources to fund courts offer the most promise for adequate and stable state court funding.


Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2014

Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines one-year of publicly available criminal judgments from one basic-level rural county court and one intermediate court in Henan Province in order to better understand trends in routine criminal adjudication in China. I present an account of ordinary criminal justice in China that is both familiar and striking: a system that treats serious crimes, in particular those affecting state interests, harshly while at the same time acting leniently in routine cases. Most significantly, examination of more than five hundred court decisions shows the vital role that settlement plays in criminal cases in China today. Defendants who agree to ...


Legal Reform: China's Law-Stability Paradox, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2014

Legal Reform: China's Law-Stability Paradox, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

In the 1980s and 1990s, China devoted extensive resources to constructing a legal system, in part in the belief that legal institutions would enhance both stability and regime legitimacy. Why, then, did China’s leadership retreat from using law when faced with perceived increases in protests, citizen complaints, and social discontent in the 2000s? This law-stability paradox suggests that party-state leaders do not trust legal institutions to play primary roles in addressing many of the most complex issues resulting from China’s rapid social transformation. This signifies a retreat not only from legal reform, but also from the rule-based model ...


Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2013

Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

China has experienced a surge in medical disputes in recent years, on the streets and in the courts. Many disputes result in violence. Quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence of medical malpractice litigation and medical disputes in China reveals a dynamic in which the formal legal system operates in the shadow of protest and violence. The threat of violence leads hospitals to settle claims for more money than would be available in court and also influences how judges handle cases that do wind up in court. The detailed evidence regarding medical disputes presented in this Essay adds depth to existing understanding ...


Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2012

Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

China has experienced a surge in medical disputes in recent years, on the streets and in the courts. Many disputes result in violence. Quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence of medical malpractice litigation and medical disputes in China reveals a dynamic in which the formal legal system operates in the shadow of protest and violence. The threat of violence leads hospitals to settle claims for more than would be available in court and also influences how judges handle cases that do wind up in court. The detailed evidence regarding medical disputes presented in this article adds depth to existing understanding of ...


China's Courts: Restricted Reform, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2008

China's Courts: Restricted Reform, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the development of China's courts over the past decade. Although court caseloads have increased only modestly, courts have engaged in significant reforms designed to raise the quality of their work. Yet such top-down reforms have been largely technical, and are not designed to alter the power of China's courts. Courts have also encountered new challenges, including rising populist pressures, which may undermine both court authority and popular confidence. The most important changes in China's courts have come from the ground up: some local courts have engaged in significant innovation, and horizontal interaction among judges ...


Courts As Catalysts: Rethinking The Judicial Role In New Governance, Joanne Scott, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2007

Courts As Catalysts: Rethinking The Judicial Role In New Governance, Joanne Scott, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a step forward in developing a theory of judicial role within new governance, drawing on the emerging practice in both the United States and Europe as a basis for this reconceptualization. The traditional conception of the role of the judiciary – as norm elaborators and enforcers – is both descriptively and normatively incomplete, and thus needs to be rethought. There is a significant but limited role for courts as catalysts. In areas of normative uncertainty or complexity, courts prompt and create occasions for normatively motivated and accountable inquiry and remediation by actors involved in new governance processes. Catalysts thus ...


What Happens When Mediation Is Institutionalized?, James J. Alfini, John Barkai, Robert A. Baruch Bush, Michele Hermann, Jonathan Hyman, Kimberlee Kovach, Carol B. Liebman, Sharon Press, Leonard Riskin Jan 1994

What Happens When Mediation Is Institutionalized?, James J. Alfini, John Barkai, Robert A. Baruch Bush, Michele Hermann, Jonathan Hyman, Kimberlee Kovach, Carol B. Liebman, Sharon Press, Leonard Riskin

Faculty Scholarship

This article is the transcription of the panel discussion held at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law School’s 1994 annual meeting on the topic of “What Happens When Mediation is Institutionalized?” Panel members are James Alfini, John Barkai, Robert Baruch Bush, Michele Hermann, Jonathan Hyman, Kimberlee Kovach, Carol Liebman, Sharon Press, and Leonard Riskin.


What Happens When Mediation Is Institutionalized?: To The Parties, Practitioners, And Host Institutions, James J. Alfini, John Barkai, Robert Baruch Bush, Michele Hermann, Jonathan Hyman, Kimberlee Kovach, Carol B. Liebman, Sharon Press, Leonard Riskin Jan 1994

What Happens When Mediation Is Institutionalized?: To The Parties, Practitioners, And Host Institutions, James J. Alfini, John Barkai, Robert Baruch Bush, Michele Hermann, Jonathan Hyman, Kimberlee Kovach, Carol B. Liebman, Sharon Press, Leonard Riskin

Faculty Scholarship

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law Schools presented a program, at the 1994 AALS Conference, on the institutionalization of mediation – through courtconnected programs and otherwise. The topic is an important one, because this phenomenon has become increasingly common in recent years. Moreover, the topic seemed especially appropriate for the 1994 program, since Florida – the host state for the conference – was one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive statute providing for court-ordered mediation (at the trial judge's option) in civil disputes of all kinds. The move toward institutionalizing mediation has raised many questions ...


Editing, Carol Sanger Jan 1993

Editing, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

We are all familiar with the process. At its best, law review editing, like editing elsewhere in the academic and literary worlds, results in a piece improved in style, structure, and content. Too often, however, law review articles are not so much improved as simply changed, sometimes hundreds of times within a single manuscript.

My purpose here is not to complain line by line about various dissatisfactions with the editing of my little review. I accept that authors, like teenagers convinced the world is focused on their every imperfection, are more aware of perceived deficiencies in an article than any ...


Editing, Carol Sanger Jan 1993

Editing, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

In May 1993, I published a book review of Richard Posner's Sex and Reason. The review was modest in length and in purpose, part of an informal division of labor undertaken by the many critics of Sex and Reason. It challenged Judge Posner's claim that an economic analysis of sex was something new and argued that women have been making rational choices with regard to sex and reproduction for quite a long time, something that Judge Posner's book seemed to miss and misunderstand throughout.

Readers of the review (the members of my MCI Friends and Family Plan ...