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2010

Beth Thornburg

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Law, Facts, And Power, Elizabeth Thornburg Jan 2010

Law, Facts, And Power, Elizabeth Thornburg

Beth Thornburg

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Ashcroft v. Iqbal is wrong in many ways. This essay is about only one of them: the Court’s single-handed return to a pleading system that requires lawyers and judges to distinguish between pleading facts and pleading law. This move not only resuscitates a distinction purposely abandoned by the generation that drafted the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but also serves as an example of the very difficulties created by the distinction. The chinks in the law-fact divide are evident in Iqbal itself—both in the already notorious pleading section of the opinion, and ...


The Managerial Judge Goes To Trial, Elizabeth Thornburg Jan 2010

The Managerial Judge Goes To Trial, Elizabeth Thornburg

Beth Thornburg

Scholars have examined the phenomenon of pre-trial judicial management, but have ignored the ways in which this problematic set of attitudes has invaded the trial phase of litigation. This article examines the use of managerial discretion at the trial stage and demonstrates that trial-phase managerial decisions suffer from all the problems of their pre-trial counterparts: 1) trial management involves judges so intimately in the parties’ information and strategies that it may compromise the judges’ impartiality; 2) it leads to a loss of transparency as more decisions are made off the record or in chambers; 3) management decisions are not guided ...