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Full-Text Articles in Judges

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann Aug 2019

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In a pre-registered 2×2×2 factorial between-subject randomized lab experiment with 61 federal judges, we test if the law influences judicial decisions, if it does so more under a rule than under a standard, and how its influence compares to that of legally irrelevant sympathies. The judges were given realistic materials and a relatively long period of time (50 minutes) to decide a run-of-the-mill auto accident case. We find weak evidence for the law effect, stronger evidence that rules constrain more than standards, and no evidence of a sympathy effect. Unexpectedly, we find that judges were more likely to ...


Posner And Class Actions, Daniel M. Klerman Jan 2019

Posner And Class Actions, Daniel M. Klerman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The hallmark of Judge Posner’s class action decisions is rigorous review to ensure that aggregate litigation serves the best interests of class members and does not unduly pressure defendants to settle. Although he championed class actions, especially as a way to provide efficient justice in cases involving numerous small claims, Posner also recognized that, because of the agency problems that pervade class action litigation, ordinary adversary procedures were not sufficient to protect class members. As a result, the judge had to act as a fiduciary for the class, especially when approving settlements and fee awards. In addition, the colossal ...


Forum Selling Abroad, Stefan Bechtold, Jens Frankenreiter, Daniel M. Klerman Sep 2018

Forum Selling Abroad, Stefan Bechtold, Jens Frankenreiter, Daniel M. Klerman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Judges decide cases. Do they also try to influence which cases they decide? Clearly plaintiffs “shop” for the most attractive forum, but do judges try to attract cases by “selling” their courts? Some American judges actively try to enlarge their influence by making their courts attractive to plaintiffs, a phenomenon known as “forum sell-ing.” This article shows that forum selling occurs outside the U.S. as well, focusing on Germany, a country that is often held up as the paragon of the civil law approach to adjudication. As in the U.S., German courts attract cases primarily through the pro-plaintiff ...


Legal Attitudes Of Immigrant Detainees, Emily Ryo Feb 2017

Legal Attitudes Of Immigrant Detainees, Emily Ryo

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

A substantial body of research shows that people’s legal attitudes can have wide-ranging behavioral consequences. In this article, I use original survey data to examine long-term immigrant detainees’ legal attitudes. I find that the majority of detainees express a felt obligation to obey the law, and do so at a significantly higher rate than other U.S. sample populations. I also find that the detainees’ perceived obligation to obey U.S. immigration authorities is significantly related to their evaluations of procedural justice, as measured by their assessments of fair treatment while in detention. This finding remains robust controlling for ...


Forum Selling, Daniel M. Klerman, Greg Reilly Jul 2016

Forum Selling, Daniel M. Klerman, Greg Reilly

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Forum shopping is problematic because it may lead to forum selling. For diverse motives, including prestige, local benefits, or re-election, some judges want to hear more cases. When plaintiffs have wide choice of forum, such judges have incentives to make the law more pro-plaintiff, because plaintiffs choose the court. While only a few judges may be motivated to attract more cases, their actions can have large effects, because their courts will attract a disproportionate share of cases. For example, judges in the Eastern District of Texas have distorted the rules and practices relating to case assignment, joinder, discovery, transfer, and ...


Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner Feb 2016

Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The Supreme Court annually grants approximately 5% of the petitions to hear cases it receives. It denies petitions from the federal government, from large corporations, and from high-profile attorneys. The decisions of which petitions for writ of certiorari the Court grants sets the Court’s agenda each term and defines the issues which the Court will engage. With such a low likelihood that the Court hears any particular case, what makes a petition more or less likely to be granted? The focus of much of the existing scholarship on certiorari deals with the theoretical underpinnings of these judicial decisions. In ...


Who Wins In The Supreme Court? An Examination Of Attorney And Law Firm Influence, Adam Feldman Feb 2016

Who Wins In The Supreme Court? An Examination Of Attorney And Law Firm Influence, Adam Feldman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Who are the most successful attorneys in the Supreme Court? A novel way to answer this question is by looking at attorneys' relative influence on the course of the law. This article performs macro and micro-level analyses of the most successful Supreme Court litigators by examining the amount of language shared between nearly 9,500 Supreme Court merits briefs and their respective Supreme Court opinions from 1946 through 2013. The article also includes analyses of the most successful law firms according to the same metric.


Randomized Judicial Review, Andrei Marmor Mar 2015

Randomized Judicial Review, Andrei Marmor

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

One of the main arguments in support of constitutional judicial review points to the need to curtail the legal and political power of majority rule instantiated by democratic legislative institutions. This article aims to challenge the counter majoritarian argument for judicial review by showing that there is very little difference, at least morally speaking, between the current structure of constitutional judicial review in the US, and a system that would impose limits on majoritarian decisions procedures by an entirely randomized mechanism. The argument is based on a hypothetical model of a randomized system of judicial review, and proceeds to show ...


Judicial Overstating, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich Aug 2014

Judicial Overstating, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Ostensibly, we are all Legal Realists now. No longer do legal theorists insist that judicial decision making fits the mechanical and formalist characterizations of yesteryear. Yet, the predominant style of American appellate court opinions seems to adhere to that improbable mode of adjudication. As argued elsewhere, opinions habitually provide excessively large sets of syllogistic reasons and portray the chosen decision as certain, singularly correct, and as determined inevitably by the legal materials (Simon, A Psychological Model of Judicial Decision Making, 1998).

This article examines two possible explanations for this rhetorical style of Judicial Overstating. First, we review the psychological research ...


Innovating To Improve Access: Changing The Way Courts Regulate Legal Markets, Gillian K. Hadfield Apr 2014

Innovating To Improve Access: Changing The Way Courts Regulate Legal Markets, Gillian K. Hadfield

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The vast majority of ordinary Americans lack any real access to courts as they struggle to navigate a world that is increasingly shaped by legal rules and obligations. Often this means simply forgoing legal rights and entitlements or giving up in the face of claims of wrongdoing. Among those who cannot avoid courts–such as those facing eviction, collection, or foreclosure and those seeking child support, custodial access, or protection from violence or harassment–the vast majority–as many as 99 percent in some cases–find themselves in court without any legal assistance at all. There are many reasons for ...


Law, Power, And "Rumors Of War": Robert Jackson Confronts Law And Security After Nuremberg, Mary L. Dudziak Apr 2012

Law, Power, And "Rumors Of War": Robert Jackson Confronts Law And Security After Nuremberg, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s most important legacy was his role as chief prosecutor for the United States at the Nuremberg Trials. This essay follows Jackson’s legal thought from his return to the United States after Nuremberg, until his death in 1954. Jackson hoped that the lesson of Nuremberg would be “to establish the supremacy of law over such lawless and catastrophic forces as war and persecutions.” Jackson changed law that applied to warfare. In looking to the future, he seems to have assumed that although law had changed, war would retain its essential character. Yet as the ...


Unlimited War And Social Change: Unpacking The Cold War's Impact, Mary L. Dudziak Sep 2010

Unlimited War And Social Change: Unpacking The Cold War's Impact, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper is a draft chapter of a short book critically examining the way assumptions about the temporality of war inform American legal and political thought. In earlier work, I show that a set of ideas about time are a feature of the way we think about war. Historical progression is thought to consist in movement from one kind of time to another (from wartime to peacetime, to wartime, etc.). Wartime is thought of as an exception to normal life, inevitably followed by peacetime. Scholars who study the impact of war on American law and politics tend to work within ...


Deep And Wide: Justice Marshall's Contributions To Constitutional Law, Rebecca L. Brown Jul 2009

Deep And Wide: Justice Marshall's Contributions To Constitutional Law, Rebecca L. Brown

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This essay, a contribution to a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s birth, explores Justice Marshall’s singular understanding of equality as a driving force underlying all of constitutional law. His theory of equality as giving rise to an obligation on government to provide reasons for its actions reflects a sophisticated and under-appreciated perspective on American constitutionalism, as illustrated by several examples offered in the essay.


Below The Surface: Comparing Legislative History Usage By The House Of Lords And The Supreme Court, James J. Brudney Feb 2007

Below The Surface: Comparing Legislative History Usage By The House Of Lords And The Supreme Court, James J. Brudney

ExpressO

Abstract for “Below the Surface: Comparing Legislative History Usage by the House of Lords and the Supreme Court

In 1992, the Law Lords (the judicial arm of the House of Lords) overruled more than two centuries of precedent when it decided in Pepper v. Hart that courts could refer to and rely on legislative history to aid in construing enacted laws. The ensuing fourteen years have witnessed a robust debate among British judges and legal scholars as to the scope and propriety of Pepper. This article offers the first empirical and comparative analysis of how Britain’s highest court has ...


Interrogation Of Detainees: Extending A Hand Or A Boot?, Amos N. Guiora Feb 2007

Interrogation Of Detainees: Extending A Hand Or A Boot?, Amos N. Guiora

ExpressO

The so called “war on terror” provides the Bush administration with a unique opportunity to both establish clear guidelines for the interrogation of detainees and to make a forceful statement about American values. How the government chooses to act can promote either an ethical commitment to the norms of civil society, or an attitude analogous to Toby Keith’s “American Way,” where Keith sings that “you’ll be sorry that you messed with the USofA, ‘Cuz we’ll put a boot in your ass, It’s the American Way.”

No aspect of the “war on terrorism” more clearly addresses this ...


Claim Construction, Appeal, And The Predictability Of Interpretive Regimes, Jeffrey A. Lefstin Feb 2007

Claim Construction, Appeal, And The Predictability Of Interpretive Regimes, Jeffrey A. Lefstin

ExpressO

Interpretation is central to patent law, because most adjudications require association of written claims with non-linguistic subject matter. By some accounts, the lack of predictability in the law of claim interpretation has reached crisis proportions, and has prompted calls for far-reaching changes in the way patent issues are adjudicated. However, the actual evidence that questions of interpretation are more problematic than other aspects of patent law is sparser than is commonly recognized. Moreover, while the controversy over claim interpretation centers around the predictability of interpretation between trial and appeal, what is important is to be able to predict outcomes before ...


Jutstice Kennedy And The Environment: Property, States' Rights, And The Search For Nexus, Michael Blumm Jan 2007

Jutstice Kennedy And The Environment: Property, States' Rights, And The Search For Nexus, Michael Blumm

ExpressO

Justice Anthony Kennedy, now clearly the pivot of the Roberts Court, is the Court’s crucial voice in environmental and natural resources law cases. Kennedy’s central role was never more evident than in the two most celebrated environmental and natural resources law cases of 2006: Kelo v. New London and Rapanos v. U.S., since he supplied the critical vote in both: upholding local use of the condemnation power for economic development under certain circumstances, and affirming federal regulatory authority over wetlands which have a significant nexus to navigable waters. In each case Kennedy’s sole concurrence was outcome ...


The View From The Trenches: A Report On The Breakout Sessions At The 2005 National Conference On Appellate Justice , Arthur Hellman Jan 2007

The View From The Trenches: A Report On The Breakout Sessions At The 2005 National Conference On Appellate Justice , Arthur Hellman

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

In November 2005, four prominent legal organizations sponsored the second National Conference on Appellate Justice. One purpose was to take a fresh look at the operation of appellate courts 30 years after the first National Conference. As part of the 2005 Conference, small groups of judges and lawyers gathered in breakout sessions to discuss specific issues about the operation of the appellate system. This article summarizes and synthesizes the participants’ comments. The article is organized around three major topics, each of which builds on a different contrast with the 1975 conference.

First, the participants in the earlier conference apparently assumed ...


The View From The Trenches: A Report On The Breakout Sessions At The 2005 National Conference On Appellate Justice, Arthur Hellman Jan 2007

The View From The Trenches: A Report On The Breakout Sessions At The 2005 National Conference On Appellate Justice, Arthur Hellman

ExpressO

In November 2005, four prominent legal organizations sponsored the second National Conference on Appellate Justice. One purpose was to take a fresh look at the operation of appellate courts 30 years after the first National Conference. As part of the 2005 Conference, small groups of judges and lawyers gathered in breakout sessions to discuss specific issues about the operation of the appellate system. This article summarizes and synthesizes the participants’ comments. The article is organized around three major topics, each of which builds on a different contrast with the 1975 conference.

First, the participants in the earlier conference apparently assumed ...


The Measure Of The Doubt: Dissent, Indeterminacy, And Interpretation At The Federal Circuit, Jeffrey A. Lefstin Oct 2006

The Measure Of The Doubt: Dissent, Indeterminacy, And Interpretation At The Federal Circuit, Jeffrey A. Lefstin

ExpressO

The law of patent claim interpretation articulated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is commonly supposed to be markedly indeterminate, and to be responsible for a lack of certainty and predictability in patent infringement litigation. But there has been no attempt to measure objectively the indeterminacy associated with patent claim interpretation, or, for that matter, of any other field of law. This Article shows that under appropriate conditions the indeterminacy of a legal regime may be measured empirically by the frequency of judicial dissents. Application of this method to the Federal Circuit's jurisprudence demonstrates ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Distinguishing Certification From Abstention In Diversity Cases: Postponement Versus Abdication Of The Duty To Exercise Jurisdiction, Deborah J. Challener Sep 2006

Distinguishing Certification From Abstention In Diversity Cases: Postponement Versus Abdication Of The Duty To Exercise Jurisdiction, Deborah J. Challener

ExpressO

When a federal court grants an abstention-based dismissal in a diversity case, the court abdicates its strict duty to exercise its jurisdiction where that jurisdiction has been properly invoked. Thus, a federal court may not dismiss a case on abstention grounds unless it concludes that "exceptional circumstances" require the dismissal. When a federal court grants an abstention-based stay in a diversity case, however, the court does not violate its jurisdictional duty. According to the Supreme Court, an abstention-based stay is merely a postponement of the exercise of jurisdiction. Although the Court has characterized an abstention-based stay as a delay rather ...


Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults Sep 2006

Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults

ExpressO

The Article argues in favor of shifting the balance in federal sentencing toward a more indeterminate system. By exploring the post-Booker legal landscape at both the federal and state levels, the Article asserts that the judiciary's continued reliance on the “advisory" Guidelines has practically changed federal sentencing procedures very little in form or function. Accordingly, the Article proffers that, rather than insisting upon the Guidelines' immutability, federal sentencing would do well to reflect upon its own history, and the evolution of its state counterparts.


Ethical Judicial Opinion Writing, Gerald Lebovits Sep 2006

Ethical Judicial Opinion Writing, Gerald Lebovits

ExpressO

This article explores an important topic about which almost nothing has been written: How to write an honest judicial opinion.


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


When Should Judges Appoint Experts?: A Law And Economics Perspective, Jonathan T. Tomlin, David Cooper Sep 2006

When Should Judges Appoint Experts?: A Law And Economics Perspective, Jonathan T. Tomlin, David Cooper

ExpressO

The Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals placed federal judges in the role of “gatekeepers” empowered to evaluate the reliability of often complex expert testimony. Many judges, commentators, and legal scholars have argued that court-appointed experts can assist judges in appropriately carrying out their gatekeeping role. However, previous literature has not evaluated the role of court-appointed experts in a rigorous framework that considers the complex interaction of the incentives of expert witnesses, the impact of expert witnesses on the decision-making of the fact finder, and the knowledge of the judge. In this article, we provide such ...


A Defense Of Structural Injunctive Remedies In South African Law, Danielle E. Hirsch Sep 2006

A Defense Of Structural Injunctive Remedies In South African Law, Danielle E. Hirsch

ExpressO

This Article argues that the use of structural injunction remedies by South African courts is appropriate, and, in light of demonstrated government inaction, often necessary in order to give meaning to the protection of socio-economic rights, which is mandated by their Constitution. The Article draws upon numerous United States judicial decisions where structural injunctions have been successfully implemented to address systemic institutional inaction and violations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the United States Constitution. In numerous instances, the South African government has not acted to effectively give meaning to the socio-economic rights which were broadly declared ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


Parental Consent And Notification Laws In The Abortion Context: Rejecting The "Maturity" Standard In Judicial Bypass Proceedings, Anna Bonny Aug 2006

Parental Consent And Notification Laws In The Abortion Context: Rejecting The "Maturity" Standard In Judicial Bypass Proceedings, Anna Bonny

ExpressO

The choice to become a parent, to give a baby up for adoption, or to terminate a pregnancy presents a life-altering decision for a minor. The majority of states require minors to engage their parents or legal guardians in their choice to obtain an abortion, but not in decisions to give their babies up for adoption or to become parents. Though the Supreme Court has held that parental consent and notification laws do not infringe on a minor's constitutional rights if judicial bypass options are available, the reality of these judicial proceedings demonstrates a biased and unworkable legal avenue ...


Reassessing Damages In Securities Fraud Class Actions, Elizabeth C. Burch Aug 2006

Reassessing Damages In Securities Fraud Class Actions, Elizabeth C. Burch

ExpressO

No coherent doctrinal statement exists for calculating open-market damages for securities fraud class actions. Instead, courts have tried in vain to fashion common-law deceit and misrepresentation remedies to fit open-market fraud. The result is a relatively ineffective system with a hallmark feature: unpredictable damage awards. This poses a significant fraud deterrence problem from both a practical and a theoretical standpoint.

In 2005, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to clarify open-market damage principles and to facilitate earlier dismissal of cases without compensable economic losses. Instead, in Dura Pharmaceuticals v. Broudo, it further confused the damage issue by (1) perpetuating the ...