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Jurisprudence Commons

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Courts

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2011

Vanderbilt University Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The New Old Legal Realsim, Tracey E. George, Mitu Gulati, Ann C. Mcginley Jan 2011

The New Old Legal Realsim, Tracey E. George, Mitu Gulati, Ann C. Mcginley

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judges produce opinions for numerous purposes. A judicial opinion decides a case and informs the parties whether they won or lost. But in a common law system, the most important purpose of the opinion, particularly the appellate opinion, is to educate prospective litigants, lawyers, and lower court judges about the law: what it is and how it applies to a specific set of facts. Without this purpose, courts could more quickly and efficiently issue one-sentence rulings rather than set forth reasons. By issuing opinions, courts give actors a means of evaluating whether their actions are within the bounds of law ...