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Legal History Commons

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Public Law and Legal Theory

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2007

Washington University in St. Louis

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Docketology, District Courts, And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey R. Lidicker Jan 2007

Docketology, District Courts, And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey R. Lidicker

Washington University Law Review

Empirical legal scholars have traditionally modeled trial court judicial opinion writing by assuming that judges act rationally, seeking to maximize their influence by writing opinions in politically important cases. To test such views, we collected data from a thousand cases in four different jurisdictions. We recorded information about every judicial action over each case’s life, ranging from the demographic characteristics, workload, and experience of the writing judge; to information about the case, including its jurisdictional basis, complexity, attorney characteristics, and motivating legal theory; to information about the individual orders themselves, including the relevant procedural posture and the winning party ...